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I was replacing an outlet and saw this. It Looks like a wire got split in half and joined together to create a new outlet. Is it safe?

  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs in Home Improvement
    – Scott Seidman
    Aug 14 '16 at 18:31
  • I'm assuming there was twist nuts and a short wire to the outlet? Or did they screw down the joints to the outlet screw?
    – cde
    Aug 14 '16 at 18:43
  • This is European, it's 2 prongs for power. There was just a receptacle and the wires were inside its back holes with a clamp screw. There was nothing else other than that.
    – Altoban
    Aug 14 '16 at 18:50

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This is obviously unsafe. There are two problems:

  • Safety: the wires are uninsulated at their joints and present a shock hazard.
  • Connection: the wires are twisted together with no screw clamping. As they oxidise the resistance will increase and may over time develop into a hotspot with arcing and potential to start a fire.
  • It was inside the outlet that I removed. I removed the receptacle that this wire was inside its back hole with clamp screws. I wanted to replace receptacle but found this and don't know what to do. Obviously I wasn't planning on leaving it exposed. Should I put it in a receptacle while making sure insulation covers all, or abandon this outlet?
    – Altoban
    Aug 14 '16 at 18:28
  • It would be unwise for me to advise you. We have no idea what the wires are for (lighting, power, doorbell), what the colour code is and there is no earth. Sorry.
    – Transistor
    Aug 14 '16 at 18:57
  • It's European, color code doesn't matter as its for 2 prongs. It's for power. It's normal for tgere to be no earth, not sure why.
    – Altoban
    Aug 14 '16 at 18:58
  • 1
    I live in Ireland which is part of Europe. It's not a standard colour code and earth is essential on an power outlet.
    – Transistor
    Aug 14 '16 at 19:00
  • 1
    I live in the UK which is (for the moment anyway) part of Europe. There are standards. You must adhere to the standards. If you are unsure what you are doing with mains electricity then pay someone who does know what they are doing to do it for you. That means call in a qualified electrician.
    – Majenko
    Aug 14 '16 at 19:15

In the USA it is a code violation to have two wires joined together anywhere except inside a box. If an outlet is abandoned, the joined wires would still need to be in a box with a cover on it. It might be a code violation to abandon the outlet because that would result in fewer outlets than required for the room. You may find similar code requirements in your area.


It's good. Just apply some more insulating tape. I disagree on answer posted by Transistor, the wire wrapping method gives the best contact, better than screw contact. Even today you we use wire twist connectors, which is just an evoultion of twist and insulating tape. No oxidizing or bu..it happens, this happens if you bind two different materials, like screw, tin,...Just twist firmly two copper wires together and you'll forget forever. Wasn't this working until now? Sure it was, becuse it's the right way of doing it.


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