I'm swapping out outlets and this one has me stumped. This is in a room of switched outlets (top outlet is always hot, bottom is switched) so the red/black side tab on each outlet is broken off. The white side is not.
I was working on this outlet which is a bit of a mess. There are 3 whites, 2 reds, 3 blacks.
I've been getting in the habit of switching the wires out one-for-one, so I first take off the blacks, put them on the new outlet, then the reds, etc, so I can replicate the original wiring.
What has me stumped here is that I appear to have two separate circuits connected together in the same box.
Here's a shot of the 'leftover' tips of the white wires in the old outlet:
as you can see they were all connected to one side and the tab was not broken. Am I correct in assuming this is essentially a pigtail (all wires connected together)?
Because what is confusing is...
...of the 3 whites you see coming out of the box, the leftmost and rightmost are 'hot' on two separate circuits. The center is not (so I assume this is a branch line to other outlets).
Does it make sense that I'd have two circuits coming into one outlet joined together like this?
Am I okay connecting these together on the new outlet or do I have some serious wiring issues here?
I should clarify the '2 circuit' issue. I have to turn off two separate circuit breakers to make sure all the lines are dead in this outlet. I've also found a second outlet (in the same room) wired up the same way--I need to kill two circuit breakers to make sure the hot wires are off.