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What I thought would be an easy task - receptacle replacement

What I thought would be an easy task - receptacle replacement

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  #1  
Old 01-07-05, 10:08 AM
Trabecca
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What I thought would be an easy task - receptacle replacement

I have a receptacle in bathroom that has a test button. A metal hair band came into contact with something that was plugged in and started throwing sparks. I went and bought a new receptacle, but someone else removed the old one before I could see how it was wired. I spoke with the people at Home Depot, but they could never get past the fact that there are no black wires, only light brown and white. I could swear I've tried every combination, and was able to get the plug to work, but then the other plugs on circuit wouldn't work. Took back and got another one hoping it was faulty receptacle. Question: What wires hook up where? The wires are light brown and white, NO black wires. There is a grounding wire also. One wire group(?) contains one white and one brown wire and the other wire group contains one white and one brown wire. Which wires are the hot and which are the load? No, I know nothing about wiring except to turn off the main breaker before I do anything. Is one set of the wires (brown/white) hot and the load? I would think the hot wires would be the same color.

Because the receptacle is in a tight spot, I hate to think of going through the 20 combinations. I would appreciate any enlightment. Thanks in advance
 
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  #2  
Old 01-07-05, 11:01 AM
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Do you live in the U.S.A?

You need to tell us how many wires are connected to the receptalce and their colors.

Thanks
 
  #3  
Old 01-07-05, 11:06 AM
Trabecca
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Yes, I live in the US.

There are a total of 5 wires. One ground, two white and two light brown.
 
  #4  
Old 01-08-05, 12:41 PM
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someone else removed the old one before I could see how it was wired
Boy do I hate it when that happens. It makes the job ten times harder than it should have been.

You removed a GFCI receptacle. Did you buy a new GFCI receptacle to replace it? If not, you need to.

Which wires are the hot and which are the load?
With the old receptacle already removed, it's harder to tell. But modern GFCIs have a little red light that tells you if it's wired backwards (i.e., if the power feed is on the load side). You can also use a voltmeter or circuit tester to figure out which is line and which is load. Do you have either?

they could never get past the fact that there are no black wires, only light brown and white
Brown is just as good as black for a hot wire.

One brown/white pair is "line" and the other brown/white pair is "load". If you have a voltage detector, the pair that registers voltage (with the breaker on and all wires separated) is the "line". Or you could just guess. The little red light on the GFCI will tell you whether you got it right or not.

Read the full page of instructions in tiny print that come with your new GFCI.
 
  #5  
Old 01-08-05, 12:44 PM
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I bet those brown wires are really black wires that have faded. I have quite a few that are like that.
 
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