Changed outlets, now breaker trips

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Old 03-01-10, 01:44 PM
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Changed outlets, now breaker trips

Just replaced 5 old outlets in the living room, but now the breaker trips when there is power to that circuit.

Help needed to determine how I mucked something this simple up

- 3 of the outlets are not grounded: 1 black wire in, 1 white wire out.
- 1 of the grounded outlets has 1 black + 1 white + ground in, and 1 black + 1 white + ground out.
- the other grounded outlet has 1 black + 1 neutral + ground in, 3 black + 3 neutral + ground out (hot and neutral wire go to the outlet, then pigtailed to two additional wires respectively after the outlet).
 
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Old 03-01-10, 02:33 PM
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Did any of the receptacles have a red wire? Are any controlled by a switch? Are any of the wires in the box with more then two sets of wires on different circuits? If any of the above are true post back. If not go to the second paragraph.

I'd start with the two receptacles with grounds. Pull the receptacles out be sure the bare ground wire isn't touching. Leaving it hanging out try the breaker. If it trips reinstall and move on to the other receptacle with ground and repeat. If that doesn't solve it move on to the other receptacles.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-01-10 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 03-01-10, 03:12 PM
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Hi Ray!

Okay I pulled out the receptacle with the 3 sets of wires and made sure the bare ground wire wasn't touching anything, and the breaker didn't flip this time (and I was able to plug something in and it worked). So what's the cause of the problem, and how do I avoid it when I put that receptacle back in place??
 
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Old 03-01-10, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rudeboy View Post
Hi Ray!

Okay I pulled out the receptacle with the 3 sets of wires and made sure the bare ground wire wasn't touching anything, and the breaker didn't flip this time (and I was able to plug something in and it worked). So what's the cause of the problem, and how do I avoid it when I put that receptacle back in place??
No magic answer. You just have to be very careful that the ground doesn't touch any of the screws on the receptacle when you push it in. One trick is to pre fold all the wires in a "W" pastern so they fold up neatly when you put them in. If you have old style metal Gem (gangable) box and it is NM not conduit or FMC you might want to replace the box with a deep old-work box to give more room.
 
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Old 03-01-10, 04:25 PM
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Receptacles

3 of the outlets are not grounded: 1 black wire in, 1 white wire out.
Is the black on the brass screw and the white on the silver screw? Your comment sounds like you have both the black and white on the same color screw; if you do have both on the same color, put the black on the brass screw and the white on the silver screw.
 
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Old 03-01-10, 07:54 PM
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The black is on the brass screw and white is on the silver screw for the 3 non-grounded outlets so that all looks okay.

I folded the wires carefully back into the box (it definitely is crowded) so the bare ground wire won't touch any of the terminals and everything seems fine now. Thanks for the help!
 
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