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Re: [Shop-talk] Electrical Outlet wiring question

To: Doug Braun <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Electrical Outlet wiring question
From: "Peter J. Thomas" <>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2010 17:16:05 -0500
On 3/11/2010 5:35 PM, Doug Braun wrote:
> Hello,
> I want to install an electrical outlet (the standard 120V duplex type) in a 
>box where both phases (sic) are available.  I have noticed that duplex 
>receptacles normally have both sockets connected together, but there are 
>little break-away tabs that would allow you to wire each socket independently. 
> So, i was thinking of hooking up the receptacle so that each of the 120v 
>phases was connected to a different socket (and of course the neutral was 
>common to both).
Do not use a common neutral.  Each outlet needs is own common return.  
If you use a 20A duplex break and 12 gauge 3 wire (4th wire bare ground) 
romex (rated 20A IIRC) and install 20A outlets, the two hot leads will 
be protected to 20A but a common return could be carrying 40A if you 
plug in 2 20A loads, twice the rating for 12 gauge.

Peter Thomas
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