Two live hot wires in kitchen outlet box?


Old 04-12-18, 11:23 PM
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Two live hot wires in kitchen outlet box?

My friend hired someone to wire up her new kitchen. He put an electrical box behind the stove but forgot to wire an outlet for the microwave. He wired three or four outlets in the wall for cabinet access and added CGI OUtlets near the sink (no disposal). He also wired a dedicated outlet for the dishwasher and one for the refrigerator.

Now he's gone.

So, I am trying to help her get her kitchen together and figured I would simply connect the outlets in the boxes.

In each box, there were two cables with 2 wires each and a ground. The grounds were connected as were the white wires and the black wires. They all appear to be wired to one circuit because switching off this one circuit cuts power to all the outlet boxes in the kitchen.

So with the power off, I disconnect the white and black wires in one outlet to determine which is the live source cable and which is the load. I turn the power on and to my surprise, both black wires (though not connected together) are live.

I wired in a 2 gang outlet with two white wires on the two terminals and the two black wires on the other terminals. Connected the ground wire, plugged in my outlet tester and flipped the switch.

It says I have an open ground.

My question is: how could both black wires be hot and not connected together. But then when connected together, it doesn't pop the circuit breaker.

I need a single 120V outlet, should I just disconnect one cable and cap it off?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-13-18, 03:23 AM
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If you used a non contact tester to determine which was hot your results are meaningless. You need a multimeter, preferably analog.

plugged in my outlet tester and flipped the switch. It says I have an open ground
You need to test ground to hot with a multimeter.
Old 04-13-18, 06:36 AM
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Is the microwave a countertop model or over the range? Over the range will require a dedicated circuit. Also your location would help.
Old 04-13-18, 09:31 AM
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Hey all, thanks fo9 the replies. I live in Atlanta, GA.

I used one of those yellow outlet testers that said I had an open ground. It has three lights on it (one red, two orange) and when wired correctly, the two orange lights light up. Only the middle light was lit indicating an open ground according to the chart.

I will check with a multimeter and trace the circuit.

I do not believe that any of the outlets are on their own dedicated line. I will check again, but one circuit breaker turned off all of the electricity to all of the outlets.

I am using a microwave hood vent that is installed above the range.

Thank you for the prompt help. Let me know if you have any other questions. I really appreciate it.


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