need help, downstream outlets getting 240V

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Old 05-21-18, 07:06 PM
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need help, downstream outlets getting 240V

Hey guys,

I am working on my mid 60's rambler and we are in the middle of a kitchen remodel. The kitchen only had 2 outlets, hard wired 240 Oven, hard wired 240v cooktop...

As soon as I added in one outlet The garage door opener died, I didnt put two and two together today, this house is wired so crappy the garage is wired off the kitchen circuit...

I added in 4 outlets 3 of them are working perfect (DMM reads 120v off a different circuit) My wife went to use the toaster in the new outlet today and the toaster lit up like a christmass tree, she unplugged it and left it alone til I got home. I plugged in the toaster and it was running VERY hot so I unplugged it and pulled out the DMM, the added in outlet is 240v, and on further checking the entire garage is running 240v...

With the kitchen remodel I upgraded/replaced all outlets... the outlet that is feeding the garage and new outlet 240v is wired VERY weird and I thought I wired it the same way it was wired but being that the garage and outlet are getting fed 240v I know I screwed up something

The old outlet had a white wire loop (crappy way of pig tailing) to the silver screws, there is a yellow wire loop to the bottom brass screw, and the connector between the top and bottom brass screws was removed so I did it on the new outlet... What seems very odd to me is other than the feeder wires (I used the press fit connectors on the back because I had no idea what else to do) there is not a black connected to the outlet...

In the outlet box there are the following; 1 yellow loop (old wiring), one white loop (old wiring), 2 whites (feeding garage and new outlet) pigtailed to the press in connector on the back of the outlet, 2 black (new wiring feeding garage and new outlet) in the press in connector on the outlet, The 2 new wiring black wires are tied into a bundle of old work Reds...






I have no problem simply cutting the new outlet and garage off from this outlet, but with the jump in voltage I know this is not wired correctly and I want to correct the issue.

I do plan on splitting the garage off to its own circuit because it shouldn't be running off the kitchen, and with gaining 4 breaker spots I actually have room in the breaker box for it (I put in a gas range so it freed up 2 240v breaker spots).

Does anyone have any ideas what I did wrong and what I need to do to resolve this issue?

I am familiar with wiring, BUT the goofy way this house (and I'm assuming older house wired with loose wires in conduit) drives me nuts, every outlet box, switch box, junction box has a ton of wires so adding in anything is always a major challenge. I have done a ton of wiring with Romex (we did all the wiring as a family in my parents house and addition) but when you have loose wires and things wired weirdly it throws me for a loop.
 
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Old 05-21-18, 07:18 PM
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You need to get a handle on what wire(s) is neutral; should be only the white ones. Likely the black and yellow are both hot, possibly L1 and L2. If you wired them to a recept, you may get the 240V issue. 120V recepts must get a neutral on the silver screws.
 
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Old 05-21-18, 07:19 PM
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Sorry.... nothing goofy about it. It's called a multiwire branch circuit. It is two circuits that share a common neutral. The red and black wires go to circuit breakers directly one above the other.

There is 240v between the red and black.
Red to neutral is one circuit and black to neutral is the other circuit.

Lots of problems there. I see yellow on the neutral side and on the hot side.
Do you have a conduit system in the house ?
Yellow can only be found when using conduit and it is always a hot wire color.

You may have three circuits in that box.
 
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Old 05-21-18, 10:40 PM
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PJmax, thank you for the reply...

Yes it is a mid 60s house and all the original wiring is in conduits....
In the box there are red, yellow and white that are in conduits, the blacks are feeding the downstream outlets (Im guessing I screwed these up by what you were describing)

I have disconnected the 14g white and black from the back of the outlet so nothing downstream is currently getting power (confirmed with DMM)

With something plugged into the top outlet I determined what breaker it is linked to, it also powers the old work outlets in the kitchen. With that breaker flipped off the bottom outlet still has power, I figured out what breaker it is on, this powers the fridge and nothing else I could easily find but the way this house is wired it could power half the basement too...

So I'm thinking, and please tell me if this is wrong! I'm thinking I will wire nut and electric tape it so it can't short out, one of the lines (white or yellow) and put it in the back of the box, then replace the outlet so top and bottom are on one circuit again and connect the red? Because there isn't black in the box (two black are there but they are new and are simply feeding power to the downstream outlets, I added them so I am sure if this)



Going by what you said, and the knowledge I have of the blacks not being original and only there to feed the downstream boxes.... I'm guessing there are 2+ circuits... White and yellow as neutral and red as hot. Does that sound correct? So that being said if I wanted to have 2 circuits on this outlet I could split the neutral side and connect yellow to one and white to the other screw, and pig tail the red bundle to the hot side? Or cap off one of the neutrals and replace the outlet and have it be one circuit correct?

Then once I know I have 1 circuit on the outlet reconnect the black and white feeding the downstream kitchen outlet... And pull new line from the circuit panel to the garage cleaning that up and breaking it from the kitchen.
 
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Old 05-21-18, 10:59 PM
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I will wire nut and electric tape it
If the wire nut is correctly installed no tape needed. If you need tape redo.

if I wanted to have 2 circuits on this outlet I could split the neutral side and connect yellow to one and white to the other screw, and pig tail the red bundle to the hot side?
NO. Yellow is hot. It never goes on the neutral side.
 
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Old 05-21-18, 11:10 PM
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Sorry you are right I wrote that backward...

Ok reading my paper from earlier, the white appears to be the circuit with one or two outlets, the yellow line appears to be the outlet for the fridge and 2 other outlets in the kitchen... So I'm thinking wire nut the yellow, replace the outlet so both plugs are on one circuit, connect the red to neutral and white to hot... Once I know it is working reconnect the new kitchen outlet and completely split the garage from the kitchen on a new line.

Does this sound correct by what the pics show and the info I have provided? Yes I know without being here it's never a guarantee :-)
 
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Old 05-21-18, 11:21 PM
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connect the red to neutral and white to hot
NEVER. Red is always hot if correctly wired. It would be white to neutral (silver) and red to hot (brass).
 
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Old 05-21-18, 11:32 PM
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Hmmm ok so currently the outlet is wired white to silver, yellow to brass (brass is split so it is only going to one plug in)... By the pic you posted why would the top plug and bottom plug be controlled by different breakers with only the white and yellow connected? Wouldn't the red need to be connected to have 2 seperate circuits?

In the box, only counting old wires, there are two reds that are wire butted together, a loop of yellow connected to the bottom brass screw (connector is removed between top and bottom terminal), and one white loop connected to the top silver terminal (jumper is in place so both outlets should be energized). Top outlet is controlled by one breaker, bottom outlet is controlled by a different breaker.

Everything I see, the breaker is 2 120v breakers, they are on top of each other but not what I traditionally think of as a 220 circuit breaker.
 
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Old 05-21-18, 11:52 PM
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the breaker is 2 120v breakers, they are on top of each other but not what I traditionally think of as a 220 circuit breaker
If handle tied that is the prefered way. Whether two single pole breakers, one on each leg of the 240 or one double pole breaker with on pole on one 240 leg and the other pole on the other 240 leg you get 240 volts.

Is the tab broken on the brass side of the receptacle? If so you should get 120 volts at each plug-in. If two single pole breakers are used each should control only half the receptacle.

Suggest you check for 240v between red and yellow. Turn off one of the breakers and check between red and yellow. You should have 0v (on an analog multimeter).
 
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Old 05-22-18, 12:07 AM
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The breakers are single pole for sure. OK so it sounds like the current set up is correct then.... Where I goofed up was giving the new outlet two hots instead of hot and neutral I think, looking at the pics above it was all goofed up...

I will check voltage tomorrow with the different breakers thrown.

Assuming I get proper voltage across the wires you listed with the breakers off and on.... What is the best way to pass 110v to 1 new outlet (Romex already pulled between the outlet and this box) and I will be pulling the feed line to the garage out of the box so there is no confusion.
 
 

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