The right way to Properly Install Electrical Receptacles And Light Switches

You like you want to save lots of money by doing things around the house yourself?

Wireless Touch Switch White 1 Gang 1 way Touch Panel SwitchIf you are trying to replace your own receptacles and switches, listed here are some tips:

When removing old receptacles, note the color of the wires. There must be 2 colors; black and white. Often, there may be a 3rd wire, a bare ground wire. You’ll more than likely find that there are 1, 2, or even 3 black and white wires at each receptacle. Connect the black wires to 1 side of the receptacle, and the white wires on the other side. Most frequently, 2 or 3 wires of every color are connected to the screws on either side of the devise. There are 2 screws on each side. If there are 2 white wires, then place each wire under one screw. Same on the black side. If there are 3 of every color, often times, the third wire will be doubled up under one of the screws.

In case your receptacles were installed after 1970, a brand new type of connection method was introduced on light switches and receptacles. This “new” idea was called stab-lock or speed wire devices. Stab-lock devices have holes within the back of the device instead of side screws. Some have both screws and holes. When the brand new homes were initially wired, stab-lock devices made production time fast. Electricians were expected to squat, strip the wire ends, stab them into the holes, slam the plug into the box and jump to the subsequent one. Production was the name of the sport. It still is today and the exact same method remains to be being used.

Stab-lock connections are the number one cause of electrical service repair calls. If one single wire becomes loose at the stab hole, every outlet, light, every electrical device beyond that loose stab-lock hole goes dead. It is the same concept as your old Christmas tree lights. If one bulb is bad, everything downstream of it is out too.

If a customer says to me “The breaker continues to be on, but there isn’t any power”. There is a high probability there’s a loose stab-lock somewhere within the circuit.

Our method of installing switches and plugs is different from the methods used in new construction and takes more time, however you will never have problems caused by loose connections in the devices. Here is what we do: we physically twist the white wires together. Then we do the identical for the black wires. It is vital to use good lineman’s pliers. Then, we twist a single white and black lead wire about 7 inches long into each splice. Now, the circuit is feeding through to the following outlet without having to have the device installed to hold the wires through.

– We recommend that you just never use the stab-lock holes.
– Place the one lead wire under one among the two screws on either side of the receptacle.
– Black wire on the gold screw
– White wire on the silver screw

It doesn’t matter which one, upper or lower, so long as black is on gold and white is on silver. This is the correct polarity installation. And this can also be why one of the prongs in your cord is slightly larger than the other. It prevents you from plugging the appliance in with reverse polarity. The circuit won’t ever open now even in case you remove the plug from the wires.

When you install the receptacle, make sure that the bottom hole is on the bottom. When it’s on the highest, that is a sign that the receptacle is operated by a light switch. The third hole, or the bottom, connection is the green screw that’s attached to the metal frame of the receptacle. That’s used for the connection of the bare ground wire.

If you’re replacing receptacles, and also you come across one which has both a black and a red wire on the gold screw side, this is usually a sign that one half the receptacle is always live and the opposite half is operated by a light switch. With the intention to separate the highest half from the bottom half, you’ve gotten to interrupt the little metal bridge on the GOLD screw side of the plug between the top and bottom. In the event you break the metal bridge on the silver, or white wire side, you’ve gotten killed the neutral to the remaining outlets on that circuit. Don’t break the bridge on the silver screw, or white wire side of the devise. When reinstalling light switches, you are usually only coping with 2 wires. One goes on the highest and one goes on the bottom. If any wires are doubled up on one side of the light switch, meaning multiple wire under one screw or stab-hole, twist those two wires together and tail off with a single lead wire just just like the receptacles.

Although many homeowners feel comfortable doing minor electrical work themselves, please keep in mind that electricity is extremely dangerous and you must always turn off any circuits before working on them. Never work with live electricity. Check to make sure the facility is off before doing anything. Sometimes power continues to be flowing through wires despite the fact that the breaker is off. That is not presupposed to happen but sometimes occurs as a result of improper wiring done by non-electricians. You should always double check and ensure there isn’t any power to a wire before touching it. We always suggest calling a licensed electrician for all electrical work but when you are going to do something yourself, it can save you a lot of aggravation and expense in the future by doing it correctly.


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