[Solved!] How to Connect Metal Box Pigtail to Outlet?


how to connect metal box pigtail to the outlet

Pigtail connection is pretty popular and proficient nowadays. Having a pigtail wire in each switchboard or receptacle is considered safe and secure.

But, connecting it to the outlet is a step ahead of safety movement. Therefore, it may look troublesome. But, friends, that’s not even true.   

So, how to connect a metal box pigtail to the outlet? 

Connect pigtail to the outlet by collecting necessary instruments, switching off the power, ensuring the disconnection, equipping the wires, looping them, engaging the pigtail and the circuit wire, and setting the outlet cover.

We can assure you that you can connect the pigtail effortlessly within a short time. But with this simple overview you can’t ace it. You need the detailed version.

So, here we have clarified all the necessary info you need to connect the pigtail to the outlet. Scroll through it to know more.      

Is Pigtail Connection Better than Other Alternatives?   

Absolutely, a pigtail connection is immensely better than other wiring alternatives. We are not expressing it without any reason.

Other alternatives are pretty good as well, but pigtail is a level-up wiring method. We researched it well and found some amazing facts that will make you fall in love with the pigtail connection.   

Let’s take a look at these efficient aspects.

1. Power Flow

A pigtail wire is known for letting the power flow even if any outlet is injured or has a fault. Other circuits will operate like before with the current flow.  

2. Downstream Appliances 

It is effective in the case of downstream devices or appliances as a pigtail connection provides them with enough power without any interruptions.        

3. Lengthen Short Wires

A pigtail wire is used to lengthen the short wires that can not reach the outlet. As a result, a safe relationship is effortlessly built between the metal box and the outlet.     

4. Sufficient Space

The fewer screws, the more space in the outlet box. Enough space in the outlet box is essential to avoid a mix-up. Luckily, pigtail wiring requires noticeably a few screws.

5. Fewer Earthing Connections 

Installing a pigtail connection refers to pairing up enough earthing connections. Thus, the number of extra connections is decreased.       

6. Link Between Wires and Conductor 

It works as a bridge between multiple wires and a conductor wire to make an easier bonding between them. As a result, the hazard of connecting these wires separately drives away.       

7. Multiple Light Fixtures 

Pigtail connection can handle more than two light fixtures. Though these get power from different cables, pigtail controls them well. 

8. Spontaneous Effort

Last but not the least, making a pigtail connection between the metal box and outlet is more simple and easier. Homeowners can perform it on their own.                  

You will find the facts we mentioned above only in pigtail wires. Other wires will be safe too but they won’t work after detecting a fault in the outlet. Thus, you will have to face repairing issues.  

Concededly, we can assume that even you are convinced that a pigtail connection is better and safer than other alternatives.     

Process of Connecting Metal Box Pigtail to Outlet

We have already shown you the urgency of connecting the metal box pigtail to the outlet. In this way, both the metal box and switchboard or receptacle need to be grounded. Also, the pigtail wire will be connected with the other wires.     

Many think that as it is an electrical task, it must be risky and tough. We understand your worry. Therefore, we put emphasis mostly on your safety.

To be honest, it is not that hard. With this simple guide, you too can solve all your troubles on how to connect a metal box pigtail to the outlet.         

Step 1: Collect Necessary Instruments   

First, you need to identify a grounded metal outlet box for further procedure. Alongside, you must make the preparation accurately so that the job can be done within less time.

Collect a wire cutter, needle-nose pliers, a circuit or voltage tester, and a screwdriver. Take some wire connectors or wire nuts, any of these you find near at hand.   

Moreover, the pigtail wire should be a minimum of 6 inches long according to the National Electric Code.            

Step 2: Switch Off the Power

Starting the process will need to switch off the power of the outlet box. To do it, turn off the breaker from the circuit box. Never try to connect a pigtail wire with the circuit turned on.    

In case you are doing it for the first time, we recommend shutting off the main power flow of the house. Thus, you can execute it with a level of safety.     

Step 3: Ensure the Disconnection

Now, uncover the metal outlet box using the screwdriver. Do not push the screwdriver hard as it can damage the cover.

Once it is removed, take the circuit or voltage tester. Place it on the outlet box wires and double-check if the current is still flowing. You can go to the next step if the tester does not light up or make any noise.        

Step 4: Equip the Wires

The wires in the metal box should be separated according to their color. Now, exclude a scrap from each wire and the length will be the same as 6 to 8 inches.

For twisting them properly, strip them 2 to 3 inches long. Use the wire cutter in this regard. In some cases, the device may mention its required strip gauge.        

Step 5: Loop the Wires

Looping the wires will need the needle-nose pliers. Set them on the neutral wire side of the pigtail and twist them clockwise. Never push the wires as they can be crinkled inside.

Place the wire nuts or wire connectors to cover and secure the wires. Never mix up wire colors while doing it. Recheck to ensure no copper wire is left outside.     

Step 6: Engage the Pigtail and the Circuit Wire  

You are almost at the end of this process where you need to detect the green grounding screw of the pigtail.

It needs to be engaged to the threaded screw located behind the electrical box. Find it out and engage them together using the screwdriver.  

Step 7: Set the Outlet Cover 

In the last step, your duty is to inspect the wire connections again to reduce any mistakes. Then, place the wires in their position in the box and take out spare parts.

Set the cover of the outlet to its place and screw it well. Finally, you can switch on the power and stay secure with the pigtail connection. Hopefully, your metal box pigtail will be connected to the outlet.   

Recommended to read:

Why Should You Choose an Aluminum Wiring Pigtail? 

Answer: You should choose an aluminum wiring pigtail for preventing overheating issues. It originates from injured or weakened connections. Moreover, an aluminum wiring pigtail is safe for incompatible devices.

Is a Grounding Pigtail Required on All Metal Device Boxes?

Answer: Though grounding pigtail is not mandatory on all metal device boxes, it is safer than the mounting screws. The pigtail ensures the box is grounded and many people already consider it is required.

Which Size Pigtail is Safe for a 15AMP Circuit?   

Answer: A 12-gauge pigtail wire is safe and required for a 15amp circuit. You can pick up a larger size pigtail, but the size should not go below 12-gauge. Otherwise, overloading of power flow or wires overheating will occur frequently.          

Does a Pigtail Connection Need a Tamper-Resistant Outlet?     

Answer: No, a pigtail connection does not need a tamper-resistant outlet. But, we recommend using a tamper-resistant outlet to stay cautious regarding safety. It will keep the internal wires secured.        

Final Verdict

Since you went through the extensive worth of a metal box pigtail, we recommend you try it out. In our opinion, having a pigtail connection is far more secure than other alternatives.

As a result, we guess the article removed your worry about how to connect a metal box pigtail to the outlet. Please, ensure safety first by turning off the power flow.

Moreover, share your experience of the process and tell us if you face any issues. We are always there for you, buddy.

Dale Carnegie

Hey! This is Dale Carnegie. I am a professional and expert in electrical work. From teenage till now, I found myself fascinated with the nitty-gritty installation and electrical works at home. Eventually, this led me to share about my journey and solve your electrical task of installing and maintaining power systems. With my experience and practice, I can guarantee you will get the best advice here. Stay tuned for more latest updates and sneak peeks of any electrical solutions for your home.

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