Switched outlet, does this look correct to you?

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Old 01-01-14, 05:50 PM
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Switched outlet, does this look correct to you?

Hi all,

So I just bought a house and I have been replacing a few outlets in the basement level that are loose and painted over. I was looking at the wiring to this last one and it seemed a bit strange to me. I am not an electrician, however, so I'd like to get some feedback as to whether this was done correctly or if it needs to be corrected. The switch and outlet work fine, I guess I'm just looking for confirmation that it is correct and doesn't pose any sort of danger. I realize that this may be an impossible question to answer without seeing this in person, but I figured I'd try anyways.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]23882[/ATTACH]
Both black wires behind the outlet (black1 and black2) are pigtailed together, and both grounds are pigtailed together.

The outlet is controlled by a switch, the tabs are not broken so both plugs are switch-dependent. The wiring is described in the image below. The things that struck me:

- the black cables in the outlet box are pigtailed together and not to the switch directly.
- the white neutral wires do not attach to the switch at all
- there are two black wires to a single screw on the switch. Not sure what their sources are

Is this setup normal/safe? Thanks for any help!!!

-Arturo

ps. First post!

[ATTACH=CONFIG]23883[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]23884[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]23885[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 01-01-14, 05:59 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

That wiring is ok. It may look a little strange but they're using the three wire to carry always live and switched power thru at the same time. No problem there.

As an electrician.... I don't connect multiples wires of the same color to a device. At your receptacle I would splice the two white wires together and leave a short tail out to go to the receptacle.

It looks like you've used the push in terminals on the back of that receptacle. That is called backstabbing and is the source of many intermittent problems as you are carrying the circuit beyond there with wires just "pushed in" to the device. If you don't want to make the splice up like I've mentioned then connect one wire to each screw terminal for a more solid connection.

At the switch.... I call that speed wiring where the wire is stripped, wrapped around a screw on one switch and then connected to the next switch. Technically there is nothing wrong with it but I use the same splice method as I previously mentioned and leave two tails out..... one to each switch.
 
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Old 01-01-14, 06:26 PM
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Thanks PJmax! I'm glad to hear that this kind of setup is normal. I've already changed the wires so that they use the screws rather than the backstabbing (I've already been told that this provides a more stable connection).
 
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Old 01-01-14, 06:50 PM
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You're welcome

Eliminating back stabs as you change devices will reduce future connection problems.
 
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