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Old 04-21-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
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Hot Neutral Reverse


How do I fix a hot neutral reversed electric outlet's wiring?

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Old 04-21-2012, 11:23 AM   #2
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Hot Neutral Reverse


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How do I fix a hot neutral reversed electric outlet's wiring?
Depends on what the problem is.
There is not simply one solution to this problem, could be one or more of several things in several places.

You'd need to do some troubleshooting. Do you have electrical testers? Such as a DMM (multi-meter)?

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Old 04-21-2012, 11:23 AM   #3
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Hot Neutral Reverse


The easy way is to swap the wires on the recept.

The correct way would be to figure out why they are reversed. Are they spliced wrong somewhere?
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:24 AM   #4
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Hot Neutral Reverse


Hot neutral reverse typically occurs when the hot wire, (it is supposed to be black) is attached to the neutral screw on the outlet. The hot wire is supposed to be attached to the hot screw (the gold one), and the neutral wire should be attached to the neutral screw (the silver one). To correct, shut off the power at the breaker, test the outlet with a multimeter to MAKE SURE the power is off, then change to screws the wires are connected to. If the outlet is back stabbed, now would be a good time to eliminate the back stab, and connect the wires to the screws.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:54 AM   #5
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Hot Neutral Reverse


Black wire should be on the gold screw and white wire should be on the silver screw. If they are not then swap them and the problem will be fixed. If they are correct then the problem originates somewhere else on the circuit between the problem receptacle and the panel.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:33 AM   #6
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Hot Neutral Reverse


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Originally Posted by RussellFear View Post
How do I fix a hot neutral reversed electric outlet's wiring?
How did you determine the wiring is reversed?
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:56 AM   #7
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Hot Neutral Reverse


Forget about colors of terminals. Just remember what my high school shop teacher said:

"Short girls are hot"-----> short blade of receptacle is hot
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:52 AM   #8
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Hot Neutral Reverse


If you forget both 'colors' and 'short girls' (that's a good one) then consider WHY its the shorter terminal that is Hot. Think of a small child playing with a small spoon, paperclip, etc.
Its no sure thing but it's less likely to get it in the shorter opening.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:54 AM   #9
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Hot Neutral Reverse


I know this is an old thread but I just bought a house and all the outlets are reversed. Is it possible for one incorrectly wired outlet to throw the whole house off? The house was built in 1994 and I doubt (but I'm not sure) that it would have passed the electrical inspection if it was wired wrong then. Other than the outlets wired wrong what could it be? Or how do you diagnose it? I've already tested the outlets themselves but have not pulled them out and checked the wires
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:25 AM   #10
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Hot Neutral Reverse


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I know this is an old thread but I just bought a house and all the outlets are reversed. Is it possible for one incorrectly wired outlet to throw the whole house off? The house was built in 1994 and I doubt (but I'm not sure) that it would have passed the electrical inspection if it was wired wrong then. Other than the outlets wired wrong what could it be? Or how do you diagnose it? I've already tested the outlets themselves but have not pulled them out and checked the wires
Every last one, or just in some rooms?

You would need to start at the panel to verify that the wiring is correct, color wise, and that all the connections, screws, and set screws are tight. Don't use tremendous force. Also leave the big set screws on the big lugs with the service conductors for an expert to tighten.

Starting in the panel, see that you are measuring the correct voltage 120 from each hot to neutral, 240 volts between the two hots, and 120 volts from hot to ground.

While you are down there have someone turn on a hair dryer upstairs and you need to veify that hot to neutral voltage does not change by more than one or two volts.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:14 AM   #11
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Hot Neutral Reverse


Just currious how you verified the whole house is reversed? did you use a volt meter or just one of those inexpensive recept testers? Check the voltage from hot to ground and neutral to ground with a voltage meter. I have seen those inexpensive recept testers not work correctly out of the package.

As for one mis wired recept...It could affect all of the others on that circuit if it is the first one in line. It will not affect any on other circuits. I am having trouble believing the house is backward if it had to go thru an inspection at the time it was built. Of course an inspection may never have been done in which case everything should be checked.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:58 AM   #12
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Hot Neutral Reverse


Yeah it was just an inexpensive receipt tester. My dad Is bringing a voltage meter this weekend. Thanks for the advice on that. The tester I was using is probably off. I will update again after we test with the right tool.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:48 PM   #13
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Hot Neutral Reverse


Use an incand. lamp to test for crossed connections by measuring the hot and neutral slots with respect to a known good ground.

I think. . .:
If the outlets in a string are all reversed look at the outlet string source connection at the panel.
If half in the string are reversed there is at least one instance of crossed wires.
If only one outlet is reversed there is one instance of crossed wires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
The hot wire is supposed to be attached to the hot screw (the gold one)
Brass for Black.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-23-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:12 PM   #14
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Hot Neutral Reverse


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I know this is an old thread but I just bought a house and all the outlets are reversed. Is it possible for one incorrectly wired outlet to throw the whole house off? The house was built in 1994 and I doubt (but I'm not sure) that it would have passed the electrical inspection if it was wired wrong then. Other than the outlets wired wrong what could it be? Or how do you diagnose it? I've already tested the outlets themselves but have not pulled them out and checked the wires
Start at the point nearest the panel and work your way through. Pull the cover off (with power off) and look inside using a flash light. You may spot the problem.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:24 PM   #15
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Hot Neutral Reverse


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Yeah it was just an inexpensive receipt tester
Pictured is the common three wire Electrical Tester with a Red neon and two Amber neon lites. Another type includes a push to test button but that is used to verify operation of GFCI receptacles.

If your Tester is similar to the pic then the the Red and one of the Amber lites have to be on to indicate any Reverse condition.

Please check it again and report back on the result.
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