DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Electrical and Wiring (
-   -   replacing,an outlet (

justacook 01-23-2014 07:17 PM

replacing,an outlet
Hello peoples, once again I could use some help. About 6 months ago my friend decided he would replace his old out lets with new ones. At which time he removed the first outlet and could not reconnect the wires to the new outlet.
As I looked at this outlet today, 6 wires, 3 black, 3 white sticking out of a small metal box, but he could not remember what he took off of where.
I watched a couple of vids on replacing out lets and became more confused when one guy started with 6 wires....then took these 3 wires to here these two to there and these two to....might be new math but thats 7 wires.... I know some times its very easy for a pro to omit a simple step in training someone ( because everyone knows that) Is there a fairly simple way to tell which wire is which? Hate to see him pay some one to screw in 6 wires. (crap they dont even have to start the screws) You guys were a great help with my painting project last summer and I thanks again

JoeD 01-23-2014 08:19 PM

If there are no switches involved then connect all the blacks together with a short six inch pigtail of black wire. Connected all the whites together with a short six inch pigtail of white wire. Connect the white wire to one of the silver screws. Connect the black wire to one of the gold screws.

bud16415 01-24-2014 05:48 AM

Not that this will help now and Joe’s advice sounds good. Given no switches. But a few years ago I started using my smart phone for taking pictures of everything I take apart if there is any question in my mind how things need to go back. I do it with wires and plumbing when I need a part and I go to the home improvement store quite often I can show someone what I need.

Just out of curiosity why does he want to change all his outlets?

Did the outlet he took out have the jumper between the screws removed? That is a sign that that half the outlet was controlled by a wall switch and might explain what a few of those wires are. The fact that all the wires were connected to screws makes me wonder what was going on. You only have 4 screws and a ground screw and 6 wires not counting the bare ground wires so that means wires had to be doubled up under two of the screws. Something you are not supposed to do.

Another question is what kind of a box is it and is it deep enough to get all those wires and pigtails and wire nuts into the back of the box and still get the outlet in?

A photo of the box and wires and also the outlet he took out should help.

justacook 01-24-2014 11:27 AM

Thank you guys, a picture is worth a 1000 words, great suggestion.
This house was built in the 60s, on a penny pinching budget, and if a penny could be pinched somehow 2 were squeezed out everywhere. To help with the confusion his son in law "rewired" part of the house 20 years ago. I am fairly sure this man had just enough information about wiring that it functioned when he was finished but was not properly done to code. confirmed by, Yes 2 white and 2 black were connected to 1 screw. leaving one of each.
The outlet he showed me that he removed did not have the jumper removed, and both he and his wife said there is no switch to this outlet.
His plan was to replace outlets and put in ground fault(?) outlets which no will not fit in this box EVEN without the wires to worry about. (something I totally missed)
Bare ground wire? Im sure some one is jumping up and down, or at least muttering "idiot" under his breath, but there appears to be no ground....
I shall do my best to get some pitures today, in hopes that you gents will continue to help guide my trek threw "how many cooks DOES it take to replace one outlet?"
I think that answers all your questions,Thank you again for your time.
The Cook

havasu 01-24-2014 11:48 AM

I am also a penny pincher, and will try to do most work around the house myself. In this case, I would spend a few bucks and hire a professional.

bud16415 01-24-2014 11:51 AM

Haha I enjoy reading your post and nothing says a cook can’t wire.

It was not uncommon if this house was built early 60’s it was done without a safety grounding plan (the bare copper wire) along with the black and white. The outlets that are there could have been updated to those with 3 prongs and just nothing connected to the ground prong. This is not up to date with modern code. This can be improved by adding GFCI outlets as you planned and by the sounds of it also replacing with deeper boxes. When you do a GFCI without a safety ground third wire there is a sticker that’s supposed to go on the cover plate stating this. After you post some photos maybe you will get some suggestions on how to best change out the boxes for something better. If you go to a building center take a look at all the boxes that are intended for old construction. There are plastic ones with ears that flip out and draw up against the back side of the drywall or plaster.

Does the house have fuses or circuit breakers?

justacook 04-15-2014 07:43 AM

Thank you one and all...this cook said nope, not worth the chance of any thing going wrong. The word is the professionals cant touch it legally, but putting in ground faults was suggested by some goofy guy who couldn't touch it, but was a nice enough guy, right before he zapped him self by not checking the breaker, was still kind enough to not do anything he should not do. wink wink... which of course is how this whole mess started. not my house and no longer my problem. thanks again to all, whom help try and keep me on the right path.
The Cook
off to painting again...lord help me:hide:

Wuzzat? 04-15-2014 09:16 AM

Just a cook?

slownsteady 04-15-2014 12:40 PM

You only need one GFCI outlet on a circuit, should be the first outlet in the string (closest to the panel).

The outlet was disconnected for 6 months?????

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:56 PM.