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-   -   Did I screw up wiring this outlet? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/did-i-screw-up-wiring-outlet-9377/)

josquin 06-24-2007 01:20 AM

Did I screw up wiring this outlet?
 
I spent the day replacing wall plates at my house. When I turned the electricity back on at the end of the day, one of my electrical outlets didn't work. Using a tester, it showed "open neutral."

So, I turned the power off and opened up the outlet... it had the hot wire attached to the top brass screw and the neutral attached to the bottom silver screw.

I thought they were supposed to be attached parallel (either both top or both bottom.) So, as a shot in the dark to try to fix the problem, I moved the hot wire to the bottom brass screw and turned on the power. But the problem remained.

An hour later, I figured out I pushed the "test" button on an upstream GCFI while changing the plate. Whoops! I hit "reset" on the GCFI and suddenly the downstream outlet was working again.

But, now I'm wondering... maybe I've wired the outlet improperly by moving the hot wire down to the bottom screw. Both outlets (top and bottom) seem to test OK, despite the hot/neutral being only wired to the bottom screws.

So, should I move the hot wire back to the top screw and leave the neutral on the bottom (the way it used to be?) Or is it OK as-is?

Sorry for the newbie question! Thanks for any help.

Mike Swearingen 06-24-2007 02:57 AM

The black hot goes to either brass screw and the white neutral goes to either "silver" screw. "As-is" is fine.
Mike

josquin 06-24-2007 06:52 AM

Thanks, Mike!

JohnJ0906 06-24-2007 06:59 AM

Sometimes, with a few brands of GFCI, I have found the reset button is a little "finicky". Sometimes it will leave the neutral open when resetting. You have to test and reset a second time. It sounds like this was your problem.

J187 06-25-2007 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnJ0906 (Post 50250)
Sometimes, with a few brands of GFCI, I have found the rest button is a little "finicky". Sometimes it will leave the neutral open when resetting. You have to test and reset a second time. It sounds like this was your problem.

My parents have one these in the bathroom in their house. Test and reset again and it works.

ScottzMann 06-26-2007 02:16 PM

GFIC must be wired right to work
 
GFIC outlets must be wired in the right order for them to work properly. Since it sounds like you have a GFIC outlet, the neutral (white) must go to the silver screw and the hot (black) must go the the brass screw, BOTH on the LINE side of the outlet. It should be labeled on the outlet itself.

terrynistler 06-28-2007 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ScottzMann (Post 50517)
GFIC outlets must be wired in the right order for them to work properly. Since it sounds like you have a GFIC outlet, the neutral (white) must go to the silver screw and the hot (black) must go the the brass screw, BOTH on the LINE side of the outlet. It should be labeled on the outlet itself.

Huh? GFIC? He was asking about a normal outlet fed from a GFCI Your confusing me and I am an Electrician. He got the answer in the very first reply and it was correct. With what the op originally stated. The only thing I could have added was to make sure the tab wasn't broken on the side of the receptacle. And the receptacle would be wired from the Load side not the Line side.


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