We painted our first floor and the outlets are all brown so I wanted to replace them and the switches with white ones. In doing so I was taking a ground wire off the old outlet and it snapped off of the main ground wire. It looks like the main ground wire is coiled up and a small piece of ground was used to connect to the outlet. What are my options here? Should I try to uncoil the ground? I thought there was some kind of electrical nut that I could use to attach more ground as well?

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The copper cable here is the ground which had a thin wire coming off of it that snapped off to attach to the outlet.

Thanks in advance!

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. A picture would really help here. – Daniel Griscom Oct 13 '16 at 11:35

The copper cap holding the bare copper wires together is a crimp connector. You can cut this off and you will be left with the two twisted wires behind it.

Add a pigtail (a short piece of bare wire), carefully twisting one end of it around the remaining bare wires. Then put a wirenut over the bundle. Carefully bend the other end of the pigtail forward to wrap around the screw terminal of the switch.

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Sounds like the pigtail of the grounds broke off. Reattaching the broken ground may not be easy as it could be too short, and the twisted grounds could be very short too. Without a picture handy it's hard to give appropriate advice any further in this answer.

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