How to Wire a Duplex Outlet

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The duplex outlet (two 120V electrical outlets, one over the other) is one of the commonest types of electrical outlet configurations. If you're remodeling, adding an addition, or maintaining your home, knowing how to wire a duplex outlet properly is an important skill to have in your repertoire.

  • Turn off the power to the circuit at the breaker box. If you're not completely certain about which circuit supplies power to the circuit, turn off the main power switch.

  • Strip the wires that will be connected to the outlet. The wiring leading to the outlet will have black and white wires in the cable -- strip the insulation back 3/4 of an inch to expose the bare wire. If your outlet is on the end of a circuit, you'll have one cable leading to it. If the outlet is part of a larger circuit, you'll have one cable leading to it, and another leading to the next outlet

  • Connect the bare lead of the black wire to the brass-colored screw on the side of the outlet. Connect the black wire going to the next outlet (if necessary) to the other screw. On the other side of the outlet, connect the white wire to the silver screw, and the white wire leading to the next outlet (if necessary) to the other silver screw.

  • Mount the outlet into the gang box (wall box), using the screw holes on the tabs at the top of the outlet. Cover with an outlet plate.

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