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Power loss after replacing a 2 point socket to 3 point socket

Power loss after replacing a 2 point socket to 3 point socket

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  #1  
Old 01-21-13, 08:39 PM
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Power loss after replacing a 2 point socket to 3 point socket

Can any one help me with my above problem , I replaced a 2 point socket/outlet to a 3 point socket in the Kitchen. I looked up online how to do it and it seemed easy enough. Because I was using a 3 point socket I found a ground wire in the wall witht the other wires and connected it to the green screw as advised. However I now have no power from that socket now. I also do not have any power coming from the Living room. out of 3 bedrooms one of the bedrooms sockets are not working. I have checked all fuses and they are all ok using a continuity tester. The strange thing is approx 2 feet away from the outlet which is now not working, there is an outlet which is working and other parts of the kitchen are working are fine.

Im at a loss what is going on. the socket is all wired corretly

all advice will be appreicated
 
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Old 01-21-13, 09:07 PM
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When you pulled the receptacle out was there more than two wires (a black and a white) on it ?
 
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Old 01-22-13, 04:39 AM
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Did you use the stab backs for connecting the new receptacle, or did you use the screws? Stab backs are notorious for poor connections.

Although it is odd, it is possible. With only two pronged receptacles, it sets the age quite a while ago. Having two circuits in a kitchen even odder with that age. Generally the two circuit requirement didn't come in until mid 90's I believe. By then it was required all receptacles be 3 pronged, with ground. Since you have a grounding wire in the box, why was there such a receptacle installed?? Just doesn't make sense. Do you have GFCI receptacles in the kitchen? Are any of them tripped? You mentioned "fuses". How old is the house?
 
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Old 01-22-13, 12:41 PM
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Guys thanks for quick reply. I will answer your questions. Firstly I don't know what stab backs are. But the wires are connected by screws . There are two black wires , two white wires and then there awas the earth a single copper wire which was part wrapped in like a paper material. I don't know what GFCI means. The other socket that works in the kitchen is a three point one. It's a pretty old house . The fuse box has two square blocks that pull out contains two barrel style fuses each and below that is a row of circular screw in fuses. Beside the entrance to the house is a switch what has to be in the up position .
 
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Old 01-22-13, 04:55 PM
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Do you have a means of measuring current/electricity? A multimeter (analog preferably)? We will need to know if there is any power in the wires you are using at this receptacle. GFCI refers to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and have been code since Rin Tin Tin was a puppy in kitchens and bathrooms. They have a reset and trip button on the face. Do you have any of these in your kitchen or bathrooms?
 
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Old 01-22-13, 05:25 PM
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I don't know what stab backs are. But the wires are connected by screws.
OK, then you didn't use stab back terminals.

There are two black wires , two white wires and then there awas the earth a single copper wire which was part wrapped in like a paper material.
The most reliable way to maintain a complete circuit when multiple cables are fed into a box is to splice (twist) all of the wires that are one color together and add a pigtail (a short piece of wire that's the same gauge and material and has the same color insulation) to the splice. The pigtail is then terminated to the appropriate terminal on the device.

I don't know what GFCI means.
Ground Fault Circuit Interruption. It's a means of protecting against electrical shock. It's required by code for receptacles located in kitchens, bathrooms, attics, unfinished basements, garages, and outside, among other locations and conditions.

GFCI receptacles have two buttons made into the face. One is marked TRIP and the other is marked RESET. Do you have any of those?

The other socket that works in the kitchen is a three point one.
That's an interesting observation. What's interesting is that, by code, a three-slot grounding receptacle is only allowable on a circuit that contains a grounding conductor, or on a 2-conductor circuit that is downstream of, and protected by, a GFCI device. When you said
I found a ground wire in the wall witht the other wires and connected it to the green screw as advised.
we all assumed - as it seems you did - that what you found was a bare copper wire, inside the receptacle box, and that that was a grounding conductor. It may be, but no one knows for sure without testing it.

Do the wiring with the pigtails for now, and let's see where that gets us.

Chandler types faster than I do.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 06:20 PM
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GFCI refers to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and have been code since Rin Tin Tin was a puppy in kitchens and bathrooms
Rin Tin Tin must be almost 30 by now. In the late 70s, GFCI protection was required at bathroom receptacles and outside receptacles with direct grade access. I believe kitchens and garages were added to the GFCI prorection list some time in the 80s. I am really not quite sure when unfinished basements were added to the requirement, but it's been quite a while.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 02:47 PM
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sorry Guys you are using terminology I dont understand. What is wiring with pigtails for now, what do I do. are you saying you want me to undo the copper wire and see what happens. Do you want me to use the continuity tester on both the white and black wires to see if they both have current. No the receptacle does not have a reset button nor does the bathroom. I cant see the socket the dishwasher (not working) is plugged into to see if that has one and neither does the other sockets where the fridge,dryer and washing machine are but they are working fine.
What I did notice is that before I changed the receptacle to a three point one. The microwave plug was attached to a single 3 point adaptor and there was a single copper looking wiring dangling out of the adaptor, whilst it was plugged into the 2 point socket.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 03:02 PM
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OK, back to basics. How did you test the fuses with a continuity tester? Did you take the fuses out of the panel? If it was asked earlier forgive this repetition, but do you have a multimeter so you can check voltages? If not, it would really pay to get an inexpensive analog (one with a dial instead of numbers) meter at the home center. Probably about $10. Then you can start checking voltages at different points in your system.

Somewhere there is an "open" situation, whether it is in the fuse pane, or in wiring to that receptacle. Is this the first receptacle in the group? Mainly is it closest to the panel, or are there other receptacles before this one that may or may not work. Remember, the wiring in the last "working" receptacle could be causing the problem. The microwave was plugged into a cheater plug, which is not safe, nor is it approved, so we're gonna fix that.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 03:46 PM
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Thanks for helping on this I do appreciate it. I tested the fuses with the Continuity tester, I took the fuses out of the panel and tester them then and all was good. all receptacles near to the fuse box are all working perfectly. I will by a multimeter from home depot, Please give instructions I need to do when I purchase it.

Many thanks
 
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Old 01-23-13, 04:14 PM
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We're here. Let us know when you get it. We're not gonna leave ya hangin'. Just be patient with our questions. I know we may be over your head somewhat, but you'll understand when it happens.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 04:24 PM
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Just get a cheap analog multimeter. Should cost around $8-$15. I know the digital meters look sexy but the cheap ones aren't as accurate as the analog ones because of their inability to cancel out ghost voltages.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 06:40 PM
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forgive me, i know this is a diy page. but i would think that at some point, someone would suggest a person getting professional help. before they hurt themselves or someone else.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 06:49 PM
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someone would suggest a person getting professional help. before they hurt themselves or someone else.
Bumpah, are you a professional electrician? There are several pros here who are moderators and will suggest an electrician if it is needed. This post hasn't reached that point. It may not because it is in the scope of any one who follows instructions and exercises reasonable safety precautions. If you just say call an electrician they may not follow those instructions and working on their own may do something far more dangerous.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 06:58 PM
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i am not a professional electrician. i am a journeyman lineman, i wouldn' try to talk someone through something as dangorous as electricity. i respect the persons desire to try and tackle a problem themselves, enough said. good luck to them
 
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Old 01-23-13, 07:57 PM
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Guys you are using terminology I dont understand.
Sorry about that. Reading Troubleshooting a dead receptacle or light, Basic Terminology & Other info might help. Reading Wiring Simplified might help even more.

What is wiring with pigtails for now
A pigtail is a piece of wire about 8" long that is added to a splice in order to connect a device to that potential.

Do you want me to use the continuity tester on both the white and black wires to see if they both have current.
No, because testing for continuity is not testing for current. Testing for continuity tells us whether there is a continuous mechanical and electrical path between the two points where we connected our tester. Testing for current tells us whether there is ungrounded potential present, at what level, and whether it has a path to ground.

Testing for continuity is done on unenergized conductors, Testing for current can only be done on energized conductors.
 
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Old 01-24-13, 09:47 AM
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ok guys I have gone an bought a analogue voltage meter as suggested. I also bought a outlet tester to see if that can help both only came to $15 so not bad, never know when you need them again.
I have tried the outlet tester which came back with two different results.on the receptacle One socket has an open hot and the other socket has an open ground. I hope this helps. I now need instructions on what to do with the voltage meter , if this is now necessary after what I have just found out using the outlet tester.

GUys Im always cautious with electricity, power is always off when messing around with this stuff. Im doing this for my girlfriend who can not afford an electrician , but if it comes to a point that I really need one then we shall find away to do it.

Cheers guys
 
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Old 01-24-13, 10:27 AM
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I would suggest at each problem receptacle temporarily disconnect the wires. Assuming cable identify the black and white of each cable. With the multimeter measure voltage:
Black to white.
Black to ground.
White to ground.

If this is the first receptacle before the problem one cable should be hot black to white and black to ground. If neither cable shows hot black to white reconnect the receptacle using the screws and try the receptacle before it. Usually the receptacle closer to the breaker panel will be the one before it but that is educated guess.
 
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Old 01-24-13, 12:56 PM
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Ray2047 You have just spoke a foreign langauge to me. what do you mean black to white ,black to ground, white to ground, how do I do this with the multimetre?? the other half of you post doesnt make any sense to me, sorry I know your trying to help but I need step by step instructions. I dont know how to start ,

thank you my friend
 
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Old 01-24-13, 01:20 PM
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He wants you to test the voltage between the black and white wires with the wires removed safely from the receptacle and the power re-engaged. You realize it will be hot so be careful. If your multimeter has separate plug in's, plug the red into the red hole and black into the black hole. Set your multimeter range to 200 volts. Touch the red lead to the black wire and the black lead to the white wire. Note the voltage. Then touch the black lead to the grounding wire (bare), with red lead to the black wire and note the voltage. Then do the same thing with the white and the grounding wire. Technically it won't make any difference on alternating current which lead is touched to which wire, but we use the same terminology with direct current, so why not?

Remember earlier we suggested checking not only the bad or dead receptacles, but the one just before the bad one. The one between the dead receptacle and the breaker/fuse panel. Remember these cables run from the panel through possibly several receptacles before they get to where you are working. It is highly likely you have a detached or even a burned wire on the receptacle before the dead one, thereby giving you a "no hot" reading on your plug in device.

Just one step at a time.
 
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Old 01-24-13, 01:34 PM
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To add to what Chandler wrote the black white and ground (bare wire) you measure between must all be from the same cable.
 
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Old 01-24-13, 02:38 PM
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Since you are not familiar with the use of the multimeter, I would suggest that you Google "how to use a multimeter". I got many results, both text and video. Do this and read/watch several of them until you are confident that you know how to use it.

One caution when testing live circuits with a multimeter, especially an inexpensive one: Always be sure that it is set to a range that is HIGHER than any possible Voltage or current that you may encounter in the circuit. At least, for the first measurement. The reason for this is if you set an inexpensive multimeter to a low Voltage range, like 10 Volts full scale, and try to measure 115 Volts, you will instantly destroy that meter and need to buy another one. Only after you have an initial low reading can you judge weather to use a lower scale for more accuracy.
 
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Old 01-24-13, 03:21 PM
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OK thanks I think I got it, When you say the do the same with the white and grounding wire, you are saying black lead to ground and red lead to white?
I will also do the same checking the receptical between the back wall of the kitchen which is not working to the one between the none working one and the fuse box which is working. When you say set to 200 volts which side of the dial to I put it on one side is in gold V~ and the other in white V --, does it matter what side I use?
 
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Old 01-24-13, 03:34 PM
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you are saying black lead to ground and red lead to white?
Yes but the color of the probe doesn't matter. One probe to the black and one probe to the bare ground wire.


When you say set to 200 volts which side of the dial to I put it on one side is in gold V~
Yes that side. The tilde like symbol, ~, is the sine wave of AC voltage and that is what you are measuring.
 
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Old 01-25-13, 10:52 AM
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Ok Guys I have tried what you said and this is the results I got.
REd lead to black wire & black lead to white wire = 125v

Black lead to ground wire & red lead to black wire = 25 on one black wire but when I tried it on second black wire = nothing

black lead to ground& red lead to white = nothing no reading

Im now going to try the same process to the socket betweeb the none working one and the fuse box
 
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Old 01-25-13, 11:22 AM
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Been a long Thread. In what reply did you previously mention a red wire? Can you post pictures of these with the wires pulled out?
 
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Old 01-25-13, 11:25 AM
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If you have 125 volts between the black and white wires, then you have a complete connection. Remember which black wire you tested, as it will be important. It needs to be connected to the LINE side of the GFCI with its associated white wire. What reading are you getting when the other black wire and white wire are metered? These need to be connected to the LOAD screws on the GFCI. You may not get any reading using the grounding wire as I believe they are not continuous to the panel and are not functional. White to ground normal.

Let us know what you find in the other receptacle.

Ray, I started my post like that, too, thinking there was a switch involved, but realized he was talking about the red "lead" on the multimeter, and not a red wire.
 
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Old 01-25-13, 11:32 AM
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I managed to try that other socket and this is the results from it

Red lead to black wire & Black lead to white wire = 125V tried with the second white wire and got only 75V

Black lead to ground wire& red lead to black wire = nothing, the needle move just a tiny bit

Black lead to groubd wire & red lead to white wire = nothing

Yet this socket is working just fine
 
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Old 01-26-13, 12:08 PM
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OK guys this is what I have done. I have re-attached the old two point socket and its working again. Maybe it was a faulty reseptacle, I dont know. The down side is that the Living room and the one bedroom sockets are still not working. any ideas?
 
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Old 01-26-13, 12:32 PM
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Someday, maybe this century, you will have to post some pictures of the wiring in these boxes. We are working blind and can't see what you see. If the two pronged receptacle is working, then the other ones should as well.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 10:56 AM
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Here are the photos of the old recepticle and the new one wired up. for some reason the photo of the black wire attached to old recepticle wont upload.

As you can see it appears correct to me Ive even had a neighbour wired it too but to same effect.

Still no power to two rooms even when the old one put back into place, but it is working now
 
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Old 01-27-13, 11:39 AM
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Please don't mention the color of the probe it is not relevant and can be confusing. Just write for example: "Black to white is 125 volts".

The wires in the box have too much insulation stripped off and that could be a problem. It might trip a GFCI. Shorten the amount of wire with no insulation to where it is just barely enough to go around the screw or in the terminal. Usually there is a strip gauge on the back of the receptacle.

You need to test the cables at the non-working receptacles for voltage now that you have this one working.
 
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Old 01-29-13, 10:53 AM
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I have tried to test the wires on the none working recepticles, However I cant seem to do that. The none working recepticles are different to the others. They have a blue back and the wires are placed into little holes and the screws must tightened them up. But when I losen the screws all the way the wires do not want to pull out. not sure what else I can do. one of the recepitcles has a surge pro plugged into it. It says on the surge pro when light goes out replace it. The light is out so that needs replacing but I wouldnt think that is the problem.
I did speak to an electrician in a hardware store who said to check the fuses on the outside of the house. when I opened the fuse box outside they are big square blocks and they dont even look that they would unloosen and there doesnt seem a way to test if they are working properly.

Im not getting any where with this, any other ideas please would be grateful before we have to swallow the cost on an electrician

Thank you all for your help
 
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Old 01-29-13, 11:06 AM
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Sounds like the wires are back stabbed not back wired. One of the first things we recommend here is move the wires from the back stab to the screws. If they are back stabs not back wired there should be a slot next to the hole you can insert a nail or jeweler's flat tip screwdriver in to release the wires. Post a clear picture of the back and side of one of these receptacles so we can verify they are back stabbed not back wired.
 
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Old 01-29-13, 01:32 PM
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I have tried to test the wires on the none working recepticles, However I cant seem to do that. The none working recepticles are different to the others. They have a blue back and the wires are placed into little holes and the screws must tightened them up. But when I losen the screws all the way the wires do not want to pull out.
That sounds like wires pushed into back-stab connectors. Do the wires go into small round holes molded into the back of those receptacles? If so, push the tip of a very small flat-blade screwdriver into the rectangular slot next to where a wire enters to release the spring holding the wire.

In your middle picture, it looks like there are two wires connected to two screws that are not connected to each other. That is, it looks like the connecting bridge, or tab, between the two screws has been broken off. If so, you may need to replace that receptacle with one that has not been modified in order to get everything working.

In that same picture, the insulation on the lower wire has melted and is no longer effective. You will need to repair that before closing everything up and restoring power.
 
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Old 01-29-13, 06:34 PM
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Thanks for the tip. The Tab you were talking about was broken off, every you tube video I saw says to break off these tabs that connect the two screws together. I cant see how buying another recepticle witht the tabs attached would help with the problem in the other rooms, considering that socket is now working as normal.

I will take a few photos of these blue recepitcles to let you all know what they are like. I dont have any screw drivers that small but will see what else I can use. How do you re connect the wire after you have released the wire?
 
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Old 01-29-13, 06:48 PM
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The tabs are necessary to pass on the electric to the next receptacle if you don't pigtail and to both plugins if you do pigtail.

A lot of how to videos I have see were crap made by people who knew next to nothing.

How do you re connect the wire after you have released the wire?
As we said, to the screws because those connections are unreliable. Make a shepherd's crook in the wire and wrap clockwise.

A 6d nail can often be used to release the wire.
 
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Old 01-29-13, 08:48 PM
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The Tab you were talking about was broken off, every you tube video I saw says to break off these tabs that connect the two screws together.
That tab needs to be removed if - and only if - you want the two receptacles in the duplex receptacle to be fed from different circuits, or, most commonly, if you want one of the two receptacles to be controlled be a switch while the other one is always hot.

There are three problems with trying to get how-to information from YouTube videos:
  1. Finding one made by someone who actually knows what they are talking about, in depth. In electrical work, this requires that they are also conversant with the requirements of the National Electrical Code, for the United States, and the equivalent requirements for everywhere else;
  2. Finding one that explains the work clearly and completely, and is well-made enough to clearly show the work being done; and
  3. Understanding what the person is explaining - that is, having enough knowledge of the subject that you understand the work that is being demonstrated.
Having all three of those conditions met at the same time can be a challenge.
 
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Old 01-30-13, 06:46 AM
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I am also concerned about the one conductors insulation that looks charred.

To the OP, you can measure the voltage using the screws on the side if the wires are back stabbed.
 
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