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I am replacing an outlet in what it seemed a quite straightforward procedure. This is the original wiring: enter image description here As you can see, it's two blues, two browns and two yellow/green ones wired in six different bolts.

What I bought is this: enter image description here Featuring just three bolts.

  1. Should I assume I can connect them in pairs, in these three holes?
  2. Should I discard one of each colour an connect the three remaining ones, one in each bolt?
  3. Both options are equally fine?

I wouldn't like to end up with the flat in flames because of some stupid assumption.

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4 Answers 4

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The idea of the pairs is that the socket isn't only a socket. It acts as a bridging connector, so that one wire comes from the source and the other one, of the same color, is the "source" for the next socket.

That is called daisy-chaining. There are specific codes that describe how long that chain can be.

Should you now randomly discard one wire, then either the next sockets in the chain won't work, or this socket and the following ones won't have power or ground protection (the green-yellow one).

You must fix each pair securely in each clamp. Those solid wires are a pain to fix properly in those clamps. Should you provide a bad contact (not torquing them to spec, or missing a contact) then you have either

  • The risk of a glowing wire (you'd better not have a wooden house or old wires without fire retardants), or
  • a risk of missing protection, during accidental contact with tension aka. risk of electrocution.

Also, the green-yellow wire is holy: you must fix it to the ground clamp, not another one.

Assuming you are using a "Schuko"-receptacle: that receptacle is unpolarized. The black and blue ones can be connected interchangeably, always nonmixed, on the remaining connectors.

Shown here my collection of found bad contacts. Note the blisters in the transparent clamp and wire insulation.

enter image description here

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This outlet is daisychained and is feeding power to the next outlet in the circuit. So you will need to connect the wires together (through the outlet is fine).

Make sure that each of the wires in the new outlet are on each side of the screw, that way is will clamp properly.

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  1. Yes, you should assume you should connect them in pairs, matching colors, exactly as they are.

  2. If you leave one wire disconnected, you'll have either

    1. no power coming in because you've left the supply side hot disconnected, dangling in the ceiling, attempting to catch things on fire, or
    2. no power going out to whatever the other end is attached to because, well, it's not attached to anything.
  3. I believe you can figure out the answer to this one on your own now... ;)

Some important notes:

  • Make sure you connect the wires to the correct terminals on the new receptacle. You do NOT want to connect the hot/L1 to the receptacle then have the hot supply going out to a device that's expecting Neutral on that pin. You especially do not want to connect L1 or N to the ground pin.
  • I'm not sure of the wiring colo(u)r scheme in the UK, so before disconnecting them from the old receptacle, look for the L1/N/G labeling on it and duplicate that.
    • I always disconnect neutral from the old device, then connect it directly to neutral on the new device, then hot from old to new, then ground.
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    Assuming OP is from norway: They should have unpolarised "Schuko" receptables. So hot and neutral can be choosen freely.
    – Martin
    Aug 31, 2023 at 15:25
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    Fair enough, @Martin. A quick check of the OP's profile confirms your assumption. Remember, though, that not everyone uses a Schuko receptacle, so this is good general information - it would be quite important to wire properly here in the US, too.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 31, 2023 at 15:33
  • Yes, you are right. I'm not in Norway at the moment but the receptacle is indeed a Schuko.
    – Trikelians
    Aug 31, 2023 at 16:11
  • @FreeMan As you suggested I added the "schuko" part as an condition in my answer
    – Martin
    Sep 1, 2023 at 9:58
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If there are any instructions, it should say if the screws are good for one only or two wires.

If one only, then you pigtail/connect(wire nut, wago) the wires to another short wire(same colour) then to the screw.

The second set of three wires go to another outlet/device.

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