I have a series outlet that has two black wires and two white wires that I want to swap out with a new smart outlet so I can control it with wifi. But the new outlet only has screws for one black and one white wires. How do I hook up the new outlet? Is it possible?

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  • The tabs are present on both sides of the outlet, right? Feb 9, 2019 at 16:11

2 Answers 2


If the little copper tabs between the screw terminals are intact, on both sides of the receptacle. It's as easy as using twist-on wire connectors (or other approved device), to "pigtail" the existing wires. That will leave you with a single wire, to connect to each side of the new device.

To create a pigtail. Start by turning off the power, and verifying that it's off. Remove the two white wires, and combine them with an additional length of same sized white wire, using a twist-on wire connector. Do the same with the black wires.

Now you'll have one white and one black wire, that you can connect to the new receptacle.

  • You could also tie the switch leads in directly instead of a 2nd connection since most smart switches have wires not screws
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 9, 2019 at 16:34
  • @EdBeal - The OP says they are installing a new smart outlet as opposed to a switch. He also indicated that it has two screw terminals so the pigtails as suggest by Tester101 are what is needed.
    – Michael Karas
    Feb 9, 2019 at 19:39
  • I missed the screws
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 10, 2019 at 1:06

That's not really series, it's just making the most of a feature on common receptacles, that lets you splice together the supply and onward wires with the receptacle itself. It's the functional equivalent of a pigtail, you see the ground is pigtailed. You just need some more pieces of wire, a wire stripper and some wire nuts.

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