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Strange Issue after replacing electrical receptacle

Posted by stuckinthemiddle (My Page) on
Thu, May 9, 13 at 1:26

I replaced one of my electrical receptacles that is connected to a single pole switch and am facing a strange problem. After changing it, the switch affected the changed receptacle and the one next to it. The one I changed had

2x black wires
2x white wires
1x red wire
1x ground

I connected the 2x black to the brass side and 2x white to the silver side. The red wire I screwed into the top screw of the black side and ground wire went to the ground screw. I also broke the tab on the black side.

After noticing this problem, I moved the red wire to the bottom screw on the black side. Now, the light switch doesn't control anything and only the one of the plugs in new receptacle works (the bottom one). Both outlets in the receptacle next to this one do not work.

Any ideas?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Strange Issue after replacing electrical receptacle

I doubt that this is a serious post. Newly registered person with implausible situation.


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RE: Strange Issue after replacing electrical receptacle

I don't think it's that far fetched.

Connect the two black wires together and run them to one side of the split receptacle. Connect the red to the other.

I suspect you have

Black IN - unswitched power feed in
Red IN - switched power feed in
Black OUT - unswitched out to the next receptacle.

That's all consistent with the behavior of the two things you've tried so far.


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RE: Strange Issue after replacing electrical receptacle

Why do you think it's implausible? Is there no combination of wires in this situation that could result in the symptoms he's describing? Maybe there is just something wrong with the description?

What cables are coming into the box? Which cable is supplying power? It sounds to me like there are there two cables (one black/white, the other black/white/red). Is that right?

I'm assuming you didn't note how the old receptacle was hooked up?

When you say ONE ground, do you mean that there is only one ground going to the receptacle, but there are more grounds that are all connected together and tucked back into the box?

Edit: I didn't see ron's post before I replied. He's probably right.

This post was edited by greg_2010 on Thu, May 9, 13 at 9:22


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RE: Strange Issue after replacing electrical receptacle

Nothing in the post about how the connections were originally-- but some detail about how the connections are to the (supposed) new receptacle. Why would one be unconcerned about the original hookup and very detailed about the new? Why would one alter connections and expect the same results?


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RE: Strange Issue after replacing electrical receptacle

A lot of people just pull things apart and then go "Oh sh@#!"


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RE: Strange Issue after replacing electrical receptacle

OP here. Yes, this is a real problem I am having. I switched out all the receptacles in my house (27 of them) and this is the only one I've noticed a problem on. I'm a new home owner with no electrical experience, but after changing a few without any issues, I thought they would all be easy.

I've attached a picture to make things a bit more clear.


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RE: Strange Issue after replacing electrical receptacle

most likely the red is a switched leg. One black probably constant hot and the other black feeds other outlets.
Between the two brass screws is a tab that connects the two hots. If you break off the tab it will split the outlet so on is switched the other is not. So the two backs should be on one screws and the red on the other. Test it with a volt meter first


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RE: Strange Issue after replacing electrical receptacle

thanks for the responses guys. i switched both black wires to the same screw and the red to it's own and everything is working. i learned my lesson that i shouldn't just blindly connect wires without really understanding what each wire is for.


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RE: Strange Issue after replacing electrical receptacle

You didn't put both wires under the same screw, right? That's not allowed and will probably come loose in the future.

Use a wire nut to combine the two wires and a pigtail to connect to the screw.


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