There was an existing outlet that I recently removed, so I spliced the two wires together. I recently decided to add a new outlet in a different spot, so I added a long pigtail, connecting the 3 wires together with wire nuts, looking something like this:

diagram of wiring scheme.

When I add the outlet to the 3rd wire, the whole circuit trips immediately when I turn the circuit on. If the outlet isn't connected, everything downstream works fine. enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    What does the wiring at the faulty outlet look like? Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 21:40
  • 1
    Is it the GFCI or the breaker tripping? Two different causes.
    – crip659
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 21:43
  • frederic: Top left screw: Black middle left screw: White bottom left screw: ground crip: Both trip. I'm not sure why breaker trips if GFCI is on the outlet Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 21:48
  • 2
    You obviously have something wired wrong. Pics are needed.
    – RMDman
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 21:53
  • Most outlets have black on one side(right) and white(left) on the other side, not both on the same side. Ground should be on a green screw attached to the metal. Breakers trip on full shorts hot touches ground or neutral. GFCIs trip when currents don't add up or some current on ground, but is not a full short, maybe a bit of water between hot and ground.
    – crip659
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 21:54

4 Answers 4


You wired the hot and neutral together.

Fix this.


There are many problems with the wiring and workmanship in the pictures:

  1. At the outlet, Power (black) and Neutral (white) are wired on the same Neutral side of the outlet. This results in a short circuit through the tab between the two screw pads. Black goes on the other side of the outlet, where the shorter slots are.

  2. Far too much wire stripped on the outlet connections. Even if the wires are attached on the correct sides of the outlet, the exposed lengths of copper can still cause a short circuit when the outlet is inserted into the box. There is usually a strip gauge stamped on the back of the outlet to show how much copper to expose. Shorten the exposed coper lengths per the gauge.

  3. The wire at the outlet is wrapped the wrong way around the screws. The wire will tend to slide out from under the screw when wrapped counter-clockwise. Wrap the wire clockwise around the screw, and use a torque screwdriver to tighten the screws properly.

  4. The wire nut for the black bundle in the junction box shows exposed copper, which indicates a possible too-loose wire nut, and may also cause short circuits with other box parts or wires.

  5. This may be due to a temporary mock-up, but the cables going into the junction box need proper cable clamps applied to the box holes.

Respectfully, there is enough problem in this project to indicate that a licensed electrician needs to help you with this project to keep you safe. Things are not safe there now.

  • Thanks for the in put everyone. I'll be redoing some things Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 0:19
  • 6. The box and cables should be fastened to a stud, not just hanging there Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 4:23
  • 7. There is bare copper showing under the wire nut on the white bundle too.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 13:11
  • Those are some good extra points! Would it be good to add them into the answer, with credit to you both? Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 14:06
  • 8. There is no cable clamp in the junction box where the Romex goes through. The cable is resting on the sharp edge of the box.
    – stevieb
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 16:16

From the new pictures you have quite a few problems. Thanks for the pictures.

On the the outlet,first problem, black goes on the other side. Not doing so created a full blown short circuit. Second problem is too much bare wire on the screws.

Should only be enough bare wire to go around the screw itself. You have 4 to 5 times too much bare wire showing from the insulation.

There is stripping gauge on the back of outlet.

Third problem is the wires on the wrong side of the screw. The loop should be the same direction as the screw tightens.

There are no cable clamps holding the cable to the box. Should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch of outside cable insulation inside the box, plus six inches of the wires.

With the wire nuts should be no bare wire showing on the insulated wires.


You created a DEAD SHORT by wiring the hot and neutral to the same side of the outlet. No wonder why the breaker trips immediately.

I don't want to be mean, but this is a VERY basic mistake and you clearly need expert help. Like Triplefault said, there are a lot of other workmanship issues going on, I don't like to say this but every once in a while I do: Get a pro.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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