installed new outlet with errors

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-28-09, 12:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
installed new outlet with errors

Yesterday, I replaced three standard outlets in our office (the old ones were gripping very poorly). Two of them were very easy and straightforward and went just fine - two white wires, two black wires, and a ground wire, and the process was simple and made sense to me.

The third one confused me, as it had three black and three white wires (plus the ground wire). I went ahead and hooked them up in a similar pattern in the new outlet, though, and when I flipped the circuit back on they both got power fine.

This AM, we started plugging things into the outlets. When something is plugged into the LOWER of the two outlets, all the outlets in the next room lose power (but no switches on the fuse box are tripped).

It seems pretty clear that I did something wrong, but what I'm not entirely sure! A couple other notes: the outlet that has three B/W wires is right under a wall switch, so I am assuming that it is designed to be half controlled by the switch. I tested the outlets w/a voltage tester just now with the light switch on or off, and the get power fine either way.

Also, the old outlets were back wired and had four wire holes laid out as such on each side:

o o

o o

The new outlets are also back wired, have four holes laid out as such:

o
o

o
o

Any advice would be very welcome - thank you!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-28-09, 12:56 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,919
Received 24 Votes on 20 Posts
The back stab hole are only for 14 gauge wire. If you have 12 gauge wire you must use the screws on the side. Screw connections are preferable either way.

On the receptacle with the 3 conductors you should have used a pigtail to make the connections to the device. Just add a short length of the proper gauge and color and attach it to the like colors. Connect the other end of the pigtail to the screws on the device.

I would double check all your connections to ensure they are secure.

You said this is your office. If this is a commercial office most likely you would not be permitted to do electrical work due to liability and lack of the proper insurance. If this is the case please contact a licensed professional.
 
  #3  
Old 06-28-09, 01:07 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,549
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Receptacles

Look at the old receptacles you removed. Does one of them have the brass strip on the side connecting the two screws cut or removed?
 
  #4  
Old 06-28-09, 01:20 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
wirepuller - none of them have a full 'strip' down the side; the old outlets (probably original to the house, so 20 years old) don't have screws on the side, just holes in the back and a small brass tab on each side (all of which look fine).

pcboss - first, FYI it is a home office; one of the smaller bedrooms, technically.

all of the previous outlets were back wired, and it was my understanding that you shouldn't change backwire to sidewired - am I wrong about that?

Regarding the pigtail: so, I should pigtail all three white wires and all three black wires together, or two of each? (the old outlet that I pulled out was not pigtailed) Does this also mean that on the other outlets, where I had two of each b/w wire, those should be pigtailed as well?

thanks!!
 

Last edited by RaeSid; 06-28-09 at 01:47 PM.
  #5  
Old 06-28-09, 01:32 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,919
Received 24 Votes on 20 Posts
You do not need to pigtail where you only have 2 wires and 2 screws. You can but the device can be used to make the splice. If you are going to pigtail I would add all 3 wires to the one pigtail. Less connections on the device.

There is no reason that backstabbed cannot be changed to side wired. As I stated before the side wired is preferred as more reliable.
 
  #6  
Old 06-28-09, 01:46 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
sounds like a plan - i am headed to home depot for a few more supplies, then, and i will give that a try. thanks for the help - i'll let you know if it works.
 
  #7  
Old 06-28-09, 03:00 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
In the box with three wires how were they connected if only back stab and no side screws. I'm a bit worried you had a switch loop. Any switches you never use or a blank plate where a switch might have been?
 
  #8  
Old 06-28-09, 06:31 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
all set!

pcboss - followed your advice and it worked like a charm. thanks so much! Beer 4U2

ray - there were actually 2 outlets in that room that had 3 of each wire; there were four back stab holes on each side of the original outlets, so eight stab holes in total - all the wires were stabbed in. (but not anymore!)
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: