Confusing amount of wires


Old 11-03-04, 08:52 AM
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Confusing amount of wires

I'm an amateur when it comes to electrical work so my question may seem rather trivial to most here but here goes anyway:

There is an unused covered box for an outlet attached to one of the joists in my basement. I want to install an outlet in the box however I'm a little puzzled by the amount of wires that are in the box and where they go.

The outlet I've purchased has two silver connectors, two brass and a green (for the ground); pretty standard. The wires in the box are 2 black, 2 red 2 white and 2 bare (ground wires). What do I connect to where? Can I just throw the 2 black wires on the brass connectors, the 2 white to the silver and one of the grounds to the green? Does it matter what wire goes to what connection (i.e. top or bottom)?

Hope this is enough info. Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-03-04, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You should not simply attach to any junction box that you find. You need to determine what circuit(s) this junction box is on.

There are certain circuits that you cannot attach to. There are certain circuits that you should not attach to. There are certain circuits that you may be able to attach to, depending on what you intend to do with this receptacle (what load you want to draw).

Once you determine if you CAN use this junction box and that you want to use this jucntion box, you need to understand what the wires are for.

Report back on the following:

What circuit(s) is this junction box part of?

What is your intended use for a new receptacle?

Are the black or red wires wires switched?

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