09:55AM | 05/28/05
Member Since: 05/25/05
4 lifetime posts

As I'm replacing the bad receptacles in my house, I have come across two variations on end of run wiring.

The first was when I was replacing a two prong outlet with a self-grounding outlet. The old outlet was wired white wire to top silver screw, black wire to bottom brass screw, and I wired the replacement receptacle in kind.

The second variation was when replacing a more recent grounded outlet. This one was wired white wire to bottom silver screw, black wire to bottom brass screw. I wired the replacement the same way.

Are both variations acceptable? I've been looking in my how-to books and I've seen both variations in the illustrations/photos -- not sure if that's because both are OK or because of sloppy how-to book editing. The text really doesn't address the point.

I always thought white top black bottom was the correct way.


10:49AM | 05/28/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
At first I thought that you where talking about horizontaly mounted receptacles.

But possibley you are talking about the more common vertical but asking about which one of the pair of terminals that there are on each side.

Either one can be used.

However, the most logical connections would be to use "pair". That is both top or both bottom. The reason beign is that if it is not end of run and you feed through the receptacle (rather than pigtailing) it would be confusing.

And if you every split the receptacle (break the tabs) on both not and neutral then you would need to keep them paired. That is not done very often, but can be done.


11:37AM | 05/28/05
Member Since: 05/25/05
4 lifetime posts
Yes, I was talking about vertically mounted receptacles. This last one I replaced was wired bottom/bottom, and I've only ever seen end of run receptacles wired top/bottom before.

Bottom/bottom makes the most sense to me because as you said, if there were ever to be another outlet down the line, then it's easier to wire.

Thanks for the help,



05:55PM | 05/28/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
What you see is the result of the installer wiring to the top screw then rotating the receptacle and wiring to the top screw again. The end result is one wire on top, one wire on bottom.

Tom O

03:43PM | 05/29/05
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
I can't state that all receptacles come this way, but all the brands that I use come with one white and one brass screw backed out. Most likely, whoever installed your receptacles used the screws that were backed out rather than waste time backing out another one so that the receptacle would be wired top - top or bottom- bottom.

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