Electrical Wiring Basic Questions

Put in a new light switch and outlet and everything seems to work fine, but was wondering about a few things.
1. The light switch did not have a ground on the old switch or the one I put in, should it? I did not see a ground wire in the box.
2. The outlet on the old switch had 8 holes to put wires in and the ground. It had 2 red, 2 black and 2 white all in holes paired up together. I put in a new outlet that only had 4 holes, so I put one red in a hole and the other red around the adjacent screw. I did this for the white and black wires as well. Is this the way to do it, or should I of wrapped 2 wires around each screw?
Thanks.
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If the box is steel, you should either have a steel cable clamped to the box, grounding it or a ground wire screwed down in the back of the box

This is peculiar, as the only reason you should have this many wires on an outlet is if part of the outlet is on a switched circuit and the other part is on a constant feed, or you have two circuits feeding the outlet. The best way to address this is by spliceing each group of wires together with a pigtail to the outlet. You can use one backstab hole and one screw for each group, but can't turn more than one wire under a screw. There are brass tabs on the sides of the outlet and my guess is that you'll need to break off the one on the hot side of the outlet to make this work properly

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grounded through the installation screws. If not, don't worry about it; you are no worse off then you were before.

wires. That should mean two separate circuits; most likely one receptacle is switched and the other isn't. Check your old outlet. See is tabs were broken off to separate the top and bottom receptacles. They almost certainly were. You will have to do the same to the new one. This might not make much sense until you see it, so google on split receptacles and see if you can find an illustration.
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Since the switch works does that mean it is grounded. Or is it possible to work even if it is not grounded?

Yes I believe that is the case. Thanks for the help.
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No.
Yes. The switch does nothing more than interrupt the hot wire to the fixture.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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