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Changing outlets with multiple wires

We are replacing switches and outlets in our 1977 home. All of the switches swapped out with no issues. As for our outlets we ran into 2 issues. First issue is that the wires don't fit into the holes in the back so we wrapped the wires around the screws which is fine but that brought us to the second issue. Half of the outlets in our home have 6-7 wires instead of 4-5 wires. With not being able to put them in the holes in the back we can't wrap 2 of the wires around the screws. The outlets we bought are 15amp that fit a 14g wire. The wires in our home must be 12g since they won't fit. I know a 20amp outlet would fit the wires then we could plug 4 in and wrap the other 2 just like its set up now. We need to know if a 20amp would be ok and why half the outlets have so many wires? Wondering if it would be better to have an electrician come change them or if we can get enough information to change them ourselves. Thank you 
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Posted 2015-06-25T05:35:00+0000  by Regan Regan
First off "back stabbing" receptacles is generally frowned upon by electricians (or at least the good ones).  While technically approved, it's  common source of problems.  The reason that some of your wires don't fit is that the rules have been changed to only allow back stabbing with 14 ga. wire, so new receptacles have a smaller hole.  The correct procedure is to "pigtail" - where a group of wires is twisted together with a short piece of wire (about 6") that goes to the device. 

It's very important to use the correct size wire nut.  The package will list the approved size and number of wires that can be used with that wire nut.  The wire used for the pigtail must be the same size (or larger) than the rest of the wires.

A receptacle rated for 15 amps CAN be used on a 20 amp circuit so long as there is MORE than one receptacle on the circuit.

Especially in older homes, it's common to see rules broken when homeowners and other less than qualified people do electrical work.  This may be a good time to have a licensed electrician look things over.

Best Answer

Posted 2015-06-25T10:38:50+0000  by Adam444
Thank you for the information. I will be contacting a licensed electrician to come in and look over everything. We just bought the house a couple months ago and from what it looks like it isn't up to code. All of the outlets we've already changed were set up the "back stabbing" way. 
Posted 2015-06-25T18:02:53+0000  by Regan
Which electrician you hired? Electricity is vital in every room in your home, and an electrician's services can be used to improved ambiance and function throughout the property. The residential electricians handles problems in the home, and services for the home. One of my friend, facing the electricity problems hired the electrician NJ and discussed his electrical improvement problems in detail.
Posted 2016-11-26T06:39:17+0000  by LizabethStull
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