||10-11-2008 03:51 PM
What did i do wrong? - Outlet install trips breaker
i'm hoping someone can give me some insight as to what i did wrong when i tried to install a new outlet in my condo. The current outlets are dated so i went to HD and grabbed some new ones: 2-pole 3-wire Grounding Outlet
Rated: 15A - 125V
When i pulled out the old outlet (which according to the stamping is also rated 15a - 125v) I noted the current configuration:
On the hot side: Red in the top, Black on the bottom
White side: 1 White Wire
Grounded with bare copper.
This outlet was backwired.
At first i used the side screws to install the new outlet. After installing it i plugged in a lamp and flipped the breaker. Well the light turned on but so too did sparks fly (it was actually moderately impressive - probably a sign that i over stepped my electrical ambtions) and the main breaker flipped. The unfortunate matter of the situation is that our main breaker is in an electrical room to which only a few have keys.. making it extremely difficult to gain access and reset it (we actually spent a night without power).
Anyways, i removed the outlet that i had initially installed - stripped the wire to about 5/8" and back wired a new outlet flipped the breaker again and it died.
I pulled out another outlet in the same location to verify the wiring and it was done the same..
Can anyone provide any insight as to what went wrong? i though perhaps it was the wrong guage or whatnot but having confirmed the previous rating of the old outlets i dont know what to do - short of calling someone and paying them a couple hundred dollars to laugh at me.
Any ideas will be appreaciated and rewarded with a :thumbup:
EDIT: I was just looking at the old outlet and it looks like the breakoff fin was removed from the hotside - Could this be what was giving me the trouble?