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why do 2 of my basement outlets have different wires combinations, HELP

why do 2 of my basement outlets have different wires combinations, HELP

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  #1  
Old 01-16-11, 12:20 PM
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why do 2 of my basement outlets have different wires combinations, HELP

I joined this forum today justto get help with this question:


so I was trying to actually get some use out of 2 electrical boxes [no outlet face but wires inside and capped] in my basement. the house was built in the 1920-30s

I shut off the mains and went to work, but in one box there was a white, red, black... and in the box further down the conduit [pretty sure they are on the same circuit breaker] there is only red and white


so red is HOT side

white is the other

black is ground??? in the one... but the other then has no ground???


I am an idiot with this stuff, so any help is cool...
 
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  #2  
Old 01-16-11, 12:33 PM
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First, in a properly wired circuit, black is never ground.

You may have had a constant hot and a switch controlled hot on the blacks and reds.

In a metallic conduit system, the conduit can serve as the grounding conductor.
 
  #3  
Old 01-16-11, 01:27 PM
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so black and red to the 2 screws on the HOT side, and the white to the other side with the tab broken off... or ???


no ground connection on the outlet?
 
  #4  
Old 01-16-11, 01:55 PM
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The tab should not be broken on the white or silver side. If my assumption in post #2 was correct, the tab would be broken off on the brass side.

If the conduit is grounded back to the panel you would run a jumper to the ground screw on the device.
 
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Old 01-16-11, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jadczak View Post
so black and red to the 2 screws on the HOT side, and the white to the other side with the tab broken off... or ???
No. White would go to the side with the unbroken tab, the side with silver screws and the wide slot. Black and red to the brass side with the broken tab.
no ground connection on the outlet?
If wired with metal conduit, the conduit will provided the ground. If this is not metal conduit and there is no ground you must use two bladed, no ground, receptacles. Normally you could use GFCI receptacles and label them "No Equipment Ground" but you can not switch half of a GFCI receptacle so you can't do that.

Above assumes we are talking about a half switched circuit. Verify before proceeding using a multimeter or test light.
 
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