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Old 11-16-2007, 05:20 PM   #1
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


Hi, I tried relocate old outlets, 2''away. I have 3 old wires - B and W in a black protection material, with copper wires connected by nuts to the metal box (was build 1960).I marked all the wires and connected like it was before,copper wires, I suppose grounding, I connected all together, and conn to the green screw in the outlet. One b wire a hot, was connected to the right screw terminal and two w wires and the two are connected to the to screws at the left terminal. The leftover two B wires and one W ! one were connected together like they were before When I connected all of them I had a power shortage. there are 3outlets in my room, and 2 flood lights that operate from a dimmer switch. I think that the dimmer switch was connected to this outlet. I tried all combinations of B wire with the W, but nothing worked. May be it was the shortage after i tried to pull some wire from the studs? May be i killed dimmer? Is it possible that two B wires and one W connected together? How to fix it?

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Old 11-16-2007, 07:12 PM   #2
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


Hope you get this!!! It would appear based on your info that there was a power source coming into the box 1b, 1w and a power source feeding something down the line. 1b, 1w. the third wire however has me confused. It is possible that whoever installed the dimmer switch fed it hot from that receptacle but w/o any further info it is hard to say. I would recommend you contact me F.O.C. by way of email @ advancedelectric@knology.net and I will see if I can help you figure it out.

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Old 11-16-2007, 07:13 PM   #3
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


First of all, undo all your connections that you made in the outlets,except the grounds(bare copper wires), cap off all wires individually using wirenuts(put a wirenut on each wire, then turn on the circuit breaker. If you have no short and breaker does not trip then you did not pinch any wires iside the wall.
After that get a hot stick tester,voltage indicator(tester that using inductive voltage to indicate the power in the wire, can be bought at construction store for around $15). Check all your white and black wires with it .
---I assume that it will show nothing on whites and will indicate at least one black being hot. If it indicates only one black being hot then: turn off the breaker in the panel, test all wires agane make sure that circut is dead and black is not hot anymore. Connect all blacks together and all whites together. Try to reset breaker and see if it works wthout tripping. Then turn off the power agane, land all your blacks on right side ofreceptacles and white ones on left. Test agane see if this fixes it.

Another case is that this box was used to make a connection for your switch then: hot wire goes on right rerminal of receptacle and white from the same cable lands on left. Two other blacks go together by themselves. Then you need to identify white wire that is coming from the switch and land it on hot(right) side of receptacle and the other white that comes from the light lands on left side of receptacle.

Would be helpfull if you open the switch and look how many wires you have in the box.

Last edited by sparky1980; 11-16-2007 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:28 PM   #4
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


Great ideas Sparky,

The post was a little garbled, but I kind of think he may have a switch loop. The best way to see is to do just as you suggested though. Post back IBS and we will figure this out!!!
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:08 PM   #5
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky1980 View Post
First of all, undo all your connections that you made in the outlets,except the grounds(bare copper wires), cap off all wires individually using wirenuts(put a wirenut on each wire, then turn on the circuit breaker. If you have no short and breaker does not trip then you did not pinch any wires iside the wall.
After that get a hot stick tester,voltage indicator(tester that using inductive voltage to indicate the power in the wire, can be bought at construction store for around $15). Check all your white and black wires with it .
---I assume that it will show nothing on whites and will indicate at least one black being hot. If it indicates only one black being hot then: turn off the breaker in the panel, test all wires agane make sure that circut is dead and black is not hot anymore. Connect all blacks together and all whites together. Try to reset breaker and see if it works wthout tripping. Then turn off the power agane, land all your blacks on right side ofreceptacles and white ones on left. Test agane see if this fixes it.

Another case is that this box was used to make a connection for your switch then: hot wire goes on right rerminal of receptacle and white from the same cable lands on left. Two other blacks go together by themselves. Then you need to identify white wire that is coming from the switch and land it on hot(right) side of receptacle and the other white that comes from the light lands on left side of receptacle.

Would be helpfull if you open the switch and look how many wires you have in the box.
Thank you very much Sparky! I will try it! Your step by step instruction is very professional!
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:23 PM   #6
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


To clarify a tad.. when the receptacle is in a "ground down" position the hot will be on the right and the neutral and ground terminals on the left. The hot slot is shorter than the neutral slot and the ground is the little round hole.

Ground down the receptacle will look like this With the neutral slot being Andy's left eye, the hot being Andy's right eye, and Andy's mouth being the ground. Post back if you fix it!

Great job Sparky 180 but it's cheating if you edit your post after my post without explaining why... Makes me look like a bit of an idiot. That's easy enough anyway!!!
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:31 PM   #7
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


Please, please don't reconnect that dimmer to the outlet. Dimmers are not meant to control receptacles. That is why they make in- line lamp cord dimmers.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:05 PM   #8
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


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Originally Posted by Andy in ATL View Post
Great job Sparky 180 but it's cheating if you edit your post after my post without explaining why... Makes me look like a bit of an idiot. That's easy enough anyway!!!
Sorry Andy I made a bunch of grammar mistakes and misspelled words in my original post, so I had to edit it. English is my second language, please excuse it. However, your reputation is cleared now, after my explanation. .
I just gave a second thought about this topic and realized if this receptacle box is really used as junction box for a switch(plan B) then fixing it as of it was plan A (which is connecting all wires together color to color) will cause a short circuit and trip a breaker in case if the switch is in ON position. I recomend to turn it OFF prior to trobleshoting.

Last edited by sparky1980; 11-16-2007 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:28 PM   #9
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky1980 View Post
First of all, undo all your connections that you made in the outlets,except the grounds(bare copper wires), cap off all wires individually using wirenuts(put a wirenut on each wire, then turn on the circuit breaker. If you have no short and breaker does not trip then you did not pinch any wires iside the wall.

Thank you , did that No short!

After that get a hot stick tester,voltage indicator(tester that using inductive voltage to indicate the power in the wire, can be bought at construction store for around $15). Check all your white and black wires with it .
---I assume that it will show nothing on whites and will indicate at least one black being hot. If it indicates only one black being hot then: turn off the breaker in the panel, test all wires agane make sure that circut is dead and black is not hot anymore.

Did that, just one hot wire.

Connect all blacks together and all whites together. Try to reset breaker and see if it works wthout tripping. Then turn off the power agane, land all your blacks on right side ofreceptacles and white ones on left. Test agane see if this fixes it.

Did that, got shortage.

Another case is that this box was used to make a connection for your switch then: hot wire goes on right rerminal of receptacle and white from the same cable lands on left. Two other blacks go together by themselves. Then you need to identify white wire that is coming from the switch and land it on hot(right) side of receptacle and the other white that comes from the light lands on left side of receptacle.

Would be helpfull if you open the switch and look how many wires you have in the box.
Black, white and and two greens and a see that it is coming from the ceiling (new wires, not that old one) that why i can't locate old white one.

But i have news! I found electrical box in the same circuit with no power in the wires. I disconnected all the wires from this box.
After that i did it connection in my first outlet like it was it before: hot to the right, two whites to the left and two blacks and one white connected all together! Turn on breaker - no shortage! But steel no power on the switch and no power on the second box. The wall ,where this box, may be was punched by the nail. It happened after plumber install pex pipe on this wall.How do i checked this? Thank you in advance!
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:34 PM   #10
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


Ibs, buddy... you got a nail thru the wire by the dreaded plumber ! To confirm this, take a meter and check for continuity on the black and either white or ground. That would be just for fun, though. How good are you at sheet rock repair?
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:43 PM   #11
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


One set of B/W may have been to a suicide switch and by connecting www/bbb he has a dead short.


How many wires at the switch? What color?
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:49 PM   #12
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


220, the DIYers will want to know what a suicide switch is...Explain please.

Heck, Iknow what my def. is ,whats yours.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:55 PM   #13
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


When you send power to a switch on the white wire and it comes back to the light (or outlet in this case) on the black.

Generally you don't expect the white (don't make be get into that) to be the "hot" thus the "suicide" nickname.

It SOUNDS like his switch has a black and white so I suspect the problem lies there.

I've said many times "it must be a nail/staple/screw".....but it rarely is. It is much more likely that he messed up the make up.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:59 PM   #14
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


From reading his last post, that is likely the issue. He disconnected the circuit down the lind and cleared the short...but lost the light.
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:48 PM   #15
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Two black wires with one white! Please help!


After re-reading post 9 it does sound like he is tying to blacks and a white together... but the wrong white.

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