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Wiring Problem

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mikemccloskey

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I have an existing 110 outlet that I tapped into to create a new outlet on the other side of the wall. As seen in the photo, the existing outlet is in a "series" (two hot and two neutral coming and going). I ran new wire for the new outlet, inserted the leads into the back of the existing plug. All blacks test hot and whites don't. I hooked up the new outlet, tested it with a plug tester and it is telling me that the hot and ground are reversed. This doesn't make sense to me since all blacks test hot and and white and ground do not. In the picture the wire with the yellow sheathing is the new wire run to the new outlet. Can anyone shed light on this? Thanks!

IMG_0198.jpeg
 

Snoonyb

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Welcome.

You are only showing use the "connected from" recep, not the connected too recep.

However, there few here that advocate "plug-n-play" when connecting recep., we do advocate twisting the conductors together, wire nutting the connection as well as attaching the conductors with the screw connections provided.
 

kok328

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You connected the white and black from the existing outlet on the wrong terminals on the new outlet. Reverse your connections on the new outlet and test again.
 

Sparky617

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Black wires go to the brass colored screws and white wires to the silver colored screws. I suspect like Kok states you have it wrong on the new outlet. I also agree with Snoonyb that using the outlet like that is a hot mess and should be avoided. Join them with a wirenut and use a pigtail to connect to the outlet.
 

ctviggen

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I will sometimes use both screws per side to route wires, particularly if that means less "congestion" in the box. That is, adding two wire nuts makes the box fuller. But I think I'd draw the line at three wires per side. Also, I'm not sure how much I trust those push-in connections. On the other hand, I've used these at times too:


(Mine are similar; not this exact model.)

I also like the "higher end" outlets, where you "back wire" but using the screws. The screws have a system with a copper plate that moves to contact the wire. While I can bend a wire fine to fit around a screw, and then compress to get better connection with the screw, it's a pain. It's much easier to buy a more expensive outlet (aka "professional grade" or "commercial grade" or "industrial", depending on where you buy them).
 

bud16415

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I’m actually surprised backstab outlets have never been outlawed over the years.



I would strongly advise the OP and anyone else making an outlet a junction point to do the pigtail method and even avoid using the spare screw even though that is a safe enough way to do it.



If the outlet fails at some point it will be that much simpler to fix and will not effect the outlets chained off it.



I’m a fan of giving all the wires combined a fully twisted connection and then a wire nut. It is a little more work but I have never seen that method fail.



As mentioned above some boxes are really tight trying to add a pigtail to the back. Most of the time modern boxes have the room if you keep the lengths correct and plan how they will lay back in the box.



IMO if the box was tight and I was only going to make a single run off the box I would do the second screw, but I would never attempt two runs doing one on the screw and one backstabbed. I would change the box out first to something deeper.

It might just be how I’m looking at the OP picture, but it looks like his new run in the backstab is a smaller gage wire also???
 

ajaynejr

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If you mix wire gauges then the breaker for the entire branch circuit has to go with the smallest gauge wire, for example mixing 12 and 14 gauge the maximum breaker rating is 15 amps.

Sometimes using a larger wire gauge than the intended or required breaker rating is necessary, for example a very long run for a 15 amp circuit might need to be 12 gauge to minimize voltage drop.
 

afjes_2016

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You are telling us what the new receptacle tested as but what is the existing receptacle testing at? If you did not test the existing one it is possible that this issue was present before you even tapped into the existing receptacle and just carried thru to the new receptacle.

Also as others have said don't back stab those receptacles. Make a pigtail jumper for each of the hots and neutrals, wire nut the three wires together and then connect the wire to the proper screw. Those backstabs are not at all reliable. They may test good when first installed but over time the metal flap that holds the wire in place tends to weaken over time and causes a loose connection.

Always remember an important electrical rule: "Loose wires start fires".
 
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