Help with outlet wiring


  #1  
Old 04-14-04, 04:47 PM
sfinnerty1
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Red face Help with outlet wiring

I was trying to replace an older bathroom outlet (which wasn';t working) with a new GFCI one and ran into something strange. The are two 3-wire lines into the box. I tried hookking blacks on that side and the white in the side indicated for them, the twisted ground line I connected to the grounding screw of the new outlet.

It didn't work but I discovered something unique when I put a line test on it. If I touch the bare ground wire and the black one (from right Romex, it sees 110, similarly if I touch the bare ground wire to the white (also right Romex feed) I see voltage. The left Romdex (either black or white) with the bare ground show no power. Any other combinations of white and black shows no power. What am I doing wrong here?

Any insight/hile would be most appreciated. HELP!

Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 04-14-04, 05:08 PM
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Is it the test instrument?

What type of test instrument are you using to do the testing?
--
Tom Horne
 
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Old 04-14-04, 05:24 PM
sfinnerty1
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Outlet problem

I was using a simply LED device which has two prong which you insert into the outlet. It reflect 110 or 220 voltage being present. I tested it on several working outlets and it appears to be working okay.

Any help is most appreciate.
 
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Old 04-14-04, 06:34 PM
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remove the gfi completely from the outlet. How many wires are coming out of the box? If only 3 wires are present, then you connect only 3 wires from the gfi to the box. the extra 3 wires are for protecting more outlets downstream. connect the 3 wires from the box to the mains from the gfi, not the load wires on the gfi, leaving the extra 3wires unattached.
good luck, snuffs
 
  #5  
Old 04-14-04, 08:03 PM
sfinnerty1
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SNUFS,

Thanks for the reply. The box has two Romex cables (each with one black, one white and a bare/uninsultated ground wire) which both enter the box fro the bottom. I had assumed that one was the main power coming in and the other went to power another outlet somewhere in the house. The two bare ground wires are twisted together to form one ground line. I should point out the the old outlet was not a GFI and both of the black and white lines were connected to it along with the combined bare ground line.

Since I see power on one set of the white and black (when I touch the test against either and the bare ground) I assume that is the main power coming in.

What should I do wire the other three wires? Just cap them off and tape them? Would that kill the power to any other outlets?

I really appreciate your help/advise. Thanks again.

Steve F.
 
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Old 04-14-04, 08:17 PM
J
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First of all, it is surely a mistake to simply cap off any of these wires.

Second, if it wasn't working before, it probably won't work now either. The fact that you can measure voltage to ground from the white wire surely indicated that you have an open circuit on the white wire.

The problem is not in this box, and cannot be fixed by messing with the wires in this box. The problem is in some other nearby box.
 
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Old 04-14-04, 09:34 PM
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Find the open in the neutral.

Get help from another family member. open all the doors between the outlet box and the house's electrical panel. Have your helper open one breaker at a time for ten seconds each. When you see the hot disappear at the box you are working in YELL off. Your helper then leaves that breaker off. Now only the one breaker that controls the power to that outlet's circuit is off. Test the other outlets to find out which ones are also off. Starting with the outlet nearest the one you have been working on open each in turn up until you find one with a bad connection on the neutral. Repair the fault and reassemble the outlet. Restore power. You're done.
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Tom Horne
 
 

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