Outlets/Switches


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Old 07-22-03, 01:14 PM
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Outlets/Switches

OK - here's a really dumb question - so basic I can't find it on any of the electrical sites I've visited so far.

Remodeling a room and the people who owned the house before us just paited right over the outlets and switches - so I decided I will do the job right and replace them all.... simple matter - turn off breaker - I now hwve no power going to the outlets... black to gold, white to silver, gound to green - nop problem right. Well I figured I'd just have to unscrew the old wires from the outlet and screw in new one according to that scheme. But they don't unscrew!!! they go into the back and I can't figure out how to get them out (other than cutting and restripping - and I don't have wirecutters. Is there some simple trick that I am missing - or do I just go out and buy the wirecutters?????

 
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Old 07-22-03, 03:03 PM
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At the outlet-boxes where you have 2 Black wires and 2 White wires connected to the receptacle, follow this prodedure----

With the Circuit OFF, snip the wires as close as possible to the receptacles using diagonal-cutting pliers. I HOPE the wires that connect to the receptacles are at least 5" in lenth.

With wire-stripers strip off the isulation at the ends, aprox. 3/4", and twist the ends together with side-cutting pliers, Black-to-Black, White-to-White.

With the connections EXPOSED, but SEPERATED, switch the circuit ON and test for voltage Black-to-White at ALL receptacle outlets.A simple test-lamp socket is best for this test.

If all outlets test Positive then pre-wire all the new receptacles with Black and White #14 STRANDED wire-leads , insulate the connection terminals by wrapping tape around the receptacles, and simply Wire-nut the leads to the outlet-box connections.

By direct wire-to-wire connections in the outlet-boxes you have eliminated "device-breaks" in the circuit which are often the cause of open-circuits. And it's much easier re-placing a device connected with 2 stranded leads than one with 4 solid wires- and you don't 'break-open" the circuit.-----Good Luck!!!!
 
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Old 07-22-03, 03:11 PM
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The wires can be released by sticking a very small screwdriver in the slot next to the hole.

Look closely at one of your new receptacles. Look at the two screws on each side. See that tab that electrically connects the screws. This tab is designed to be removable in certain situations. Whenever you remove a receptacle, look carefully at the sides of the ones you are removing. If the tab is broken out on the brass screw side of the old receptacle, break it out on the brass screw side of the new receptacle too. If the tab is broken out on the silver screw side of the old receptacle, break it out on the silver screw side of the new receptacle too.

You may find some receptacles where there is a black wire connected to a white wire in the back of the box. Don't freak out, and don't try to "fix" it.
 
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Old 07-22-03, 03:24 PM
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THANKS John!!!! That was the little trick I was looking for - works like a charm. Now - I have heard it is better to wrap the wire around the screw instead of sticking it in the back? Correct?
Thanks!!!!!!
 
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Old 07-22-03, 03:48 PM
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Correct. Wrap them clockwise. Tighten the screw securely, but don't get so macho that you break the receptacle. You may find some receptacles that have already used both the screw and the hole. Don't put two wires under one screw.
 
  #6  
Old 07-22-03, 04:05 PM
texsparky
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And don't use #14 pigtails on a 20amp circuit for receptale outlets!!
 
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Old 07-22-03, 05:15 PM
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pigtails???? yikes - too technical
Not sure if I wrapped them clockwise - but got all of them in and tightened (some not too straight - did the best I could) - held my breath and turned on the circuit breaker - EVERYTHING WORKED!!!!!

Thanks so much for all the advice for this novice. Now the only problem I am left with is that one of the outlets - the box is way back in the wall and it takes longer screws to connect it - and it won't get tight. The screw tightens - but the receptacle pushes back into the wall with the least little bit of pressure (less than required to plug something in). Any ideas on this one????
 
  #8  
Old 07-22-03, 07:03 PM
texsparky
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You should be able to find "Device Supports" at HD,Lowes, or any electric supply house.
 
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Old 07-23-03, 07:04 PM
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Thanks Tex - I will try Home Depot for Device Supports and let you know how I make out

Appreciate the help from both you and john

Great site!!!!
 
 

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