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How To Wire An Electrical Outlet In Series


If you own a home in the 02908 zip code of Elmhurst Providence County, Rhode Island, you know the importance of maintaining a safe and functional electrical system. As a homeowner, it is crucial to have the knowledge and skills to handle common electrical repairs and installations, especially when it comes to wiring electrical outlets.

It can be tempting to tackle DIY projects, but when it comes to electrical work, it is always best to leave it to the professionals. B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated business based in Warwick, RI, has been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. With a strong focus on community and customer service, B&K Electric is the go-to electrician for all your residential and business needs in the greater Providence area.

In this article, we will delve into the process of wiring an electrical outlet in series, providing a step-by-step guide for a safe and effective installation. Whether you are looking to add new outlets in your home for added convenience or need to troubleshoot an existing outlet, this article will provide you with the necessary knowledge and tips to get the job done correctly.

Understanding Series Wiring

Before we dive into the specifics of wiring an outlet in series, it is essential to understand the basics of series wiring. In simple terms, series wiring refers to connecting multiple electrical components in a single circuit, where the components are arranged one after the other.

In the case of electrical outlets, wiring them in series means connecting multiple outlets in a single circuit. This wiring method is commonly used in older homes, where outlets are often connected in series instead of parallel. However, it is essential to note that wiring outlets in parallel is the standard practice in modern homes, as it provides a more efficient and safer electrical system.

Materials Needed for Wiring an Electrical Outlet in Series

Before we get started with the step-by-step guide, it is essential to have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. These include:

– New electrical outlet

– Switch-controlled wire (also known as three-wire)

– Wire cutters

– Wire stripper

– Screwdriver

– Voltage tester

– Electrical tape

Step-by-Step Guide for Wiring an Electrical Outlet in Series

Now that we have the required materials let’s dive into the process of wiring an outlet in series, using a standard duplex outlet as an example.

Step 1: Prepare the Areas for Wiring the Outlet

Before starting any electrical work, always ensure that the power to the area is turned off. Use a voltage tester to confirm that there is no power flowing through the outlet you will be working on. Once confirmed, you can proceed to remove the faceplate and outlet cover.

Step 2: Remove the Old Outlet

Using a screwdriver, remove the screws that hold the outlet in place. Carefully pull the outlet out of the box, ensuring that the wires are not damaged in the process. Untwist and remove the wires from the old outlet.

Step 3: Prepare the Wires

Using wire strippers, remove about ¾ inch of insulation from the end of the black (hot) wire, white (neutral) wire, and the bare copper ground wire. Ensure that the wires are straight and that there is no frayed insulation.

Step 4: Connect the Wires to the New Outlet

Start by connecting the black (hot) wire to the lower brass-colored screw on the new outlet. Then, connect the white (neutral) wire to the lower silver-colored screw. Finally, connect the bare copper ground wire to the green-colored screw at the bottom of the outlet.

Step 5: Connect the Wires to the Next Outlet in the Series

Take the switch-controlled wire and connect the black (hot) wire to the upper brass-colored screw on the new outlet. Then, connect the white (neutral) wire to the upper silver-colored screw. It is essential to note that the switch-controlled wire should be connected to the upper screws on the outlet, while the wires from the power source are connected to the lower screws.

Step 6: Repeat the Process for the Remaining Outlets

If you have more outlets to wire in series, repeat the process of connecting the wires of the next outlet to the upper screws of the previous outlet. This creates a continuous flow of electricity among the outlets.

Step 7: Test the Outlet

Once all the outlets are wired, turn the power back on and use a voltage tester to ensure that there is a steady flow of electricity among the outlets.

Step 8: Secure the Outlets in Place

Once everything is working correctly, secure the outlets back into their boxes and use screwdrivers to attach the faceplates and outlet covers.

In Conclusion

In this article, we have provided a comprehensive guide on how to wire an electrical outlet in series. If you are not comfortable handling electrical work on your own, it is always best to hire a licensed electrician for your own safety and the safety of your home.

Remember, B&K Electric is here to help with all your electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation needs in Warwick and the greater Providence area. Our experienced and friendly electricians will ensure that your electrical system is safe and functional, giving you peace of mind. Let us be your go-to electrician for all your residential and business needs. Contact us today!


Wiring an Electrical Outlet in Series,

Electrical Repair,

Residential Electrical Services.