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I’m pretty new to home DIY and had to replace a few outlets this weekend. On the last one the ground wire snapped as soon as I unscrewed the old outlet. It looks like the wire was clamped to the other ground wires and that’s where it broke. What is the best way to fix my ground connection?

Edit: clearer picture added

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  • There may be a Code issue here if the remaining wire length is less than 6 inches. This sort of thing is why I like metal boxes... you affix the ground wires to the screw in the back of the box, push the grounds back there behind everything else, and never touch them again... switches and self-grounding receps then pick up their grounds via the mounting screws. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 22 at 2:14
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    It is not to code in most places to rely on the mounting screws for the ground on any device. You MUST connect a ground wire to the green screw terminal if a device is equipped with one. – ScienceGeyser Feb 22 at 2:59
  • That's a bit surprising. It's no wonder more jurisdictions are adopting IEC instead of NEC. It's also important to know that this is ultimately up to the inspector. Even with NEC, the jurisdiction has the power to utilize only parts of the code. – ScienceGeyser Feb 22 at 20:45
  • @ScienceGeyser NEC itself explicitly permits self-grounding receptacles, as well as switches grounding through the yoke mounting screws. (I presume by "most places" you mean areas that use 5-continent/European-type power distribution standards?) – ThreePhaseEel Feb 23 at 12:42
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Remove the crimp connector and use a wire nut to attach a new 6" piece of wire then connect to the screw terminal on your device.

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  • 99% of time would agree with you, but do not like the look of ground. Might just be shadow, but black copper should be investigated more. Would expect end to be bright copper, not black, unless it is an insulated wire with copper in shadow. – crip659 Feb 22 at 1:55
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    @crip659 -- I think what you're seeing there is a combo of shadow and the paint/drywall mud/texture material on the wire – ThreePhaseEel Feb 22 at 1:59
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    It is just a shadow and some paint, the ground wire is a bright copper color. The neutrals on a couple outlets in this room were burned and the insulation was charred though. One of the outlets was completely shot due to painters getting paint deep in the outlet (my theory at least). That was the charred one, the other was just a light brown. I cut back the wire to good insulation and stripped them before installing the new outlets. Is there a bigger problem than 50 year old outlets going on here? – Bean Feb 22 at 2:02
  • @ThreePhaseEel possible, but copper usually does not snap off and the snapped off end is black also. I would like to be there to make sure. – crip659 Feb 22 at 2:03
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    Push-ins are notorious for overheating under heavy loads. This is especially true for the 49 cent devices that are often used. – ScienceGeyser Feb 22 at 2:42

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