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Replacing an Outlet with Alot of Wires


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Identify the Wiring When Replacing an Outlet – What to do When an Outlet has a Lot of Wires

What to do When an Outlet Has a Lot of Wires

Electrical Question: I am replacing a outlet in my house that is connected to a ceiling fan but there are more wires then normal. I have 2 black wires, 2 white wires, 1 red wire and a copper wire. I do not know the right way to connect these wires to the outlet.I also need to make it a half switched outlet.

This electrical wiring question came from: Samika, a Homeowner from Sacramento, California.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Samika.

Replacing an Outlet with a Lot of Wires

Application: Replacing a 120 Volt Receptacle Outlet.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best if wired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of outlets that will be replaced.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

How to Identify the Wiring When Replacing an Outlet
Samika, the wiring is best identified using a voltage tester, but typically this is what is found and what needs to be verified, the example below is typical but may not reflect your exact wiring:

All wiring must be verified using a voltage tester, and this is best accomplished by a qualified electrical contractor.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Replacing an Outlet with Alot of Wires”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Jason,
    I will add this to the website in the Electrical Hand Tools Area.
    Dave

  2. Luis Antonio Jaca Mendez says:

    Hi,Dave!

    I would like to purchase the electrical tool kit that appears on the cover of the Top 10 Electrical Mistakes ebook.

    Best regards!

    Jaca.