Correcting reverse polarity trips breaker

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  #1  
Old 07-27-15, 09:56 AM
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Correcting reverse polarity trips breaker

I have succeeded in replacing almost all the outlets in my late 1950s ranch. A few outlets were reverse polarity, and I was able to correct them in almost every case. However, there is one outlet that I cannot fix without tripping the breaker. To the best of my knowledge, every other outlet is correctly wired now in that circuit (of course it is the last room I finished). The panel makes a buzzing sound for maybe a second then trips the breaker, when the outlet is wired "correctly," but the breaker is fine when reverse polarity. I don't know what it sounds like from the outlet, because this is a one woman operation. The feed wire is from an outlet in the same room and I rechecked that those were wired correctly. It doesn't help that probably 25% of the outlets and lights in the house are wired to that circuit, so there are a lot of places to check.

Is there a reason why this might happen? I can only think that there is an additional an reverse polarity outlet or light, or even something in the panel (professionally replaced original fusebox in 2012). I have been using a plug in tester, but confirmed the reverse polarity with a multimeter. I am open to diagnosing if possible. About the only thing I'm afraid to do is open the panel.

PS - We intend this to be my (soon-to-be) preschool-aged daughter's room when we try for #2, so I want to be extra careful.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-27-15, 10:08 AM
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Reverse polarity will not trip a breaker. Only a dead short will. Pull the receptacle out and give us clear pictures of all the wires and connections.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html
 
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Old 07-27-15, 10:27 AM
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It sounds as if you have connected the grounded neutral conductor on that circuit to the hot wire, probably at the receptacle terminals.
 
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Old 07-27-15, 10:59 AM
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Nick in wire

Turns out there was a small nick in the hot wire (sigh), which when moved to the brass nut side was making contact with the metal jbox. That's why it seemed to be only working in the reverse polarity, but not the corrected wiring. I didn't notice it until I was pulling out the wire as far as it would go to take the pictures. It's working now. Thanks anyway.
 
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Old 07-27-15, 11:05 AM
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You see I knew taking a picture would help. Thanks for letting us know the cause. It may help someone else.
 
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