I’m referring to the very short wires the come from the wire groups pigtail directly to the terminal screw. The wires that was in the old outlet before were decades old and torn. I thought since they were not being fed through the wall like the others, it won’t be an issue to get more wire. But I don’t know wether I should pull more wire through or cut a price off any existing wire since I’m unfamiliar with this wiring over

Herethis is the receptacle

  • It is unclear what you mean, can you give a little more detail and perhaps a photo?
    – Alaska Man
    Jan 4, 2019 at 18:18
  • @Alaskaman yes I take a photo of it now. Sorry I’m brand new to this site. How to upload phone in a comment? Or do have to make it a separate post?
    – Drake B.
    Jan 4, 2019 at 18:22
  • Below your question text is keywords. Below the keywords is some text "share edit delete flag" etc. You hit edit and you are back to the compose window and can make changes. Along the top is an add picture button. Jan 4, 2019 at 18:48
  • Ok. Just uploaded it. Thank you. Let know what you think
    – Drake B.
    Jan 4, 2019 at 19:27
  • The photo helps, i am still not sure what you are trying to accomplish, all the wire appear to be about the same length. Are you just replacing an outlet? Did you take note of how the old one was wired up? It appears the the two of each color were connected with wire nuts and the other two went to the terminals on the outlet. What is your question?
    – Alaska Man
    Jan 4, 2019 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


Before, on each side, you had 1 wire going directly to a screw, and 2 wires joining a short pigtail under a wirenut, then the pigtail going to the other screw. That's a silly way to do it.

Rearrange the parts you already have so that all the white wires and the pigtail are joined on one wire nut. Then run only the pigtail to the new receptacle. So only 1 wire will be on each side of the receptacle. That is a much better way to do that thing. This will work best with red or tan wire nuts.

What's happening here is that one of the cables (b/w/red?/bare) is coming from the supply / breaker panel, and the other two cables are branching in two different directions to go onward to other loads. All 3 cables need to have their wires joined and the power must also go to a fourth place, the receptacle proper. That's why 4 wires are involved.

It's real common for less experienced folks to get tripped up in wiring methods like this. Who really cares if you use 4 screws or only 2 on the receptacle? Not I, and not electrons. The important thing is all the blacks get connected together and all the whites. (Mind you, that's not the rule everywhere, but it's the rule in this junction box today.)

You cannot pull more wire out of the wall. Do not waste what you got.

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