How to Extend Wires in Receptacle Box?


Old 05-16-11, 08:08 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 91
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How to Extend Wires in Receptacle Box?

I am replacing the receptacles in my house. What I am finding is that some of the wires in the boxes are too short to reliably and securely reinstall the new outlets, even with back stab receptacles (I can get the wires in the back of the outlet but cannot get to the screws on the sides to tighten them). Is there a safe, legit way to extend these wires, or am I looking at some plaster work in my future?
Sponsored Links
Old 05-16-11, 08:58 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,965
Received 59 Votes on 52 Posts
I suggest avoiding using the back stabs. Add pigtails (short pieces of wire) to the screws and then get some push on connectors made by Ideal or Wago. In-Sure™ Push-In Wire Connectors or WAGO Corporation - Products - Terminal Blocks and Connectors - Installation Terminal Blocks

Connect them to your pigtails and then connect the pigtails to the existing wires.
Old 05-16-11, 09:10 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Following up on Tolyn's suggestion if you have two sets of wires pigtail both blacks to one pigtail and do the same with the whites. That will reduce the number of connectors needed and give a bit more room in the box. If you do go with wirenuts instead of Wagos you can do it with wirenuts that have built-in pigtails.
Old 05-17-11, 04:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,051
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If your house is not that old you may find that there was some slack left in the romex behind the box. Not sure about all regions, but in some areas leaving some slack has been a required practice for over lots of years.
Old 05-17-11, 02:05 PM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I think the termanuts ray posted are best, and there are also backwire receptacles which work great, too. Avoid the wagos.
Old 05-19-11, 01:53 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 91
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thank you all for the helpful suggestions. In the end, I pulled the drywall to reinsulate and moved the box to get the wire I needed (as well as some slack for the future). thanks again

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:
Your question will be posted in: