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Old 05-17-2005, 08:12 AM   #1
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Electrical receptacle replacement question


Question about electrical outlets - Recently bought a house, and practically every light switch and electrical outlet has been painted over, not to mention that the outlets themselves are so loose that when you plug something in, like as not it will just fall right back out. Anyway, I have started on a quest to replace every light switch and every outlet in the whole house. Switches are straightforward. Outlets are a bit confusing. The old outlets have no screws, just 2 holes per post. New outlets have screwposts plus one hole per post. Most of the outlets are straighforward, just one black wire and one white wire - easy. However, Have come across several outlets that have 3 black and 3 white, using 3 of the 4 holes on their respective side. How do I wire this to the new outlet? Do I just put one wire to each screwpost, then stick the leftover wire in one of the holes?

Other part of the equation is understanding it. What's the point of having 3 wires per side as compared to 1 wire per side? Does it make the circuit more reliable? Does it not matter


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Old 05-17-2005, 08:35 AM   #2
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Electrical receptacle replacement question


Follow-up to my original post - The wires in my house are too thick to easily be inserted into the holes in the new outlet. Is there a way to file them down, or should I try to find a new outlet with bigger holes?

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Old 05-17-2005, 10:48 AM   #3
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Electrical receptacle replacement question


do not try to use the holes. If you have 2 black and 2 whites, wrap one under each screw. If more than 2, put them under a wire nut with one wire feeding out to a screw. All ground wires must be twisted together, and one wire to the ground screw.
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:04 AM   #4
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Electrical receptacle replacement question


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan
do not try to use the holes. If you have 2 black and 2 whites, wrap one under each screw. If more than 2, put them under a wire nut with one wire feeding out to a screw. All ground wires must be twisted together, and one wire to the ground screw.
jbfan - Thanks for the answer. Just to clarify - on the old outlet, I had 3 black wires and 3 white wires pushed through the holes on the back. On the new outlet, I will have one white and one black attached to the screw posts. Those single wires will be leading from a wire nut, where I have twisted the 3 whites together and 3 blacks together. Is that correct?
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Old 05-17-2005, 04:30 PM   #5
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Electrical receptacle replacement question


That is correct
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Old 05-19-2005, 02:06 PM   #6
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Electrical receptacle replacement question


sherlock/jbfan,
recently i replaced all the outlets and switches in an old house for the same reason, they were just wore out, and some outlets so lose they would arc! althought i didnt have the 3 blk and 3 wht wire situation, i had a problem with the wires for the outlets being too short after i cut them back and striped for new outlets. an electrictian told me to get these pigtails, (cant remember exact name of them) but they are made by ideal and home depot has them in wht, blk, grn, in packets of 10 for about $5 a pack, one color per pack. they have a wirenut attached to one end and a spade tip to the other, and are 12ga stranded wire, which makes them easy to work with. now they worked great for me, and i think they will help u too. i beleive if your wiring isnt too heavy you could twist the 3 whts together with a wht pigtail and slide the spade connector on the screw terminal of outlet, and the same for the blk. oh, the pigtails are 6'' in lenght. maybe jbfan could tell us if this is a good idea for your situation, just trying to help!...bob
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Old 05-20-2005, 06:41 AM   #7
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Electrical receptacle replacement question


Bobo,

Thanks. Read your message just before leaving on a trip to Home Depot, so picked some up. Will swap them out this weekend. Thanks again.
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Old 05-20-2005, 03:33 PM   #8
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Electrical receptacle replacement question


And the black goes to the brass screws (hot) on the receptacle, the white goes to the silver screws (neutral), and the bare wire (ground) pigtail goes to the green ground screw on the receptacle and if it's a metal box, to the green ground screw on the box, too.
Good Luck!
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