Installing a Two-circuit Receptacle

Intro

Code may require that adjacent receptacles be on different circuits. You can split receptacles to achieve the same effect.

Run three-wire cable from the service panel to the boxes for the two circuits. Codes may call for connecting both circuits to a double-pole breaker. That way an overload on one circuit shuts off both, deadening all wires in each box.

Checklist

Time
About 3 hours to install several receptacles (not including cutting and patching walls)

Tools
Voltage tester, drill, saw, hammer, fish tape, lineman's pliers, screwdriver, strippers, long-nose pliers

Skills
Running cable; stripping, splicing, and connecting wire

Prep
Run three-wire cable from service panel to boxes, two-wire between last two boxes.

Materials
Receptacles, three-wire cable, two-wire cable, boxes, double-pole breaker, wire nuts, tape

Run three-wire cable from the service panel's double-pole breaker to the receptacles. Only two-wire cable is needed for the last receptacle.

Step 1

Shut off power to the circuits. At the first receptacle splice the red wires. Connect the grounds. Attach the white wires to the silver terminals. Connect the black wires to the brass terminals.

Step 2

At the second receptacle splice the black wires. Connect the grounds. Attach the white wires to the silver terminals. Connect the red wires to the brass terminals.

Step 3

At the service panel shut off the main breaker. Attach the white wire to the neutral bus bar and the ground wire to the ground bus bar. Connect the red and black wires to a double-pole breaker, and install it.


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