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How one can Properly Install Electrical Receptacles And Light Switches
You like you like to avoid wasting money by doing things around the house yourself
If 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 should be 2 colors; black and white. Often, there is a 3rd wire, a bare ground wire. You will most likely find that there are 1, 2, and even 3 black and white wires at each receptacle. Connect the black wires to one side of the receptacle, and the white wires on the other side. Most often, 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 each color, often times, the third wire will probably be doubled up under one of the screws.
If your receptacles were installed after 1970, a 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 in the back of the device instead of side screws. Some have both screws and holes. When the 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 next one. Production was the name of the sport. It still is today and the very 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 is still on, but there’s no power”. There is a high probability there is a loose stab-lock somewhere in 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 attributable to loose connections in the devices. This is what we do: we physically twist the white wires together. Then we do the same for the black wires. It is necessary 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 next outlet without having to have the device installed to carry the wires through.
– We recommend that you just never use the stab-lock holes.
– light switch designs Place the one lead wire under certainly one of 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, as long as black is on gold and white is on silver. This is the correct polarity installation. And this is also why one of the prongs on your cord is slightly larger than the other. It prevents you from plugging the appliance in with reverse polarity. The circuit will never open now even for those who remove the plug from the wires.
When you install the receptacle, make sure that the ground hole is on the bottom. When it’s on the top, that is an indication that the receptacle is operated by a light switch. The third hole, or the ground, connection is the green screw that is attached to the metal frame of the receptacle. That’s used for the connection of the bare ground wire.
In case you are replacing receptacles, and you come across one that 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. As a way to separate the top half from the bottom half, you’ve gotten to break the little metal bridge on the GOLD screw side of the plug between the top and bottom. If you break the metal bridge on the silver, or white wire side, you could have killed the neutral to the remaining outlets on that circuit. Do not break the bridge on the silver screw, or white wire side of the devise. When reinstalling light switches, you’re usually only dealing 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 more than one wire under one screw or stab-hole, twist those two wires together and tail off with a single lead wire just like the receptacles.
Although many homeowners feel comfortable doing minor electrical work themselves, please do not forget that electricity is extremely dangerous and you need to always turn off any circuits before working on them. Never work with live electricity. Check to ensure the facility is off before doing anything. Sometimes power is still flowing through wires even though the breaker is off. That is not alleged to happen but sometimes occurs attributable to improper wiring done by non-electricians. It is best to always double check and make sure there is no such thing as a power to a wire before touching it. We always suggest calling a licensed electrician for all electrical work but if you will do something yourself, you can save a number of aggravation and expense in the future by doing it correctly.
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