wall outlets

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  #1  
Old 08-25-01, 02:54 PM
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I tried to replace a wall outlet. There is 2 black wires and 2 white wires. When I hooked them up it blew the circuit breaker. If I leave one black wire off some other receptacles will work and others will not. The black wire I leave off is also hot when I test it. The other hot wire which is hooked up seems to be dead.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-25-01, 04:39 PM
Wgoodrich
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The black wires should have went on the brass screws and the white wires should have went on the silver screws.

You may have been replacing a half hot half switched receptacle. To find if this is the case check your old receptacle to see if a metal tab has been removed from between the two brass scews. If so then remove the tab from the new receptacle located in the same place. If you have done the above you might want to check your breakers to see if one has been tripped.

One other question that may shed light on your problem is why did you decide to replace that older receptacle? Were you having trouble with it? This may tell us more of a problem that may have existed originally.

Hope this helps

Wg
 
  #3  
Old 08-26-01, 06:18 AM
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reply to wgoodrich

Thank you for your response. I repaced the outlet because it was cracked. Everything was working fine. About 20 minutes later while working in my hall way where I had replaced the outlet the hall lights went out. I went down and reset the breaker but it kept tripping. So I put in another outlet but can not get it to work either.
 
  #4  
Old 08-26-01, 11:26 AM
Wgoodrich
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Did you look to see if your older receptacle that was existing to see if the tab was removed between the two brass screws? Did you put the wiring back on the new receptacle exactly the way that you took them off the existing one? Are you sure you have the black wires on the same side and the white wires on the same side when you installed the new receptacle?

If you did the above try taking off the one set of wires being one black and one white of the same cable then try to reset you breaker. If the breaker holds then try to reconnect those wires and disconnect the cable black and white that was left on. Try the breaker again. If you test ok and the breaker holds. Then try reconnecting the black wires on the brass screws and the white wires on the silver screws and the bare wires wire nutted together with a pigtail going to the green screw of that receptacle then try the breaker again. If it holds you may have had something touching that caused a short. If the breaker kicks the try turning off all switches in the house and try the breaker again. If it holds then try turning on all the switches in the house. If the breaker trips when a switch is turned on, then you must remove that tab between the two brass screws. Let us know what you find

Wg
 
  #5  
Old 08-26-01, 01:15 PM
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reply to wgoodrich

Well I tried everything you mentioned. First black and white, the breaker held, but not all things worked. Second black and white wires, same thing happened. Then I tried all four wires with brass tab broken out. The breaker held but only some things worked. Took that out and tried an outlet with the brass tab intact and breaker tripped.
I looked at the old outlet but could not tell if a tab was broken. The wires were pushed into the holes in the back of it. There were no visible tabs on the outside of the old outlet! Any other ideas?
 
  #6  
Old 08-26-01, 04:02 PM
Wgoodrich
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You said that the receptacle worked fine [I take it after you replaced the old receptacle that it worked fine for the 20 minutes when the hall lights went out]. What were you doing in the hall at the exact time when the hall lights went out? This may be a key clue.

Curious

Wg
 
  #7  
Old 08-26-01, 04:21 PM
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hall lights

I had recently pulled up the old carpet and at the I was pulling the staples out of the floor and hammering some loose nails on the floor boards.
 
  #8  
Old 08-26-01, 05:50 PM
Wgoodrich
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I doubt that pulling the carpet would cause a breaker to kick. I also doubt pulling staples up would cause a breaker to kick.

Now the driving nails may have hit a wire and the vibration may have created a short causing the breaker to kick.

I would try the following possibilities. Find the next receptacle that is on that circuit. Probably on the other side of the wall or on the wall in the room oppisite of the receptacle that you have been taking out. I don't think the problem is in the receptacle you replaced except for one possibility. Once you find the next receptacle that is dead coming from that receptacle that you replaced take it out and disconnect all wires in that receptacle. Try the breaker again. If the breaker trips the short is between those two receptacles if you found the accurate next receptacle being fed by that receptacle that you replaced.

If you have steel boxes. Then open that replaced receptacle and pull it out so you can see the metal clamp holding the wires in that receptacle box. Take out that clamp and look for any black marks. Again try the breaker. If that breaker holds then I suspect the vibrations caused an overtight romex clamp to have shorted in that box or the next box downline from that box.

Now you may have another possibility and the power out of that replaced receptacle may go to the hall light switch that may have the same overtight clamp causing a short.

Try these and maybe we can narrow down some possiblities to your problem. I believe you to have a short in the circuit. Problem is finding it by process of elimination.

We'll be waiting

Wg
 
  #9  
Old 08-28-01, 10:37 AM
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Maybe???

Maybe found the problem! I first started and disconnected the single light switch in the hall and reconnected all wires to the outlet. I turned on the breaker and it stayed and everything worked!! I know will try and replace the seemingly bad light switch. It has 2 black wires and one red wire. The white wires are all tied together with wire nuts. Everything works but the one hall light that is controlled by this switch. Wish me luck! I will let you know about the results.
Again, thank you very much for your time and support!
 
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