Electrical Wiring in the Home/Replacing an outlet


QUESTION: Hi, I'm replacing an old outlet with a GFCI outlet in my kitchen. The old outlet had two hot wires, two neutral wires, and two wires feeding the dishwasher jumped in with the top pair of hot and neutral wires. I'm concerned about the two bottom wires having power, I don't know why they do...thank you in advance for your help!


When everything is disconnected, only one hot wire should have power. There could be two circuits in that box. Normally dishwashers should be on their own circuit. Is it possible that one set of wires coming in go only to the dishwasher, and the other set of wires coming in go only to the outlet?  When changing an outlet, switch, or light, it is best to disconnect only the wires going to the device and wire the new one exactly the same.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: That does make sense.. Thank you very much for your prompt reply, I just have a couple more questions. The new outlet is GFCI, so the back of the top outlet is marked as line, and the back of the bottom outlet is load. The old outlet had the two small dishwasher wires jumped in behind the top outlet with one of the hot pairs.. So could/should I hook up the (previously on bottom) pair of wires onto the line, and then hook the dishwasher and others pair to the load? Would that be okay to hook tat pair of hot wires onto a load? I'm just trying to make sure I don't blow my new outlet, or hurt anything else. Thank you!!

Dishwashers do not need to be protected by a GFCI, so they should not go to the load side.  Did you check to be sure that only one set of wires is hot when you had everything disconnected? Was there anything connected on the load side before?  If not, then you shouldn't change it.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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