outlet not working but grounding screw is hot


Old 09-16-17, 03:23 PM
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outlet not working but grounding screw is hot

I've got a non-working outlet that I can't seem to fix.

It's got two black wires, two white wires, and no ground wire. (I don't really understand why two of each, but after reading around online I realize it is not uncommon.)

I bought a new outlet (shown in the attached photo) and attached the black wires to the screws on the right, and the white ones to the screws on the left. No ground wire to attach.

When I turn the circuit back on, the outlet does not work, and I detect no current in either the hot side or the neutral side, or in the receptles. BUT the ground screw IS hot. (I almost learned this the hard way.)

This is a weird circuit, in an old house, tied in to a dishwasher and two other lights The lights works when the circuit is on, but the outlet and dishwasher do not. An appliance guy said he was getting current on the hot wire on the dishwasher, but not the neutral wire, and thought replacing this broken outlet would fix things. But I can't make the outlet work.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-16-17, 03:31 PM
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There are 2 of each wire because it feeds another outlet. Disconnect all wires. Test each wire separately. What's hot?
Old 09-16-17, 03:34 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You don't get current.... you get voltage on a wire.

You have either two conductor non metallic cable or BX (metal clad). Based on the plaster I'd say BX. That would mean your box is grounded or should be. You WILL need a meter for testing. A non contact test pen will not work here. It sounds like you have an open neutral.

You need to check..........
from the black side to the white side.
from the black side to ground.
from the white side to ground.

Any type of basic analog meter or two wire tester would work. The depot and lowes sell them from $10-15.

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