electrical outlet

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  #1  
Old 06-06-13, 06:10 PM
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electrical outlet

I have a 1950's house. In the basement there are 2 three prong outlets, both with the plugs upside down. Thinking I would turn them around I pulled one of them out of the wall box. Inside are 2 old white wires and 1 red one. The outlet has 2 brass screws on each side and 1 zinc colored on each side. No matter what I do I cannot get it to work. A tester will not work when using the prong holes but will when using 1 prong hole and the round bottom hole, but nothing works when plugging in an item. I've already blown 2 fuses. Any ideas?
 
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Old 06-06-13, 07:36 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Where the receptacles working before you tried turning them ?
If yes.....I'm guessing you took the wires off and don't remember where they were connected.

Two white wires and a red wire is an unusual color combination to find.
Are there any other wires in the box ?

How did you blow fuses ?

If the wires were connected based on the colors you gave.....the two whites would be on the silver screws and the red would be on the brass screw.
 
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Old 06-06-13, 07:43 PM
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I have a 1950's house. In the basement there are 2 three prong outlets, both with the plugs upside down.
No such critter. You can put them any way you want even horizontal with ground either on the left or right.

A receptacle should have two brass screws on the side with the narrow slot and to silver screws on the side with the wide slot. There should also be a green screw with a bare or green wire. The description you gave doesn't seem to match this.

Inside are 2 old white wires and 1 red one
This sounds wrong also if you have cable. Do you have conduit instead. Pictures might help: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html
 
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Old 06-07-13, 08:56 AM
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Old wires. Cloth covered. 2 white and 1 red. No others in box. Old plug. Both sides, narrow and wide slots have brass screws. 2 bottom screws (1 each side) seem to be connected to the mounting bracket on the bottom of the plug. Would this have to be attached to box before it works?
 
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Old 06-07-13, 09:02 AM
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Yes it was working, just wanted to turn around. No other wires. All cloth covered. Fuse blown when I connected one way. (don't remember which way.) Other one, my fault, wire touched box.
Which brass screw? There are 4.
 
  #6  
Old 06-07-13, 09:30 AM
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Red wire should be on the narrow slot side. The whites assuming they are both neutral should be on the wide slot side. Check the voltage between the two whites with a multimeter before doing this. If this is not wired with metallic cable or metal conduit continuous to the fuse box you need to either switch to a two prong receptacle or use a GFCI receptacle marked No Equipment Ground. If this is a basement the receptacle should be GFCI protected.
 
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