I replaced a few outlets in my home over the past weekend and now some other outlets (which I assume are downstream) are not working. The outlet that I replaced still works fine but I cannot figure out why the others are not working. I checked the circuit breaker and reset all the switches. All of the wires in the outlets have been double checked to make sure there are no loose wires.

One of the outlets that I replaced (and assuming this is the problematic one) has a black wire, a res wire, 3 white wires, and a ground. I screwed them all into the new outlet and no luck. I tried bypassing the outlet all together by putting the red and black wire together and all the whites together but still no luck.

Any suggestions? I have gotten a few quotes from electricians but they all want $300+ to come out and fix it.

Thanks in advanceenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

  • 1
    Was that outlet controlled by a switch? Sep 12 '18 at 17:24
  • No there is no switch connected to the outlet. Sep 12 '18 at 17:30
  • 1
    Is that 1 black 1 red and 3 whites? That is strange did you place the wires in the same locations on the new outlet as the original? The extra white has me puzzled, could you post a photo of the wires coming into the box.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 12 '18 at 18:38
  • 3
    You should not have 2 wires under one screw like that. Use a pigtail instead. Cut a 6 to 8 inch piece of white wire out of some extra cable, and strip both ends. Using a wirenut, connect this new pigtail wire to all three of the white wires. Then connect the other end of the pigtail to the outlet.
    – longneck
    Sep 12 '18 at 21:04
  • 2
    I can't tell whether the whites are just being used as a big 4-way splice (3 whites + receptacle itself) or whether they neutral-split the receptacle because they had also hot-split the receptacle on different circuits. Only looking at the old receptacle, and looking at the "Tabs" found between the screws and whether they're broken off or not, will tell the tale. Ignoring the tabs has a 50/50 chance of making a big bang boom immediately, and if the neutral should be split and isn't, has a chance of burning your house down much later. Sep 13 '18 at 6:45

Solved. Must have been a faulty outlet which I guess is very uncommon. Installed another new outlet and everything now works. Thanks for everyone's help!!

  • Just because the receptacles now "work" doesn't mean they are correctly connected or they are safe. You should address the questions in the comments above. Sep 13 '18 at 10:47
  • Since the op said the new outlet was wired the same as the old and replacing the outlet it worked how are we to know it is not correct? I don't remember having a outlet that was bad with screw terminals and the extra white concerns me but if the op accepts the answer it will be done.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 14 '18 at 23:15
  • Please click the check mark next to your answer so others know this has been resolved.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 4 '20 at 12:31

There is a second black wire that you left dangling (I guess). You can see it on the first picture, right side of the wall opening, mid-height. It seems to be a slightly glossier black (newer wire?). It probably needs to be pigtailed to the other black.

  • Unfortunately that is not another black wire. Must be something strange with the picture. I took another pic with the outlet off of the wall. There is one white and one black going down the wall (assuming to the other outlets) and on the top there are 2 whites, a red, and 2 blacks that were tied together previously that I did not touch. Everything was working before I switched out this outlet. The 3 whites were all plugged into the old outlet along with the one red, one black, and the ground. I really appreciate all the help! Sep 12 '18 at 19:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.