Weird Outlets

I started getting the measurements for the baseboard and figured, while I’m on the floor, I’ll swap out the outlets. This ended up not being as straight forward as it has been for me in other rooms so I thought I would share what I do when something doesn’t look like the youtube video.

All of the outlets in this room are cream and I want white. This is just an easy little update that I think, combined with other easy, little updates, adds up and leaves the impression of a home well cared for. I think this helps when selling the house. I’d rather do this a bit at a time than try to do it all at once when I decide to sell the house. Besides, I want to enjoy the pretty updates too and not just make them for a stranger.

I did my usual power off routine where I turn off the power at the circuit breaker but I still check every outlet with my voltage tester. I do this every time because I have a room with one outlet on a different breaker so I’m super careful about this.

As soon as I got the old outlet off, I saw that I didn’t recognize the configuration at all. I have the new outlet in my left hand and the old one to the right of it. The new ones have screws on the sides of the outlet but this old one had the wires going in the back of the outlet.

I stopped what I was doing and started watching youtube videos. Fortunately, I found one that sort of applied to my situation.

This was very helpful except my outlet didn’t quite match his. I had little slots in a different place but putting my screwdriver in there didn’t release the wires at all. I finally just got frustrated and cut the wires.

Once I had the old outlet out of there, I could easily, and quickly, replace it with the new one. The very next outlet though gave me pause again. This one, only had one set of wires for some reason. The other had two white and two black. This only had one of each.

OK. This must be one of those annoying outlets where one of them doesn’t work. But why would someone do that? I decided I’d figure out how to fix it later but would at least get this replaced now so I swapped it out with the new one.

The last outlet really confused me. This one had an extra wire. Now there were three white and three black. Why?

Another problem was that the outlet was giving me some hot readings. Enough, and consistently that I just wasn’t comfortable mucking about with it. I took a little video so you could see the reading I kept getting.

Because of this, I decided it just wasn’t worth it. I didn’t know what the extra wire was for or if I could just tuck it away. So I put the old outlet back and left it alone. This might be a good job for an electrician. I think when I have one here for this outlet, I’ll get the outlet with fewer wires fixed so both outlets work. It shouldn’t be an expensive job and it’s just worth it to have an expert do it right.

As usual, I was well supervised.

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