Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-28-2009, 08:37 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5
Share |
Question

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


I am attempting to replace some outlets in a bedroom in my home. The outlets need to be replaced because they are loose, and some of them allow plugs to fall out.

I open the cover plate, remove the outlet, and see that there are 7 wires at play here. Now I'm confused.

3 White, 3 Black, and 1 Ground (really 3 grounds pigtailed with a wirenut to one leading to the outlet). I checked another outlet in the room, same set up. Neither of these outlets have any relation to any wall switches.

These are older outlets, I suspect from the 1970s. They are backstabbed (I think I'm using that term correctly).

How do I convert these 7 wires to a standard sidewire outlet? The ground is easy, but 3 White backstabbed wires to 2 side screws? Same for the black?

Am I right in thinking I need to remove all the black wires from the backstabbed outlet, pigtail them together, and take a new short length of black wire pigtail that in with the 3 that were backstabbed and run that to the proper side screw. Now repeat this whole setup with the white wires?

Am I way off? Is this correct? Is this safe? Is this thing on? I'm not sure why this is wired up this way, anyone have any insights into this?

sickest16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 08:40 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


Is the third white and black wire a pigtail?

jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 08:42 AM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


Nope, they all come in by themselves. It seems two feeds are at the top of the box, and one at the bottom.

The grounds are twisted together, wire nut, and then one runs out to the current receptacle.
sickest16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 08:46 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


Just pigtail the white and black. You could pigtail just two of the wires and hook the other one to the second screw. you might have a little trouble getting all of that in the box, but make it neat and it should fit.
jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 08:51 AM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


So take 2 of the white wires, pigtail them, nut them, and leave them in the box. Take the other white, wire to the receptacle.

Rinse and repeat with the black wires?

Doesn't matter which black (or white?) wire is used?
sickest16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 08:57 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


I think you got it. Take the two black wires from the top and wire nut a pigtail to those. Connect to the top screw. Take the other black wire coming from the bottom and connect to the bottom screw. Do the same for the white.
jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 10:14 AM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


Perfect, glad you clarified. I was thinking you were saying wire nut 2 together, and leave them unattached to anything, and take the third wire and just screw that to the receptacle...

Instead, follow the flow of what's currently hooked up, just reduce the 2 on top, to one via a pigtail, and go with that...

Thanks!
sickest16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 10:17 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


Just one thing. Were any of these switched receptacles?
jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 11:05 AM   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


I have 4 receptacles in the room.

I checked 2 so far, and they were both wired up the same (with the 7 wire scenario we've been discussing).

Neither of the 2 that were checked are switched.


There is one that is switched. I haven't reviewed that one yet, but I think I'll want to alter that, so that one so that the switch only controls one of the plugs...and like I said, I don't know how many wires are in that box yet.
sickest16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 11:09 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


Quote:
Originally Posted by sickest16 View Post
I have 4 receptacles in the room.

I checked 2 so far, and they were both wired up the same (with the 7 wire scenario we've been discussing).

Neither of the 2 that were checked are switched.


There is one that is switched. I haven't reviewed that one yet, but I think I'll want to alter that, so that one so that the switch only controls one of the plugs...and like I said, I don't know how many wires are in that box yet.
Ok. Just making sure.
jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 04:11 PM   #11
Res Ipsa Loquitur
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 363
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


You could have also bought backFED outlets in place of the backstabbed- they might have saved you some time- backfed allows you to just tighten the screw which clamps against the straight conductor fed in the back of the outlet- I think most have the same amount of slots as backstabbed.
__________________
Did you ever stop to think, then forget to start again?
handyman78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 04:52 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,294
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


Quote:
Am I right in thinking I need to remove all the black wires from the backstabbed outlet, pigtail them together, and take a new short length of black wire pigtail that in with the 3 that were backstabbed and run that to the proper side screw. Now repeat this whole setup with the white wires?
Yes.

Cut all wires the same length and strip them about 7/8".

Hold them tightly together and make sure they all go into the wirenut laid next to each other.

Twist the nut tightly. Twist until the visable wires start twisting around each other.

Wrap the screw terminals clockwise so it tightens the wire as you tighten the screw.

Keep the grounds off to the left to eliminate the chance of a short against the terminals.

Use nylon plate covers.

If you come across a switched recep, look very carefully at the wiring and don't take it apart until you are sure what's going on. It will save you hours on the internet trying to resolve it. Same advice for 3 way switches.

Last edited by 220/221; 01-28-2009 at 04:55 PM.
220/221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 02:50 AM   #13
Tool Geek
 
PaliBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pacific Palisades CA
Posts: 2,503
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


Quote:
Originally Posted by handyman78 View Post
You could have also bought backFED outlets in place of the backstabbed- they might have saved you some time- backfed allows you to just tighten the screw which clamps against the straight conductor fed in the back of the outlet- I think most have the same amount of slots as backstabbed.
You're right on the back feeds. They are made by the major manufacturers.
HD carries 8 hole backfeds in a 10 pak but I couldn't find them on the net. Here is a commercial version from Leviton that comes in a lot of colors.

.
Attached Thumbnails
rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire-receptacles-eight-hole.jpg  
__________________
Disclaimer
& Stay Safe
.....Bob Lavery
PaliBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 04:08 PM   #14
Res Ipsa Loquitur
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 363
Default

rewiring outlet/receptacle - backstab to sidewire


Thanks PaliBob for the pic- I've used both those Levitons and the ones sold by Lowes made by Cooper Industries

__________________
Did you ever stop to think, then forget to start again?
handyman78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.