Red wires


Old 11-06-02, 07:46 PM
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Replacing outlets

I keep seeing instructions to connect black to black and white to white, but what is the red wire? Is this considered hot as well? The old outlet that I removed had slots for all 3 plus the ground wire and the new outlets I see in the stores look like they only accomodate the black, white and ground. Please help!
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Old 11-06-02, 07:52 PM
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Red wires are logically the same as black wires. There are a number of "customary" uses of red wires, but the electrician is free to use a red (or blue or orange or yellow or purple) any place he might have used a black wire.

When used for receptacles, the red wire might indicate (1) that the receptacle is split wired (half on each circuit), (2) that the receptacle is controlled by 3-way switches, (3) that the receptacle is 240 volts, (4) that the receptacle is half switched and half unswitched, or (5) something else.

We need to use other clues (and sometimes tests) to determine which of the above is the correct interpretation. If you can provide more information, we might be able to figure it out. Tell us exactly how the wires were connected, tell us if the receptacle was partially or fully switched and by how many switches, what was plugged into it, what room this is in, in what city you live, and what year the house was built. These are other clues that can help a lot.
Old 11-07-02, 05:16 AM
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Also check the tab on the side of the recepticle. Is it still there connecting the to brass screws together?
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