01 of 06
Loosen Screw on Outlet
But side wiring, favored by many electricians, is considered to be the "classic" technique for attaching the wire because it tends to grip the wires a bit tighter.
The first step is to remove the plastic face plate with a manual screwdriver. Do not use an electric drill.
Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Loosen Side Screws
Loosen the side screws with a manual screwdriver or cordless drill.
Loosen the screw without removing it. It is not easy to get the screw back in if it comes out.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Bend Wire with Screwdriver or Pliers
Some screwdrivers such as this pictured Klein have a little nub parallel to the screwdriver's shaft that allows you to bend the wire into a loop.
Another way to bend the wire is with a pair of needle nose pliers.
When bending it, do not close the loop.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Screw the Wire Down
Screw down the wire. If the wire still isn't flattened down, it's sometimes possible to force it down when screwing it in.
Make sure the wire is staying under the head of the screw. Sometimes it works its way out, so that it's no longer held by the screw.
Stop just short of screwing it in hard. Check your loop again.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Make Sure the Loop is Closed
If the loop is not closed, you need to take this opportunity to force the loop closed. Use a flathead screwdriver. This step also helps to further force the wire under the head of the screw.
Also, make sure that the loop is pointing clockwise. The reason for this is that you want the loop to close up when you tighten the screw.
Finally, for demonstration purposes, we have stripped back a generous amount of insulation from the wire. When you strip back wire, strip back the bare minimum that will... have contact with the screw.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
A Finished Side Wired Outlet
Now screw the wire down very firmly. A finished side wired electrical outlet should have a fully-looped wire tightly held under the head of the screw. A firm experimental tug should ensure that the wire won't pull out under the strain of installing the outlet.