Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Electrical - AC & DC
Reload this Page >

repaced all outlets and light switchs in house tariler and got all circuits to work,

repaced all outlets and light switchs in house tariler and got all circuits to work,


  #1  
Old 12-23-04, 08:02 AM
bobb
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Exclamation repaced all outlets and light switchs in house tariler and got all circuits to work,

hi,

A few weeks ago i took on the task of trying to diagnose the problem in a house trailer which lost power to outlets and switches in a few rooms.I repaced all the original outlets and switches, the non strip snap in type outlets/switches with the screw terinal type ( and used the screw terminal, not back stabs) and pigtails for grounding outlets. I found a few outlets that were burned pretty bad, and after replacing them, a few others that piggy-backed off them now worked. Last problem after replacing all outlets/switches was still no power on two 15 amp circuits that fed some lights and outlets.I found a dead short in the porch light, fixed it and got power to one of the kitchen ceiling lights, but it kept tripping a breaker. I took the light complety out of the circuit and the breaker did not trip. I check the fixture it was ok. I took all the wires aprart coming into the light fixture, there were 3 romex cables coming in. Found the hot (blk) and wired the that cieling light to the switch on wall. It worked, found the hot on the outside light(wht) wired it through switch it worked, hooked wht wire from seiling light fixture to hot to feed other light on ceiling, it worked, and all of the lights and outlets that were dead now worked! but i still have a blk lead hooked to nothing! its dead too. why? All the outlets r wired correctly, blk to gold term, wht to silver term, grn to grnd. I put a wire nut on the the blk wire and taped it, and shoved it in the wall. should this wire be in the loop? did i maybe pass over it in some way? every outlet/switch works fine tho. another question. i noticed that the breakers for the kitchen r 20amp, the outlets that i replaced in the kitchen are 125V 15amp, i just put in what i took out. should the outlets be a heavier amperage? Or r the breakers just 20amp for surge protection, for like the fridge, mircrowave, and toaster???

bobb
 
  #2  
Old 12-23-04, 08:33 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
I repaced all the original outlets and switches
Are you aware of the purpose of the tab on each side of a receptacle, and did you make note of the existence or absense of the tabs on each receptacle you removed?

I found a dead short in the porch light
Are you aware that there are conditions in which connecting a white wire to a black wire is normal and in fact essential? How did you determine that this "dead short" was indeed a dead short? Did your change create a problem that did not exist before?
 
  #3  
Old 12-23-04, 08:40 AM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,246
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
In the US it is within code and perfectly acceptable to have 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit, provided that the wiring is at least 12 gage.

This is allowed because the receptacle itself can safely handle the higher ampacity. One need only use 20 amp receptacles if one has devices that have 20 amp plugs.
 
  #4  
Old 12-23-04, 09:33 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
Posts: 969
Upvotes: 0
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
To the best of my knowledge, 20 amp receptacles are only required on a dedicated 20 amp circuit consisting of one single (not duplex) receptacle. Example: a 120v air conditioner with a single receptacle located near the A/C and nothing else on the circuit. Of course, if you have a device that has a 20 amp plug it will physically not fit in a 15 amp rated receptacle and you will have to change the receptacle to a 20 amp rated model. Also, 20 amp rated receptacles have one of the slots shaped like a sideways "T" and both 15 amp and 20 amp plugs will fit. You may install 20 amp receptacles where only 15 amp receptacles are required. That is your option and is OK.

Juice
 
  #5  
Old 12-23-04, 07:11 PM
bobb
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Exclamation trailer wiring, with extra black lead.

I dont really know why the porch light was shorted. The wht lead coming into the porch light was the only hot wire, it was connected to two other wht wires. I switched the hot wht wire to the two blk leads and it worked fine. and the ceiling light worked fine as well, and the all of the other outets and switches worked also. I have to admit, i was hiting and missing. I dont understand about the tabs? The original outlets/switches were just the type of units , that u pulled the back off and pushed the wires into it, non stripped, and snapped the cover back on. I replaced them all with conventional screw terminal outlets/switches. I did notice that some of the switches had the wht wire running through the switch unbroken, and the blk wire was break for the switch, while others were opposite. there was no power getting to the kitchen light fixtures on that ciucuit at all till i started to replace the outlets in the bedroom adjacent to the kitchen. When i replaced the first outlet, and turned on the breaker, it tripped, so i eliminated the outlet wired blk to blk, wht to wht, and it tripped again. so that told me it was down the line, thats when i messed with the ceiling light and porch light, and it all began to work! do u think its ok this way?, im alittle confused!!!!!
bobb
 
  #6  
Old 12-23-04, 07:51 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
I have to admit, i was hiting and missing
This statement is a very, very scary thing. Not everything that works is safe. Repeat: not everything that works is safe! By just "hitting and missing", you risk making it work but later electrocuting somebody. I strongly suggest you have this whole thing checked out by a pro. Immediately!
 
  #7  
Old 12-23-04, 08:28 PM
bobb
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Exclamation hitting and missing

! wired the switches for the porch light and the kitchen ceiling light in series of course, and they worked, and then all the outher outlets and switches followed suit. maybe they were not wired correctly to begin with? As far as getting electrucuted, how? the grnds r all in place, and if an electrictrian is testing arounfd in there, he should know that the color code does not always follow suit, depending on who wired it. im just curious about the dead blk wire. and pls explain the tabs!

bobb
 
  #8  
Old 12-23-04, 09:27 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
The tabs are used to split-wire a receptacle. This is used for several different reasons.
  • If you breaker out the tab on the brass-screw side, you can connect a switched hot to one side and an unswitched hot to the other side. This allows you to have a half-switched receptacle, quite common in living rooms, and for garbage disposals. The tab is left in place on the silver-screw side.
  • Breaking out the tab on the brass-screw side is often used to split wire a receptacle on a multiwire circuit. This allows each half of the receptacle to be on one hot wire of the multiwire circuit. Again, the tab on the silver-screw side is left alone. A lot of kitchen circuits in Canada are wired this way, but it isn't used much in the U.S. due to modern GFCI requirements.
  • You can breaker out the tab on both sides to split wire a receptacle to two independent circuits. The hot and neutral of one circuit connects to the top half and the hot and neutral of the other circuit connects to the bottom half. People seem to like this in workshops.
I have no idea about the dead black wire. Could be numerous possible explanations.
 
  #9  
Old 12-23-04, 11:54 PM
bobb
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Exclamation splitting tabs on outlets

john,

I didnt split any tabs on any outlets. i simply replaced the outlets wire for wire as they were wired originally to the new outlets. the only wirering i did, was on the one kitchen lamp fixture and porch light. I took all the leads apart from the kitchen ceiling fixture, and then found the hot (blk) wire feed, I connected the hot blk lead to the wht lead going to the wall switch, then the blk lead from the wall switch back to the blk lead going to the fixture, and then the wht lead back to the common. it worked. then coneccted the other blk lead from ceiling fixture to blck leads hoping to power the porchlight, it shorted out, so i conenected the wht lead to the black leads, and got a hot wht lead at porch light. Wired it in series with the wall switch, and it to worked, and the other lights and outlets all powered up. every single light and outlet on those two breakers were hot!, but one blk dead wire left. i want to know, in ur honest opion, is there ia problem? I installed 36 outlets and switches, and they all work, should i worry about that one dead wire???

bobb
 
  #10  
Old 12-24-04, 08:04 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
I didnt split any tabs on any outlets
Yes, but were any of the tabs removed on the receptacles you took out? It's bad to remove a tab when you shouldn't, but it's worse to leave one there when you should remove it.

I'm having trouble understanding your descriptions. I didn't see anything obviously wrong though. One possibility is that you have misidentified the cables. For example, you mention the "wht lead going to the wall switch." But what if that isn't where it really goes?
 
  #11  
Old 12-24-04, 09:10 AM
bobb
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Exclamation wht wire going to wall switch

John,

the wht wire did go to the wall switch, i checked it for continuity. the ceiling light and porch light r wired correctly, a simple series circuit and both work, and after i wired them like that, everything else got power. it is typical in a house trailer to run one hot the lenth of the trailer and tap into it for all the lights and outlets, correct? and then do the same for the next circuit. there is only one twin 15 amp breaker running the two cicuits ive been working on, and the one breaker was tripping all the time, till i took the wires completly out of the ceiling light and porch light and wired them in series with the wall switchs, the both lights worked, and all the dead switches and outlets now have power also. so i beleive i wired the lights correctly, but just dont know why that "lone" blk wire is left doing nothing!!! if something was wired wrong, it would trip the breaker/s, its not, there r no opens, and if there were two many outlets on one breaker it would trip due to overload, it has, so far, so i think its wired ok. the wires in the two lights, are the ONLY wires i may have changed, all the rest was just moved from the old outlets switches to new ones. also, the old outlets and switches had no tabs that could be removed, there were not ur garden type varity outlet/ switches! they were cheap trailer crap! i installed the reg house type outlets/switches.

well i dont know what to do but to keep an eye out for unusual breaker activity.

bobb
 
  #12  
Old 12-27-04, 09:54 AM
dougm's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Colony, Texas
Posts: 852
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Bobb, Sorry if this is redundant, but there's a lot to read through... Where is the lone black wire. Is it in a switch box? outlet box? fixture box?

Doug M.
 
  #13  
Old 12-28-04, 08:14 AM
bobb
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Exclamation

doug,
The blck wire is in the light fixture in the kitchen, and the porch light just off the kitchen is tied into that light also but now works, the lone blk wire has to be coming from one of the other two romex cables coming into light, cause the other romex cable coming into the fixture is a hot, (blk( nertral wht) and grnd. all i know is when both the ceiling light and porch light were wired to the two switches i unstalled in a 2 gang box near the back door allthe other switches/outlets i insalled worked aslo. And i replaced every single outlet/switch in trailer. I also checked see if the load for the 2 breakers that r on the cicuirts were more or lest even, and they looked good, about the same amount of switches/outlets spread across both circuits. One of the blk wires in the porch light fixture was connected to the a wire coming from the light fixture, what was strange is inside the wire nut, it had one of those types of brass collars slipped over the wires, u know the kind u use for crinpining togethrg grnd wires in fixures, but it was just around the wires, not crimpped, so i took it out and cut back the wiress like the others and stripped and rewired the fixure and threw away the collar.

the whole trailer seems to work fine.. any ideas???
bobb
 
  #14  
Old 12-28-04, 10:37 PM
dougm's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Colony, Texas
Posts: 852
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
There's got to be a white wire that goes with that lone black wire and I'll bet there's something somewhere that doesn't work. Count the blacks and whites and see if you have the same number of both. You might check under the trailer for a plug (for heat tape...). If you can't find anything, cap off the "lone black" so it's safe and wait. Something will probably turn up eventually.

Doug M.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: