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Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 41
Experience:  Journeyman Electrician, Lead Man (Sub-Foreman) at Romanoff Electric
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When replacing a receptacle outlet, does it matter if you

Customer Question

When replacing a receptacle outlet, does it matter if you put the black and white on the top or the bottom screw? I understand that one goes on each side. I am replacing a midcircuit receptacle the blacks and white are pigtailed.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  JACUSTOMER-1eysp1u4- replied 4 months ago.

Hello, welcome to Just Answer/Pearl my name is***** will try to answer your electrical question today !

It does not matter if it's on the top or bottom screw as long as the tab that connects the two screw plates is still intact, the small (usually brass in color tab) is designed to be removed if you have a room , like a bedroom, that may have receptacles controlled by a wall switch so if you plug a lamp into one half of the receptacle (usually top if I recall) the wall switch can turn that lamp on as if it were a normal ceiling light.

So long story short if the little brass tabs are still intact on both sides of the receptacle it doesn't matter if you hook wires to the top or bottom because the screw plates have a continuous path between them for each Hot and neutral side top and bottom.

Expert:  JACUSTOMER-1eysp1u4- replied 4 months ago.

I hope that answers your question today, if not we can continue our thread as long as it remains open, please do not forget to rate me and have a wonderful day !

Customer: replied 4 months ago.

So, I will place the black in the gold bottom screw and the white in the silver bottom screw. That should energize the entire outlet?

Expert:  JACUSTOMER-1eysp1u4- replied 4 months ago.

Yes sir, as long as those little tabs are intact the entire receptacle top and bottom will function properly.

Expert:  JACUSTOMER-1eysp1u4- replied 4 months ago.

Hello Dan,

Did my answer prove to be correct, and do you still need assistance ?

Expert:  JACUSTOMER-1eysp1u4- replied 3 months ago.

I have not heard from you in a few days Dan, it seems that my answer likely proved accurate, please do not forget to rate me soon, and have a wonderful holiday weekend !

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