Changing an outlet

Old 06-09-20, 02:36 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Changing an outlet

Hi. First post here. I have a house built in 1900. Wiring clearly was re done at some point later on, but i needed to change an outlet that was basically falling apart. This particular outlet had 4 wires coming to it. i have labelled them in the picture. There is 1 hot wire, and 3 others, which I'm guessing to be returns and a ground?
I tried wiring them to what i thought were the correct terminals on the new outlet, but it didn't work.
I know where the hot wire goes, just not sure where to connect the other 3.

Hopefully, someone here can help! Thank you!

Attached Images  
Old 06-09-20, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 8,282
Received 441 Votes on 367 Posts
That wiring is too old for a ground. Most likely what you have there is hot and a neutral from the panel and a hot and a neutral going out to another part of the circuit.
You will need to do something about the crumbling insulation on those wires.
Old 06-09-20, 05:49 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,389
Received 148 Votes on 131 Posts
In addition, you should able to see the pairs of wires in the clamps.

Heat shrink tubing would help with the crumbling insulation.
Old 06-09-20, 05:53 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,962
Received 595 Votes on 511 Posts
Four wires indicate two wires into the box and two wires out. Two hots, two neutrals. You should be able to see how they are paired up.

The missing insulation will need to be repaired with electrical tape or shrink tubing.
Old 06-10-20, 04:50 AM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 5,583
Received 154 Votes on 140 Posts
Hi, do you have a voltmeter? if so test between the 4 conductors one set should have 120 +- volts between 2, also you should be using a non grounded outlet or a GFCI receptacle, as mentioned that crumbling insulation must be addressed.
Old 06-10-20, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,934
Received 235 Votes on 213 Posts
Is there now another outlet/s or a light that does not work?
If yes then odds are one set is power in and the other set powers the outlet down the line.

Is this in a kitchen?
If yes then there is a possibility that this is a split outlet.
In this case both sets are live and one set powers the upper receptacle and the other powers the lower receptacle.

As Geochurchi stated a meter would be a valuable tool here.
Old 06-10-20, 10:47 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thank you for all the responses. This is a not a kitchen. It's an upstairs bedroom. I will definitely check the voltages. I believe there is another outlet in the room that is fed by this particular set of wires, because it isn't working art the moment.
And i'll fix the crumbling insulation as well

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: