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Old 05-02-2009, 06:13 PM   #1
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help! with electric outlet


earlier i replaced an electric outlet with the same one, only new. I have two sets of wires coming in, both have black, white and ground. I connected the black wires to the hot/brass screws and the white wires to the silver screws and grounds to each other and to the green screw. I turned back on the power and i keep tripping the circuit breaker. I did not take a pic or write down how the wires were initially connected. This outlet is connected to a wall switch, but i did not touch that at all, please help!

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Old 05-02-2009, 06:24 PM   #2
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help! with electric outlet


You have wired it correctly. Check to see if one of your bare ground wires is contacting one of the hot screw terminals, which can happen as you push the receptacle back into the box.

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Old 05-02-2009, 07:23 PM   #3
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help! with electric outlet


did you remove the tabs between the plugs? one is constant hot one is switched.
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brad325 View Post
earlier i replaced an electric outlet with the same one, only new. I have two sets of wires coming in, both have black, white and ground. I connected the black wires to the hot/brass screws and the white wires to the silver screws and grounds to each other and to the green screw. I turned back on the power and i keep tripping the circuit breaker. I did not take a pic or write down how the wires were initially connected. This outlet is connected to a wall switch, but i did not touch that at all, please help!
If this is connected to a switch, then one of the sets of wires is a switch leg and you have connected it so it generates a dead short. You will need to determine which black wire is hot and which is from the switch. Do you want the entire receptacle switched or just half?
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by williswires View Post
You have wired it correctly. Check to see if one of your bare ground wires is contacting one of the hot screw terminals, which can happen as you push the receptacle back into the box.

No, he didn't wire it correctly. It is connected to a wall switch. One cable is the incoming power, the other cable is the switch leg, when he turns on the wall switch the black and white are connected at the switch, thus creating a direct short between the hot and neutral.

You need to find out which cable is which, then decide if you want the whole duplex rec. switched or only half, then find a wirenut, ect,ect, ect...........................................
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:30 PM   #6
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I guess I was a little late.
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:45 PM   #7
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No, he didn't wire it correctly. It is connected to a wall switch. One cable is the incoming power, the other cable is the switch leg, when he turns on the wall switch the black and white are connected at the switch, thus creating a direct short between the hot and neutral.

You need to find out which cable is which, then decide if you want the whole duplex rec. switched or only half, then find a wirenut, ect,ect, ect...........................................
Yep, you're right. Sorry, he wired it correctly only if the switch wasn't there. Missed that part.

Brad - were both parts of the receptacle controlled by the switch?
Was one of the white wires painted black at the end?

For both to be switched:
1. Do not remove the tabs on the sides of the receptacle.
2. Determine the incoming power cable.
3. Connect the white wire from the incoming cable to one of the silver screws on the receptacle. This provides the neutral for your receptacle.
4. Connect the two blacks together using a wire nut (this would have been done already for your old receptacle). This sends the incoming power to the switch for control.
5. Using a black marker or electrical tape, color the end of the other white wire and connect it to one of the brass screws. This brings the incoming switched power back to the receptacle .


For one half to be switched:
1. Break off the tab on the hot side of the receptacle only. This is the side with the brass screws.
2. Determine the incoming power cable.
3. Connect the white wire from the incoming cable to one of the silver screws on the receptacle. This provides the neutral for both of your receptacles.
4. Connect the two blacks and a black pigtail together using a wire nut. Attach the pigtail to the brass screw on the half of the duplex receptacle that you want to be always hot.
5. Using a black marker or electrical tape, color the end of the other white wire (attached to the switch) and connect it to the brass screw of the half of the duplex that you want controlled by the switch.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:01 PM   #8
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help! with electric outlet


Usually we make the white wire marked black the wire that supplies power to the switch, so that the outlet or light does not have 2 white wires attached to it. Also, I believe by code the white wire must be permanently marked black, I don't think black electrical tape is considered code, but its what I have seen most often done.

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