DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was about to replace an outlet because the plugs were falling out of the old outlet. I have replaced multiple outlets before with no problem.
After turning off the power and removing the old outlet (standard 2 plug outlet) the outlet had 9 total wires going into/out of it.

It has 4 black wires, 4 white wires, and 1 ground copper wire. I have replaced other outlets with 3 or 5 wires but didn't know what to do with the extra 4 wires. The previous outlet had all 8 wires going into the back of the outlet (and the ground tightened around the ground bolt).

Side note: lots of other work on the house has been shoddy and clearly done by someone who shouldn't have been working on the house (previous owner most likely). I tested the outlet before removing it (with a plug in outlet tester) and it said it was wired correctly.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,795 Posts
You do not have extra wires. They are a part of the circuit. If you leave any of them disconnected part of the circuit will not work.

Pigtail the wires and connect the one lead to the receptacle. Your current box may not be large enough for all the wires and may need to be changed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Should I pigtail all 4 black and white into 1 connection each and connect that to the outlet (so 1 black to the outlet and 1 white to the outlet). Or 2 into 1 twice (so 2 black to the outlet and 2 white to the outlet).
Thank you for your help and quick response.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Pigtailing is great for maintainability if you have space in the box.

Another safe option is to get a slightly more expensive outlet with the screw-and-plate clamp system. I've seen those with room for wire on both sides of each of the two screws on either side of the outlet, so you could connect all four.

The type you want looks like this: http://inspectapedia.com/electric/Electric_Receptacle_20A_144_DJFs.jpg . Do not confuse it with the type where you push a wire into the backside of the receptacle and hope it stays in place. You're looking for one with visible clamps tightened by screws.

A code issue I don't know the answer to is whether it's kosher to have the connectivity of the neutrals depend on a device being installed.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,795 Posts
The neutral is only an issue on a MWBC, otherwise the device can be the connection.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top