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Old 10-05-2009, 02:15 PM   #1
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HOT / NEUTRAL REVERSE.... need help to fix


Hello,
I installed a new circuit for a couple of lights and one outlet in my basement. I used an existing circuit that was outside in the back yard. I pulled the wire in the basement (easy, was right there as the basement was completely unfinished). I put in a junction box and wired the lights and the outlet. I know for a fact I put all black to black and all white to white and tied the grounds together and then to the metal box. Everything has been working fine and still does.... I just happen to get me a circuit tester and when I tested that one circuit it reads HOT / NEU. REVERSE. I suspect whoever installed the circuit breaker and ran the wire put the wires on backward. OK, should I just reverse the wires at the first junction and test again? I do not feel good about messing with the circuit breaker panel..... I mean it's just two wires right? If I reverse them and then it reads "CORRECT" I should be good to go correct?
Thanks for any help.... I have another question I will post later today about an OLD, OLD circuit I tapped off of for three outlets on the other side of the room....
Thanks for any help you may be able to provide....

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Old 10-05-2009, 02:25 PM   #2
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HOT / NEUTRAL REVERSE.... need help to fix


Can yo follow the wires that went outside from
the panel box? If so that should be fixed If you can trace the wire that feed the outside box back to the panel shut the Main breaker off and fix the problem that would be the best way to do this

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Old 10-05-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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HOT / NEUTRAL REVERSE.... need help to fix


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Originally Posted by 300zx View Post
Can yo follow the wires that went outside from
the panel box? If so that should be fixed If you can trace the wire that feed the outside box back to the panel shut the Main breaker off and fix the problem that would be the best way to do this
Thanks,
are you saying to reverse the wires in the circuit breaker box instrad of at the outlet? Does it matter because I really do NOT feel comfortable doing it at the circuit breaker. I could cut breakers off until I find the one that feeds that circuit and then reverse them at the breaker box after turning off the main power. BUT, if reversing them at the outlet or the junction box for the circuit is acomplishing the same thing I would rather do that? What do you think?
Thanks again !!!
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:39 PM   #4
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HOT / NEUTRAL REVERSE.... need help to fix


Thanks
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:39 PM   #5
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HOT / NEUTRAL REVERSE.... need help to fix


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Originally Posted by DIYneedsHelp View Post
Thanks,
are you saying to reverse the wires in the circuit breaker box instrad of at the outlet? Does it matter because I really do NOT feel comfortable doing it at the circuit breaker. I could cut breakers off until I find the one that feeds that circuit and then reverse them at the breaker box after turning off the main power. BUT, if reversing them at the outlet or the junction box for the circuit is acomplishing the same thing I would rather do that? What do you think?
Thanks again !!!
It would work but working and done the right are two differnt things Can you follow the wire back to panel or are they in the walls? Someone could get hurt! Where are the wires going that are in your back yard that are reversed?
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:46 PM   #6
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HOT / NEUTRAL REVERSE.... need help to fix


Could there be another j-box somewhere that is before the one you tied in or does it go to the panel?

Last edited by 300zx; 10-05-2009 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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There are alot of great professionals on this site that can help you just don't give up.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:10 PM   #8
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HOT / NEUTRAL REVERSE.... need help to fix


Do not reverse the wires where you made the connection as long as they are connected correctly
Trace the circuit back & find out where the wires are reversed
Feeding hot power onto the neutral & then the ground via the panel is dangerous
If you do not feel comfortable working in the panel then hire an electrician to trace & fix this problem

A plumber was just killed due to a wiring fault such as this
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:15 PM   #9
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HOT / NEUTRAL REVERSE.... need help to fix


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Do not reverse the wires where you made the connection as long as they are connected correctly
Trace the circuit back & find out where the wires are reversed
Feeding hot power onto the neutral & then the ground via the panel is dangerous
If you do not feel comfortable working in the panel then hire an electrician to trace & fix this problem

A plumber was just killed due to a wiring fault such as this
Scuba Dave I think he didn't like what he was told and ended his post didn't want to hear the way he wanted to fix the problem was not a good way to fix it !! Like you said someone who did not know they were reversed could be very dangerous..
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:04 PM   #10
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HOT / NEUTRAL REVERSE.... need help to fix


At least check the main breaker box panel. If the wires were connected incoreectly (backwards) there then the color would give away the error. White wires on 120 volt circuits must not be connected to the hot screw of breakers; non-white wires must not be connected to the neutral bus.

The circuit might have been 240 volts in the past in which case both the black and white wires are hot. (The white wire should have been marked with a band of red or black tape at both ends.) Then when the circuit is changed over to be 120 volts, the white wire is supposed to be taken off its side of the breaker and made into the neutral and attached to the neutral bus and any color band removed.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 10-05-2009 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:36 PM   #11
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HOT / NEUTRAL REVERSE.... need help to fix


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIYneedsHelp View Post
Thanks,
are you saying to reverse the wires in the circuit breaker box instrad of at the outlet? Does it matter because I really do NOT feel comfortable doing it at the circuit breaker. I could cut breakers off until I find the one that feeds that circuit and then reverse them at the breaker box after turning off the main power. BUT, if reversing them at the outlet or the junction box for the circuit is acomplishing the same thing I would rather do that? What do you think?
Thanks again !!!
Do it right or not at all.

You need to trace the circuit backwards ubtil you find where the wires are reversed.
Do not plug anything into this circuit that could have a hot chassis.

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