outlet question

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  #1  
Old 07-08-02, 06:21 AM
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seayak
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Angry outlet question

Help!! I am in the midst of replacing all my exsisting outlets and switches in my kitchen. I am having a problem with one outlet. I can't remember the wiring configuration from the outlet I removed. I have two black wires, one white and one orange. When I installed black on one side, remaining on the other, no electrical worked at all in the kitchen. Now, the wires are exposed and the electrical is on, with only the disposal and dishwasher not working, but everything else is. The electrical in this house is a mess, I just want to put it back like it was until I can get an electrician to come out here. Please help me!!

Thanks
Mary
 
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  #2  
Old 07-08-02, 07:03 AM
J
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This sounds like a switched, or half-switched, receptacle. If you have the old receptacle, see if the breakout tab on the brass screw side is broken out or still there.

Did both the dishwasher and disposal plug in here? If so, then you probably want the disposal to be switched and the dishwasher to be unswitched.

It's impossible to be sure without more information, but here's my best guess:
  • Break out the tab on the brass-screw side of the receptacle.
  • Connect both black wires to the brass-screw side of the half of the receptacle that powers the dishwasher. Depending on the receptacle, you may or may not need a pigtail to do this. Some receptacles have two connections on each half.
  • Connect the orange wire to the other brass screw.
  • Connect the white wire to a silver screw.
 
  #3  
Old 07-08-02, 07:21 AM
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seayak
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Okay, here we go. This outlet was a two-prong, I'm replacing it with a 3-prong. on the old two-prong, there was a brass side and a silver side. Each side had two wires connected to it, I can't remember the configuration for the life of me. my new 3-prong has two brass sides. The disposal and dishwasher are not related to this outlet...I mean they are all on the same circuit...but the disposal is operated by a switch about 3 feet away from this outlet. Also, I notice on the new outlet there are little notches on the back that I can push out, I think that's what you're refering to, but there weren't any on the old outlet. BOth old and new are 15 amp. Wait I just noticed that one side says hot and one says white... I am going to try to put the black on the hot side and the white and orange on the other side? Is black hot? Obviously I have no clue about electricity..I'm just a mom who doesn't want brown outlets on her new almond ceramic tile backsplash. Thanks for all your help!!
 
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Old 07-08-02, 06:31 PM
J
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There's no way to make sense out of your situation. There is an inherent contradiction in your assertion that there were two wires connected to each side, and your description of the wire colors you have. Both black and orange wires are required by code to all be hot, yet if two wires were connected to each side, then one of them must not be. I think you need on-site help from an electrically knowledgeable individual with proper electrical test equipment. Remember that not everything that works is safe. Worst case is that you'll get this to work by guessing, but the result will be a dangerous condition.

Replacing electrical receptacles is not merely a cosmetic change. There can be serious safety issues if not done properly. Get your work checked out.

P.S. Unless you are providing GFCI protection or have verified proper grounding, you may be violating code by installing 3-hole receptacles.
 
  #5  
Old 07-09-02, 05:36 AM
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seayak
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still stuck

I used a volatage thing and found out that out of the four (two black, one orange and one white) only one of the black wires is hot...strange don't ya think. SO i've got the not hot black and the orange on one silver screw, the white on one and the hot black on the brass screw. Now the outlet works but the dishwasher and disposal still don't. I know that the orange and white are the new wiring and assume that the orange should be hot, but it's not. You're right, I think I may have to call someone. This may have not even been done right the first time around.
 
  #6  
Old 07-09-02, 05:38 AM
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seayak
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one more thing

my house was built in the '40s and ALL the original wiring is black. BUT, I really thought that newer orange wire would have been hot. I think somehow I have lost the HOT in that whole line. I called an electrician who told me it sounds like the job will run between $285 and $350...to replace an outlet???? NOw I'm really frustrated.
 
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Old 07-09-02, 06:13 AM
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Are you sure its orange? Does it run in the same cable as a black one and is it the only other wire? in that cable? I have seen that type of wire seem to appear orange from age before,, it has got moisture and stained. I am sure you are going to try stuff anyway,,, so do this. Hook both black wires to the gold screws and the white and orange to the silver ones. Then turn on breaker and test. As John stated you have no ground and really should have a 2 prong recept. Maybe you can find one in that color. Write back later and tell if it works.
 
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Old 07-09-02, 06:32 AM
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Just had a thought. By any chance might you mean a bare copper wire when you say "orange"? Or as sberry27 said, could it be another color that has become discolored?
 
  #9  
Old 07-09-02, 07:13 AM
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seayak
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okay...no the wire was a coated orange electrical wire. I got everything to work with the telephone help of Rick the electrical guy at Home Depot, don't worry guys, he's retired, been in the business since electricity was invented so he says. Anyway...hot black and orange are now on a brass screw together..other side has white on top silver and black on bottom silver. The best part is my dishes are getting washed!!! Thanks so much for your help everyone. Nice to know that there are places like this to turn to for help.
 
  #10  
Old 07-09-02, 07:26 AM
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I am glad its working for you,,, but be wary,,, as John stated earlier,,, somethings fishy here and it surely doesnt mean its safe,, especially in a kitchen area with water nearby and metal piping. You really need to have it checked by someone that knows for sure.
 
  #11  
Old 07-09-02, 07:59 AM
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I think something is very fishy. I think this only appears to work correctly. I would get it checked out by an electrician ASAP. This is not right.
 
  #12  
Old 07-10-02, 06:37 PM
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seayak
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OKay, first of all, thank you so much, especially John for all your help on this problem. I called an electrician, spoke with him on the phone and told him my concern..he is very familiar with the type of home I live in and has upgraded many of the homes in my area. He said that what I have described sounds like it's right, i just need to make sure I upgrade to a GFCI outlet. Why would he tell me that. After I read this I called him back and he said that it doesn't sound like something he needs to look at...that putting two wires on a brass screw is done all the time. Should I call another electrician? This guy was the only one I knew...should I look in the phone book?
 
  #13  
Old 07-10-02, 07:56 PM
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Someone needs to look at this thing,, a couple of phone calls wont do here. Yes, 2 wires on the same side of recepts is common,,, but which 2? This wouldnt be considered safe and secure anywhere,, and being in a kitchen with water and ungrounded equipment makes it even more so.
 
  #14  
Old 07-11-02, 04:18 AM
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where are you located?

What country are you in? If the States, what part of the country?

I agree with the others. Something doesn't seem correct. But we can't see it from here. It could indeed be correct.

BTW - I hope you didn't put two wires under one screw. There should only be one wire under a screw. Use a pigtail if you need more.
 
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