Outlet and Switch replacement


Old 04-12-06, 10:03 AM
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Question Outlet and Switch replacement

I just replaced all of the outlets and one switch in my bedroom. All of the outlets work but the switch does nothing. After reading through the questions in the forum I believe I need to remove the tab between the brass screws on the outlets.

My question, though, has to do with the wiring of one of the outlets and the switch. This one outlet has two black wires, two white wires and two red wires. All of the other outlets only had two black and two white wires. I connected one red wire to a brass screw, the second red wire into the hole, one black wire to a brass screw, the second black wire into the hole, and the two white wires are connected to the silver screws.

The switch had one black wire and one red wire which I connected to the brass screws. In all of the searching I have done I cannot find anything that shows red wires. Are my connections correct?
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Old 04-12-06, 10:21 AM
scott e.'s Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Anderson, IN
Posts: 412
the outlet with the red wires needs the tab broken on the hot side. I would, however, be inclined to take out the backstabbed connections and pigtail the wires to utilize a single connection beneath the screw. Backstab connecitons are notorious for failing.
As I re-read your post, I am a bit confused on the two red wires on the one outlet. Is there another outlet that has red wires? Is there also a ceiling fixture in the room? How were the two red wires connected on the previous outlet?
Old 04-12-06, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You need to connect the wires to the receptacle in the same manner as they were connected to the previous receptacle. You need to break the tab id the previous receptacle had it's tab broken.

If you didn't pay attention to how the previous receptacle was wired then you have learned a valuable lesson. Take detailed notes before disconnect anything.

Simply removing the tab MAY fix the problem. However, it may not. I would definitely figure out what else has sets of red wires. Perhaps all the receptacles do, they are just wire nutted together behind the receptacle in the back of the box.

I would also NOT use the back stabs. They tend to fail over time. Instead use a wire nut and a pigtail.
Old 04-12-06, 02:35 PM
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Every other outlet in the room only had 2 black wires and 2 white wires attached to them. Only this one outlet had the red wires, and I hooked everything back up the same way it was when I took out the old outlet. There is no ceiling fixture in the room now. There may have been one in the past with the previous homeowner.

Should I take the two red wires and pigtail them together with a wire nut and just use the 2 black wires and 2 white wires like all of the other outlets?
Old 04-12-06, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Look in the back of the other boxes. I suspect you will see two red wires wire nutted together.

Look at the wiring for the switch. Report on all the wires there.

Look at the old receptacle. Does it have it's tab removed?

What sort of behavior do you want from the receptacle. Do you want both halves switched? Do you want one half switched or do you want one half switched and one half always hot?

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