Electrical

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  #1  
Old 06-07-01, 02:33 PM
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I just replaced one of my duplex receptacle outlets as the existing one got damaged (cracked) and I didn't feel like it was safe to leave it that way. Well, my problem is I got distracted while changing it and didn't notice how the dang wires were hooked up. I know....dumb huh? Anyway, first I hooked em one way, no luck, then tried another. Still no luck. Now several of my outlets suddenly don't work! I tried connecting the 2 white wires to the silver screws as I read on your website to do and the 2 black wires I hooked onto the brass colored screws. One of my switches located on the circuit breaker box, (there are several) won't turn back on. Acts like it can't. And becuase of that as I said several of my outlets don't work at all now. Please help! Could I have blown a circuit breaker or something?
 
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Old 06-07-01, 03:53 PM
RickM
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Cool

My first thought would be that you tripped the breaker while guessing which wire went where. If you are sure the whites are on the silver screws, and the blacks are on the brass screws, try turning the questionable breaker all the way off, then back on. Hopefully this will get your power back on.

If not, better call in someone.

Rick Miell
 
  #3  
Old 06-07-01, 06:30 PM
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Is or was all or part of this duplex receptacle switched by a wall switch?
 
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Old 06-08-01, 09:46 AM
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I tried RickM's suggestion of turning off and then back on the breaker switch that doesn't seem to want to work and no good. It turns off fine, but when I push it over to turn it back on, it just goes right to the middle, like not all the way back to the off position, but not on either. And still no power to the outlet receptacle I changed as well as several others that the breaker switch must be connected to. No, the receptacle outlet I replaced is not operated by any switch. (well, other than the breaker switch of course) I don't think I mentioned in my first message that I did see a small amount of "sparking" coming from the breaker switch that is giving me trouble. When I first changed the receptacle and then went to the breaker box to turn things back on, there was a small amount of sparking that seemed to come from the "problem" switch. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
  #5  
Old 06-08-01, 10:28 AM
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Question

Do you still have the old outlet? If so look at it very carefully. There should be a jumper between the screws on both sides, brass and silver. If one of these jumpers are missing you will have to remove the one on the new one also. This is what John Nelson was trying to evade to. Someone may have taken the switch out of the circuit, for whatever reason and it may be hard wired now.
If there is no noticeable differance between the old and new outlets.....Remove the new outlet, ensure no wires or touching anything or each other and try to reset circuit breaker. If you are able to reset it, use a voltmeter or light to check to see which two wires are your "hot" lines. Now you should be able to connect these, black to gold and white to silver. Of course, remember to shut off power first.
If while checking the wires in the above step you get voltage on both sets of wires you have two differant feeds coming into the outlet, this would require the tab on the gold side to be removed (jumper between brass screws). Once again, ensure power is off and this time find out which circuit breaker is controling the other set of wires. So far you have been lucky and not gotten shocked with this power on!!
Now to go back a step. If you only have one hot pair coming in, connect it to the outlet and restore power. Ensure the other wires are not touching anything or each other. Now check to see what outlets or lights do not work, the wires that you left unconnected must feed something. Once you have determined what these feed you will have to find out which ones are wired wrong. My guess is you could hook the white wire to the brass screw and the black wire to the silver screw and everything would work okay, but this isn't the correct way. You should find where the wires got crossed.

Good luck.....
 
  #6  
Old 06-11-01, 10:26 AM
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Exclamation Uh oh, now what?

After digging out of the trash the original outlet receptacle, I was pretty amazed to discover that it is completly different from the new one I am trying to replace it with. The original is obviously the original one put in when the house was built in the early 70's. The original has NO screws on either side. The wires themselves were inserted directly into little holes in the back of the outlet. There are 4 holes on each side, so a total of 8 holes in the back of the thing and it appears that the wires were hooked directly into these holes. There are two metal thingys I'm assuming are the jumpers or tabs you guys keep referring to and they are intact. Also I should mention that there is a wire coming from the ground screw on the old one, but I don't see the wire in the wall. So what now??? What should my next step be?
 
  #7  
Old 06-11-01, 01:11 PM
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Give this a try...

(1) If there is no noticeable differance between the old and new outlets (which there wasn't).....The eight holes on the back just took place of the four screws on the side of the new one, two holes for each screw. According to what you have said the tabs are in place, so there shouldn't be any need to remove them.
Remove the new outlet, ensure no wires or touching anything or each other and try to reset circuit breaker.
(2) If you are able to reset it, this means the circuit is good to this point. Use a voltmeter or light to check to see which two wires are your "hot" lines. Ensure you check across black to white for both sets of wires, there should be only one hot set. You should get no light or reading going from white to white and black to black.
(2a) Now while you are still in the same room, and maybe the adjacent one. Check to see how many other outlets are not working. These will be all the "slave" outlets that your replacement outlet feeds.
(2b) Remove power, shut off circuit breaker. This is what I would try. Since you only removed this one outlet and probally assumed all the wires were connected according to codes. That is how you reconnected it, and it didn't work.
Now you know which wires are your feed (hot). Connect these correctly, black to gold and white to silver. At this point you may want to turn on the circuit breaker, just to verify circuit is good to this point. If it resets, it is good. Shut it back off.
If you have a ohm meter, check the other set of white and black wires for continuity. Using the ohm the ohm meter touch the black and white wires (leaving the box, not connected to outlet). There should be no continuity (open). If you have a short (continuity = 0 ohms), you have a problem down line. First off make sure you don't have anything plugged into. If you did, unplug it and recheck.
(3) If while checking the wires in the step (2) you get voltage on both sets of wires you have two differant feeds coming into the outlet, not likely but possible.

By this time you should have found something that didn't check out right.....contact us and we will lead you from there. There are several possibilities and to try to run them all down would take to long. Let us know what you come up with.

Good luck,
 
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