Shop wiring question
I needed to add an additional wall socket behind the bench where my lathe is and rather than running the wire down through the wall (it runs along the top plate) I used a section of Wire Mold from the existing socket.
When I opened the existing socket it became apparent they dropped the wire down, through the plug then back up so again so there's 6 wires in the box and the circuit runs through the wall socket.
Now I've got to put 3 pigtails in for the WireMold. 9 wires in all.
I'm thinking I should pull the feed up out of the wall box, put a junction box on the top plate then run only one wire down to the box.
The way to go or does it not even matter...other then the rest of the circuit beyond this box runs through this 20 amp wall socket?
It depends on how big the box is. The NEC specifies the number of wires of given size in a box of given size. I'd imagine googling around for box fill calculation will tell you what you need to know. If the box is beig enough then it doesn't matter otherwise, it might want a box extender or a bigger box.
I was mostly concerned about the entire circuit going through that socket as
the WireMold housing is a box extender itself.
(And all that 12 ga. wire is just a bit much for arthritic fingers to wrestle with!)
Can the socket handle any load that would be down line of it?
Nothing but 2 more sockets that rarely have anything plugged in.
And there is a GFI in the circuit before this socket in question.
The socket can handle it, but only if it is the only one drawing the load on a 20 AMP circuit.
If you plug into and run more than the breaker can take, you will trip the breaker. If you use one at a time, or a combination that is less than the breaker, it will carry the load.
You are parallel wired, not series. You still get 120 at each receptacle.
It sounds like that line may have all it needs on it. I would run another circuit.
It's only ink and paper
I'd pull it up to a junction box at the top plate just like you're thinking to do. I've got that flexible romex all over my top plate with junction boxes and hard conduit drops wherever I want whatever kind of power. Versatile that way. Easy to move around or add.
First, most duplex outlets are rated at 15 Amps, not 20. Read the specs and weep. So, you should never pull a full 20 Amps. from a typical outlet. They do make 20 Amp. outlets, but they are rarely used as they cost 5 or 10 times as much. Volume pricing.
Even the 15 Amp. outlets are probably good to pass 20 Amps. through to the second set of terminals (screws), but I wouldn't guarantee it. I personally feel it is better practice to attach pigtails to the outlet and wire nut them to the feeds coming into and out of the box. But this may require a bigger box to hold all of this. And in your case, you would have four wires in each wire nut.
Wire Mold and other manufacturers make box extensions to help in situations like this. They stick out from the wall about 3/4" or so and add volume to the original box. The Wire Mold versions also have knockouts that are sized and shaped for the Wire Mold surface conduit. This is the professional way of adding a surface run to another outlet box.
I don't think you need to add a junction box up above unless it makes the run to the new box easier.
Make it fit.