Not sure what to do with this outlet.

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Old 11-06-19, 01:19 PM
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Not sure what to do with this outlet.

Hello!

I have been changing out our outlets and things have been going well using the standard outlet 15/125 but now I have come across a bunch of these outlets. My standard outlet wont accommodate all these wires..two black, two white and a red wire..Just no idea how to hook these to a standard outlet. Hopefully the picture shows up for a visual LOL.

Thank you! Appreciate your time..

Kevin
 
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  #2  
Old 11-06-19, 01:24 PM
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Two white = one on each screw.
Two black use a wire nut and a short black pigtail wire. Pigtail wire goes on the screw.
Put the red on the other screw.

Take special not of the tab between the gold screws. It is likely cut to make the receptacle half switched.
Do not use those back stab push in connections They are a very common source of bad connections.

Image says switch but put on receptacle.

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Old 11-06-19, 02:25 PM
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Hello

Thank you for the fast reply!! Appreciate it. So I think I get it now..but where do I get the pigtail from? Just cut one of the black wires and then strip it on each side? So I will have on the hot screws one red and one black pigtailed..does it matter if the pigtail is on the top or bottom hot screw?

Thank you!

Kevin
 

Last edited by KevJenn1; 11-06-19 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Add more..
  #4  
Old 11-06-19, 03:33 PM
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I get the pigtails from left over cables. You can't just cut one of the wires short. If you don't have any wire you will have go and buy some.
I suspect the red wire is switched. It doesn't matter which gold screw the red and black attach to, except that it will determine if the top or bottom is switched.
 
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Old 11-06-19, 05:33 PM
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The holes in back can be used without worry if the wires are held firmly in place and cannot rotate or twirl when a screw on the side is tightened and the wires will gently slide in and out of the holes when the screw is loosened. Try this first using a pigtail (short length that will reside wholly in that box) mentioned earlier and not yet wire nutted to other wires.

Mod Note: This is describing a backwired device which is different than a backstabbed device.
 
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Last edited by pcboss; 11-06-19 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 11-06-19, 06:01 PM
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Back wired with the clamp to hold the wires is different from back stab where you just push the wires into the hole.
Back wired is fine.
 
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Old 11-07-19, 06:51 AM
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FWIW...Back wired fixtures are becoming more common. The problem now is to educate people the difference. I recently bought a power inlet box and mating female cord plug. Both have back wired style connection. But no place does it instruct or imply how to use them.
 
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Old 11-07-19, 10:42 AM
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Awesome! Thank you everyone for responding!. I bought wire and wire nuts so I think I will create the pigtail and then attach to the side screws...and do the same for the white and red wires..and see how it goes. 🙂

BTW a stupid question but thought I would ask anyway. What happens if I say..attach the two whites to the silver screws..red to the hot side screw ...existing black to a hot side screw ..and the other existing black to a hot side back stab in rather than create a pigtail...I'm sure this would be incorrect..just sitting here wondering why..in other words use 4 screws and a back stab in hole for the 5 wires...Thank you!!
 

Last edited by KevJenn1; 11-07-19 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Add on question
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Old 11-07-19, 12:16 PM
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There is only one red wire. No pigtail there.
The whites can be pig tailed but I would just use the two screws on the receptacle.
 
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Old 11-07-19, 03:47 PM
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Okay thanks! I was more thinking about the black wires. What would happen if I put one in the back stab hole and one on the screw? Rather than pigtailing..I'm.sure there is a reason..just wondering.
 
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Old 11-07-19, 04:19 PM
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Those stab holes are not considered very good connections and can easily come loose. Stick with the screw connections.
 
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Old 11-07-19, 06:56 PM
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Back stab hole will work. It is code to use them. They are however a very common source of bad connections.
 
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Old 11-07-19, 08:35 PM
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The backstab would effectively splice the wire under the screw to the one in the hole.
 
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Old 11-08-19, 03:37 PM
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Hi, Do any of the outlets work off a switch?
Woodbutcher
 
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Old 11-09-19, 10:57 PM
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Hey you guys! Thanks for all the advice! I was able to rewire all the outlets downstairs thanks to your guidance. ONLY one I had to stop for ...The two reds are not being used at all just withing a wire nut and there is a u shape black wire as seen in the photo. The outlet has been cut to be a half switch ..What do I do in this case with my new 15A outlet? The black U shaped wire and the two red wires not attached to the outlet have thrown me off here..Thank you as always!

Kevin
 
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Old 11-10-19, 05:27 AM
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Keep the red wires the way they were, wire nutted together.

Your new receptacle is not (should not be) split into halves. Connect the black wires to the two screws without adding the U shaped piece (a pigtail).

The U shaped wire came about because the previous owner split the (old) receptacle (removed the metal bridge or tab) and later changed his mind.
 
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Old 11-10-19, 05:44 AM
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That receptacle at one time was half switched, with the tab cut between the gold screws. Someone did not want it switched any longer and removed the switched red wire. Instead of buying a new receptacle with the tab intact they installed the jumper between the back stab holes.
Your new receptacle will have tab intact so you will not need the jumper.
 
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Old 11-10-19, 07:08 PM
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Okay thank you folks THAT makes sense. I was able to rewire this correctly as per your suggestions so thank you! The upstairs master bedroom is weird. 2 outlets behind the bed. I assumed they were for nightstand lights because they were cut as half switched. BUT the bizarre part is the u loop is on the white wire and it looks like BOTH tabs might have been removed. The kicker is that the single phase wall light switch only has a white and bla ck wire. There is no red one so not sure how this ever was supposed to function as a half switch. Any guesses?

Appreciate it as always!

Kevin
 
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Old 11-10-19, 07:16 PM
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Looks like someone cut the wrong tab and jumpered it instead buying a new receptacle. Replace receptacle. Leave the tab on the silver screws and don't put the jumper in.
Switch with black and white is a switch loop. At one of the receptacles(probably the one closest to the switch) you will find a white wire connected to the black wires. That is normal. Power goes the switch on the white and comes back switched on the black.
 
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Old 11-10-19, 09:31 PM
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For those eavesdropping:

OT If you need to cut a receptacle or switch loose, cut the wires as close to the receptacle as possible unlike the example shown. Otherwise the wires remaining in the box could end up too short.
 
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Old 11-11-19, 10:29 AM
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Hello

Thanks for responding!! The receptacle close to the switch had 3 pigtails..A red..A white..and a black..attached..The one pictured above which I swapped out was the far side receptacle away from the switch..The funny part is the switch used to control the outlets meaning they could be turned on and off from the switch but now they can't lol I did replace the receptacles with same set up with the one closest to the switch..red white and black on screws..with tab removed hot side..far side receptacle white wires on screws ...black and red on hot screws..jumper removed..hot side tab renoved..but the half switch doesn't work now lol..very weird..

Appreciate it!!

Kevin

 
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Old 11-11-19, 10:45 AM
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If one receptacle has the tab between the red and black screws none of them will be switched.
 
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Old 11-11-19, 01:10 PM
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True. Yes I removed both tabs between red and black on both receptacles. I can check again but feel like I idid back and forth with the needle nose pliers....
 
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Old 11-15-19, 05:08 PM
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Joed. You were right! (again)..after looking closely at the two outlets one of them had a tiny piece of the tab still attached and that was actually preventing it from being ale to utilize the half switch. Thank you! Folks ..thanks to all of you I have managed to rewire all the outlets upstairs and downstairs but of course at the LAST outlet this happens...check the screw and bottom of outlet pics. The screw actually broke off when I was unscrewing it on the bottom receptacle. I was like "of course..." Anyone have any idea how I can get that out so I can put the new outlet in ? (the bottom hole has a piece of the screw stuck in it).

I am also closing an old phone jack as seen in the pic..just a blank template so what is the proper way to handle these wires after cutting them? Basically it is two wires with a bunch of little wires coming out and attaching to 4 screws for the old phone jack..Just want to make sure I do it correctly before sealing that with a blank cover.

Thank you as always!!!!

Kevin
 
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Old 11-15-19, 05:47 PM
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okay pics aren't working hopefully you guys know what I am talking about in the two scenarios...
 
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Old 11-16-19, 11:33 AM
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Okay hopefully these pics work...thank you!!!
 
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Old 11-16-19, 12:44 PM
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There is no power on the phone wires. You can just cut them and leave them inside the wall.

Live power wires must be in an accessible covered junction box.
 
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