Receptacle/Wiring Help, Please!!!

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Old 08-17-02, 01:19 PM
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ble
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Question Receptacle/Wiring Help, Please!!!

My house is only 2 years old. A few days ago, I heard a buzz and noticed sparks in one of the receptacles so I turned it off at the electrical panel in the basement. The receptacle was damaged and must have been for quite some time. I bought a new receptacle and connected the wires (pink, black, white, and ground) EXACTLY (believe me!) as they had been. I have been trying to turn the circuit back on at the electrical panel and it would not trip all the way back and would not turn on. Is there something wrong with the wiring? Please help!!! Thank you.

P.S. Oh, and I had no problem turning the circuit back on after disconnecting the new receptacle so my concern is that whether the old one was installed properly.
 
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Old 08-17-02, 01:22 PM
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The breaker may have to be pushed all the way to the off position and then to the on position after it has been tripped to reset it.

Kay
 
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Old 08-17-02, 01:26 PM
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You have a split-wired receptacle. Look closely at the old receptacle you removed. You will see that the two brass-colored screws are not connected to each other. Now look at your new receptacle -- you will notice that these same two screws are connected by a brass tab. This tab is designed to be broken out. Do so.
 
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Old 08-17-02, 01:37 PM
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John,

So not only when replacing a recepticle wiring exactly as it was on the old one, we also need to check the the tabs between the screws... how did you know that this was a split-wired recepticle? Is the pink wire?

The reason that I'm asking is that you gave me instructions on how to split wire a recepticle so that one half is switched and the other always hot. Do I need to note this somewhere so if we sell the house the next owner won't be at a total loss if there is problems? We don't plan to sell, but would hate for someone else to go through what we are with this house if we decided to later on down the line.

Kay
 
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Old 08-17-02, 01:52 PM
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Re: Receptacle/Wiring Help, Please!!!

John, you're absolutely correct. Who would have thought? Thank you so much for the tip, it worked.

Kay, thanks also.
 
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Old 08-17-02, 01:56 PM
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Kay,

Since we're not there, almost all response in this forum are somewhat guesses. Sometimes pretty confident guesses, sometimes wild guesses.

The presense of both a black and red wire, combined with the described problem of not being able to reset the breaker, very strongly suggests a multiwire circuit where each half of the receptacle is wired to one hot. I'm about 95% confident in my original answer.

A half-switched receptacle often looks exactly the same as this case, and it also requires the tab to be broken out. However, half-switched receptacles are usually not on multiwire circuits, and the red and black wires are usually on the same phase. If you forget to break out the tab in this situation, you find that your switch doesn't seem to work -- but you won't trip the breaker.

So my answer is an educated guess based on the reported wiring, the reported problem, and the knowledge that failure to break out the tab when replacing receptacles is an extremely common mistake. Most people have never even noticed that there is a tab there.

You don't need to note a half-switched receptacle. Despite the fact that not everyone is aware of them, they are extremely common, especially in living rooms and other rooms with no overhead lighting fixture.
 
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Old 08-17-02, 02:45 PM
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Thank you for explaining that further for me.

Kay
 
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