Our Kitchen Oulet

Last July, my coffeemaker quit working. I quickly realized it was the upper wall outlet that was the problem. I figured what the heck; I will pull the old duplex outlet out and replace it. It is under the window so maybe it got “watered” sometime.

That was when I realized our outlets did not have the little screw to hold the face plate on them! I had never noticed nor I had to remove one! But Donna knew even though she didn’t recall it!

When she painted my bedroom, she removed the faceplate by snapping it off the box. This is a modular home so there are some differences from standard practices. Also being perpendicular is optional! (The dirt on the wall is from the dog turning around and lying down between my bed and the wall. It is impossible to keep clean.)

So I popped the cover off and revealed a thing I had never seen.

The wires enter this box and when the back is pressed in place, they are crimped through the insulation for a connection. Quick and dirty. Only one of the wires had become disconnected on one outlet. I tried to press it back in place and reinstall the box. It didn’t work; one of the tabs that hold the box chewed through the sheetrock and it protruded. But it did work! I was in a hurry and put electrical tape to cover the crack.

Half-assed but I would need to buy a finish electrical box to do it right. Eventually I got the box but, since it was working, this project got postponed. Until my coffeemaker quit working again! Messing with my morning coffee is a motivator! Lol.

I found the extra outlets and faceplates and prepared to do battle. When I picked up the outlet to begin, birdseed fell out of the outlet! Apparently a mouse decided this was what the ground port was for! We store a lot of stuff in an area outdoors but out of the weather! We live with nature. 🙂

Actually, I was hoping it would be easy. Wrong. The kitchen is wired with #12 wire which is a bit stiff and uncooperative! While struggling with installing the new box and outlet, I realized the old and the new outlets were rated for 15 amps. According to electrical code, a kitchen circuit must be rated for 20 amps, hence the #12 wire. But a 15 amp outlet is designed for #14 wire, much smaller in diameter! And easier to bend. No wonder the outlet quit working since the two cables coming in made a sharp bend to connect. And to enter the new box.

So I struggled to make the connections but finally prevailed, given enough large tools! Lol. And forced it back into the wall!

Now it looks like an electrical box with an outlet instead of just an outlet stuck in the wall. Yeah, it is a little crooked from those cables pulling the box and outlet sideways but close enough for who it’s for!

The torn sheetrock paper looks bad. Maybe we will paint it white or something but that can’t be helped. This is the only outlet in the house (so far) that has a faceplate screw!

And it works! I can get my morning coffee without messing around with plugs!

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1 Comment

  1. Annie R2P

     /  September 5, 2011

    As long as you have a ground wire I suppose it doesn’t matter if the faceplate has a screw. When I owned my insurance agency, my underwriting dept made me go out and check on an older apt complex to be sure the electrical was done correctly. There were screws in the faceplates but no ground wires. I was unscrewing one of the faceplates and it sparked! That was the end of that. I lost the sale, because we wouldn’t underwrite it, but I was more concerned about the people living in an entire buidling with no grounding on their electrical.

    My dad was an electrician for his whole life. Seeing that scenario would have really pissed him off.

    Reply

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