Outlet and light switch replacement

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Old 05-28-14, 07:58 PM
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Outlet and light switch replacement

Hello, usually I would search to see if my questions have already been asked but I am on my phone and the site is a bit hard to navigate on the phone.

I am painting my house and replacing all the outlets and light switches as I paint. I had two questions regarding this as I was working.

My first question: I was replacing a light switch and I noticed the bare, non-insulated copper wire was not attached to the old switch. I assumed this was the ground and attached it to the new switch. After the replacement everything works fine. Did I assume correct? Could this wire not be attached for a specific reason?

My second question is completely my screw up. I was replacing an outlet in a bedroom which had just the top controlled by a switch to turn on and off. The bottom is always on. I forgot to pay attention to the 2 white and 2 black wires when I removed them and do not know where they go. Can I go ahead and try different combinations until I get the wiring right safely?

Thanks in advance for any help

Rich
 
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Old 05-28-14, 08:43 PM
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Yes, the bare copper wire would be attached to the switch if the box is plastic. If the box is metal the ground wire must be attached to the box and pigtailing to the switch is optional. If there are multiple ground wires they all must be connected together.
I forgot to pay attention to the 2 white and 2 black wires when I removed them and do not know where they go. Can I go ahead and try different combinations until I get the wiring right safely?
Did you have a black and white wire connected together at the receptacle? How many wires at the switch?
 
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Old 05-28-14, 09:58 PM
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Thanks for the response. There are five wires; 2 black 2 white and the ground at the receptacle. Each of the five screws had one wire attached to it. I forgot it was controlled by a switch so forgot to pay attention. The switch has 3 wires. One black one white and one ground. I will try to get a pic up.
 

Last edited by Smokey777; 05-28-14 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 05-28-14, 09:58 PM
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If you switch the two blacks at the receptacle it will just change which is always hot,vs switched. The tab will need to be broken between the brass screws.
 
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Old 05-29-14, 08:58 AM
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I see, so it doesn't matter which black is across from which white?
 
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Old 05-29-14, 09:08 AM
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I see, so it doesn't matter which black is across from which white?
That is correct. Since the whites are bridged by a tab both whites are connected to both blacks.
 
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