Issues with Replacing receptacle

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Old 04-02-13, 03:48 PM
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Question Issues with Replacing receptacle

I am attempting to replace a receptacle in an older, but not ancient home.

I have using a GFCI for the new one.

There are four black wires capped all together, a red one for the light switch and four whites that were all connected to the receptacle.

I would like to make only one of the plugs connected to the light switch, and the other to always be hot.

So, I uncapped the black wires and capped two again, and placed the red wire to one side of the receptacle, but both plugs are still connected to the light switch.
How do I fix this?
 
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Old 04-02-13, 04:32 PM
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Welcome to the forums! You can't split a GFCI like you can a regular receptacle. Both will be hot all the time. There is a tab on the side of regular receptacles that must be broken on the hot side in order to split the service to the two halves.

Of the 4 black wires, what happened to them? Were they ever connected to your old receptacle? How are the 4 white wires connected to the receptacle? Hopefully not stab back and screw combination.

You can protect the receptacle just before this one with the GFCi, and have half of the regular replacement receptacle protected, but that isn't very safe. Your best bet is to protect the entire circuit with a GFCI circuit breaker and install a regular receptacle in the proper manner, which we will discern once you tell us about the wire connections.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 05:33 PM
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Thank you!

All four white were back stabbed and all the blacks were pig nutted together. I dug my my multimeter, and found out only one black wire is live, the others show no reading, or a small reading (3AMPS) that dissipates quickly, same with the white one showed 133amp+ and another was 33 or less, the other two were dead... but the red wire wasn't live either.... so IDK what to do with it?

Can you tell someone didn't give a crap when they put this stuff in?
 
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Old 04-02-13, 07:48 PM
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OK, you don't measure amps that way. Hopefully you had it set for "voltage". Since there are only two back stabs per receptacle, where were the other two? Would you be able to post a picture or two of this receptacle set up? Did you check voltage from the red to the white or ground with the switch in both directions?

Yeah, we've heard 'em all, and get surprised every day.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 08:52 PM
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You CAN connect four wires at one time.....I've seen it. Two wires are put in the proper push-in locations. The other two are pushed into the release slot.
 
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Old 04-03-13, 03:56 AM
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But wouldn't the last two release the first two? People will do almost anything to cut corners. My concern is that the white wires are mis used and back stabbed in the wrong holes, then repurposed at the supply end without remarking. Not good.
 
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Old 04-03-13, 06:55 AM
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I am renovating a home that was built in 1968. I have seen a lot of circuits like the one you are describing. You will find that a receptacle will feed not only the room it is in but other outside circuits as well. In my case I have a 1/2 bath that had a duplex and a light in it. After tracing the other three circuits I discovered that the receptacle feed the garage light, outside door light, and two basement lights. The previous owner cut the garage circuit and spliced in a garage door opener. Needless to say I have cleaned out the old cloth wound wire, replaced the switches and receptacles, and installed the garage door opener on a dedicated circuit. So, as you can see, you are not the only one fighting what use to be allowed 40 years ago. I feel for you brother!
 
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Old 04-03-13, 08:43 AM
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Since there are only two back stabs per receptacle, where were the other two?
The receptacles that I've seen that had back-stab terminals had four holes and four release slots, one pair behind each terminal screw, or where a terminal screw would normally be.
 
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Old 04-03-13, 09:22 AM
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The reason the red doesn't have power is because of the black splice not being made. The blacks are feeding power to other parts of the circuit. With an open connection the red is not recieving power.
 
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Old 04-03-13, 11:45 AM
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There are four black wires capped all together, a red one for the light switch and four whites that were all connected to the receptacle.
This is incorrect, but it will take a bit of troubleshooting to determine the best way to reconfigure it.

I have using a GFCI for the new one... I would like to make only one of the plugs connected to the light switch, and the other to always be hot.
That can't be done with a GFCI receptacle, as Chandler explained. Why do you want to install a GFCI receptacle in this location?

What is the wiring on the switch? Are the switch and the receptacle in the same box? Is this in a bathroom?

I apologize for the number of questions, bet the better we caqn understand your goal and your current setup the better we are able to advise you.
 
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