Electrical – Should I connect one cable to each outlet in a two-gang box


I removed a 1-gang box that had two 14-2 cables entering it with all wires connected to a single duplex outlet. Strange I thought. I need to install a 2-gang box with two duplex outlets in it. I had purchased 14-2 Romex prior to today because I thought I would find one sheath of 14-2 behind the 1-gang box. Based on the picture, I am assuming I lucked out and can just wire each cable to one duplex outlet. No need for pigtails. Am I right?

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Update: I connected the two 14-2 Romex sheaths and two sets of pigtails (2 x black, 2 x neutral, 2 x ground) together with wire nuts, and then connected the other ends of the pigtails to the outlets. Everything is working perfectly. Thank you for the education and recommendations. Made this project easy.

Best Answer

No. You have an upstream cable (source power) and a downstream cable (which feeds something else--more outlets or lights), and they need to be connected in order to maintain continuity throughout the circuit.

You'll need either pigtails (best practice, but a bit messy), or jumpers connecting the two receptacles (simpler, relies on the outlet hardware more).

Your fundamental misunderstanding was that you'd have two source cables connected to one outlet. That would result in an odd (and potentially dangerous) situation. An exception would be when half of the outlet is switched, and fed from a second cable. The telltale sign would be removed tabs on the sides of the outlet.