Odd outlet set up that I need some assistance with


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Old 06-20-14, 06:08 AM
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Odd outlet set up that I need some assistance with

Hey All,

I have a set of kitchen outlets that use two 15 amp breaker combinations (two breakers for the top socket and two breakers for the bottom socket). Each of these outlets use only 3 wires, Black (hot) and White (neutral), then a red (which i assume is hot as well). I have the black on top and red on bottom with the tab broken off and neutral across from the black on the neutral side.

This is the same as it was before I replaced them. I had to learn the hard way about breaking the tab to get the breakers not to trip altogether. So all was well and good until i plugged something into the bottom socket (where just the red wire is) and it tripped a set of 15 amp breakers which happens to control the bottom socket for each outlet. The top socket works fine with the same device that initially tripped the set of breakers.

Now now matter what I do the bottom socket breaker set will trip even just turning them back on with nothing plugged in.

What i need assistance on is, did i buy the wrong type of outlet (just a standard 15 amp outlet), is there a configuration issue or is there anything I can do to stop the bottom sockets from tripping?

Any advice is appreciated!

John Allan
 

Last edited by pcboss; 06-20-14 at 07:16 AM. Reason: clarification
  #2  
Old 06-20-14, 06:32 AM
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Split wired receptacles are commonly used in kitchens in Canada. Can you pull out the receptacle that is causing the problem and look for black marks from the arcing?
 
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Old 06-20-14, 06:44 AM
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I have the black on top and red on bottom with the tab broken off and neutral on top with the black on the neutral side.
I suspect you broke the tab from the neutral side of the receptacle as well as the tab on the hot side. You shouldn't have a black on the neutral side of the device. I also suspect that what you have is 240 volts at the outlet where you have the black on the neutral side of the device. Have you checked the voltage at that point?
 
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Old 06-20-14, 06:48 AM
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@casualjoe - Sorry, my wording was not correct there. It is white on the top with the black but white is on the neutral side and black and red on the hot side (red on the bottom). The only tab I broke was on the hot side.

@pcboss - i will double check. I have 5 outlets that all do this so I can only presume it could be one of them causing the issue.
 
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Old 06-20-14, 07:17 AM
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Ok there are four outlets on this two 15 amp pair set ups. I pulled out all 4 and no burn marks. I also confirmed the tabs are broken off only on the hot side and that it is actually red on top and black on bottom on the hot side. Not sure if that matters but again that's how it was before.
 
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Old 06-20-14, 08:07 AM
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Do you have a multimeter, preferably analog? If you don't a $8-$15 dollar one is all you need. Don't buy a digital.
15 amp breaker combinations (two breakers for the top socket and two breakers for the bottom socket)
That reads as if you had a total of four breakers for one receptacle. That would be wrong. Can you explain more clearly.
 
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Old 06-20-14, 08:12 AM
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I dont have a multimeter but i can explain more clearly

i have four outlets, i have a two 15a breakers for the top socket on the outlets and two 15a breakers for the bottom sockets on the outlets.

So if i turn off one set 1 of breakers the top plugs no longer work, if i turn off set 2 of breakers the bottom plugs no longer work.

The issue is that set 2 of the breakers trip right away but the top plugs always work. I am not 100% sure of that configuration but that is what makes sense.
 
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Old 06-20-14, 08:18 AM
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Two breakers should not control one plug-in of a receptacle. Something is getting lost in the explanation. Can you post a picture of your breaker box with the cover off? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html
 
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Old 06-20-14, 08:59 AM
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I figured it out. It was a noob mistake. I didn't fully reset the breaker when trying to turn it back on and that's why it kept tripping. Once I pulled it back all the way and set it again it stayed on and the bottom sockets work now.

I know my explanation wasn't the best but without actually drawing out what i had, it was the best i had at the moment. My next step was pictures if I didn't figure out that the breaker was not fully reset.

Thank you all for your suggestions!
 
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Old 06-20-14, 09:47 AM
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Thanks for letting us know you got it.
 
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Old 06-20-14, 06:47 PM
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Something is getting lost in the explanation.
OR....in the translation.
 
 

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