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Wnt2bsleepin 09-07-2011 06:27 PM

Help wiring new outlet
Thanks to everyone who responded to my last thread, but I updated it. I need help wiring up the new outlet though. As far as I understand, the wiring convention is black = hot, white = neutral and a bare/green is the ground.

The red wire is as I understand a switched hot, which would imply that the wire is connected and controlled by a switch. That wire probably does go to a switch, but it is not controlled by it. That outlet was never controlled by the switch. You can see that one of the white wires is burnt, that wasn't connected when I opened it and was probably shorting against the box. Any help is appreciated.

In summary, I have one red, and two white (Burnt wire is white)

uconduit 09-07-2011 07:25 PM

First off, the neutral will not short out to ground, unless of course there's voltage on the white wire. Looks like the blacks are tied through and the red is the hot for the recept.

oh'mike 09-07-2011 07:34 PM

Red does not necessarily mean it's a switch leg. Could be a hot. Get out your tester and see what is what.

If you don't have a tester go get one. if you have one and don't know to use it come back and ask.

Missouri Bound 09-07-2011 07:58 PM

Wires only burn from an overload or loose connection. Any wire arcing (except a neutral) to ground will AND SHOULD trip the breaker....and is that a nail going through the box near the bottom? If so, it's a no no. Pull the box out a nd rewire a new box. Was the receptacle back stabbed? That could account for a loose connection.

Wnt2bsleepin 09-07-2011 07:59 PM

I have one, and I have a vague idea how to use it. I can detect 120v on a standard line, but don't know how to test to see which is neutral, ground and hot. Can you explain the neutral not shorting out to ground? I am assuming it's because there is no current in it but would like clarification.

Missouri Bound 09-07-2011 08:08 PM

A neutral has the same voltage potential as a ground. Being similar in properties, a ground and neutral will carry voltage without arcing.

Wnt2bsleepin 09-07-2011 08:15 PM

No, they are screwed in. The outlet was very hot to the touch before I cut the power and pulled it. As for the post, I am not sure if it's a nail or not.

oh'mike 09-07-2011 08:25 PM

I can't tell for sure but it looks like you have romex or BX in that box---so colors mean nothing at all.

That white that's burned could be a power also---Let's see if a sparky can walk you through this---
I worked for an electrician for years and know my way around---but I live and work in a conduit only area so my help with Romex is not so good.

Wnt2bsleepin 09-07-2011 08:29 PM

Would it make sense for me to have 2 hot wires? The wires are split and seem to continue on down the line, to a light switch.

Missouri Bound 09-07-2011 08:38 PM

If that outlet was hot it was either due to an overload or loose connection.....that's it.
I've seen unused outlets in the middle of a circuit get hot enough to melt the wire nuts....all because of a loose connection at that junction point.

Wnt2bsleepin 09-07-2011 08:42 PM

I get it, I am going to go with lose connection as that seems to explain the lights blinking and the subsequent loss of power. The question is how do I wire it back up? If Ground and Neutral are exactly the same, then how do I tell the difference?

Missouri Bound 09-07-2011 08:49 PM

Did you happen to notice or write down which wire went were when you took it apart? Wouldn't have been a bad idea. Is it just an outlet? Does it power a switch somewhere? Do you still have the old outlet? Was part of it on a switch? Whenever you remove a device make sure to jot down where everything you have to trace every wire.

Wnt2bsleepin 09-07-2011 09:03 PM

I remember where the wires went, and can put them back if needed. The outlet does seem to power a switch, but the switch does not control the outlet. I do still have the old outlet but would like to label the wires for future reference anyway.

frenchelectrican 09-07-2011 10:59 PM

I don't know if someone mention or not but did you check the other recpetale to make sure if the wiring connections is the same or diffrent and also take a look at one of the switch box.

Make sure the circuit is off before you get too far with this and please DO NOT unhook anything just pull it out and you will see the connection more clear this way. Also it will be good time to check the other repectales et switches if you have any more loose connection as well.

If you have backstabber connection please move them to the screw the backstabbers useally are most common for overheat or loose connections.


Wnt2bsleepin 09-08-2011 08:54 AM

I'll check to see if the other receptacles are wired the same or not. I might as well get a circuit tester and see if they are also wired correctly. I will then wire up this outlet.

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