Replace receptacle with wires at diagonal

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Old 06-28-13, 09:33 PM
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Replace receptacle with wires at diagonal

I moved to a new place and want to replace a few outlets. In my old place i replaced outlets before but they just had a single line going to them with screwed into the bottom set of screws. I pulled one of the outlets out that i want to replace and found that it has two line going to it. I am assuming that one on the line is from the panel and the other goes to another outlet. What i did not understand was how the outlet was wired. I thought that when you wired you but one set on the bottom and the other on the top. This outlet had the wires from each line diagonal to each other. so that the neutral was on bottom left and the hot was on top right. the other line was the reverse of that. Is this standard?

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Last edited by PJmax; 06-28-13 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Clarified title
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Old 06-28-13, 10:02 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I replaced the word outlook with receptacle in your title post.

Is it standard..... no.
Is it sloppy...... yes.

One cable should be connected to the lower set and one to the upper set.
It will work fine it just looks wrong.
 
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Old 06-28-13, 10:06 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

This outlet had the wires from each line diagonal to each other. so that the neutral was on bottom left and the hot was on top right. the other line was the reverse of that. Is this standard?
No, but the electricity doesn't care.

Better practice is to splice the two hot wires together, add a black pigtail in the same gauge wire, and terminate the pigtail to the receptacle. Then do the same with a white pigtail for the neutrals.

Tech note: The device is a receptacle or, more precisely, a duplex receptacle. The box that it's mounted in is an outlet.

[SUB]PJ is typing faster than I am. [/SUB]
 
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Old 06-29-13, 04:01 AM
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thanks for the info guys. Should I keep it wired that way since other receptacles down the line are more than likely the same?
 
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Old 06-29-13, 06:42 AM
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There's no harm in it being wired the way it is. As long as all the black wires end up on the brass screws and the white wires end up on the silver screws (and grounds are connected too), you're good to go.

Usually the wire pairs will be installed on the top/bottom screws as to not cause future confusion, but as Nash said, the electricity doesn't care!
 
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Old 06-29-13, 08:22 AM
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Unless it is a GFCI receptacle but for non-GFCI receptacles no problem.
 
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Old 06-29-13, 10:26 AM
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Should I keep it wired that way since other receptacles down the line are more than likely the same?
I wouldn't.

Originally Posted by Nashkat1
Better practice is to splice the two hot wires together, add a black pigtail in the same gauge wire, and terminate the pigtail to the receptacle. Then do the same with a white pigtail for the neutrals.
That takes the tabs between the screws out of the circuit. It's the equivalent of building a bypass with a connecting road past a town, so that through traffic doesn't have to go through downtown anymore.
 
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