tying into 12/2 wiring


Old 04-25-16, 11:30 AM
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tying into 12/2 wiring

I am trying to install a standard wall receptacle in my crawlspace, to power a TV and sat box (they are in the bathroom above but I ran the power cords I to the crawl space to hide them, for my wife's bath TV). The only wire at that end of the crawlspace I can tie into without running a ton of wire is a 12/2 wire that is powering my cistern water pump. Nothing else I can see on the circuit. Can I cut that cable, throw in a junction box and pig tail some 14/2, to run a line for my receptacle? Will the amps be OK? There is nothing but the pump on the line now so I don't think I should over load the breaker with one wall receptacle for a TV and sat box, however I'm no professional electrician either. Suggestions? Thanks!
Old 04-25-16, 02:59 PM
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Sorry to say, but pretty much everything about this plan is a code violation. Cords cannot be run through walls or floors -- the materials and temperature ratings are not approved to be covered or enclosed, and the disconnect (plug) for an appliance needs to be in the line of sight. Circuits for fixed utilities like pumps must be dedicated to that purpose -- the cistern circuit was designed to support only that pump. A 20A circuit wired with #12 wire must be #12 for the entire circuit -- you cannot mix #14 into a #12 circuit.

If I may propose an alternative plan -- run the 14-2 cable from a new 15A breaker in your breaker panel to an outlet in the wall behind the TV. You can use an old work box and fish the cable up the wall from the crawlspace. All penetrations between the crawl and first floor should be sealed with a fire rated caulk or foam, including the hole the cable goes up. Depending on where this outlet is in the bathroom it may need to be a GFCI (not a bad idea for any outlet in the bathroom anyway).
Old 04-26-16, 11:40 AM
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I agree with everything Ben said - and will add, that 12/2 cable going to your cistern pump could be 240v depending on the size of the pump. Another reason you wouldn't want to tap into it!

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