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Old 06-13-2011, 01:00 PM   #1
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what should I do?


I opened up a receptacle box and noticed that the white wire was on the file screw and the black on the silver screw. The receptacle worked fine but I know its not supposed to be that way.
What should I do? Should I keep the white wire on the gold or but the white wire on the silver where its supposed to be? I want to put it on the gold but I don't want to catch my house on fire. Please help

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:06 PM   #2
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White wire was on the gold screw. I'm sorry for the typo I was using my phone to post that

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
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Exchange the two wires. It will work perfectly fine as-is if all the connections are tight but it is safer for persons if it is redone to be correct.

You will also need to check and (if necessary) fix other outlet boxes in the house for the same thing.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:34 PM   #4
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The hot and nuetral appear reversed - it should be corrected. I say appear, because they could be reversed somewhere else upstream or in the breaker panel - making this recept correct.

I suggest to check the panel to ensure correctness there. Then get one of the inexpensive gizmos you plug into recept that show you status and check all your recepts, correct as needed.
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Last edited by vsheetz; 06-14-2011 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:36 PM   #5
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So it really doesn't matter what screw I put the hot or neutral on? Are the terminal screws just for orginization of the wiring and code purposes?
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:40 PM   #6
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it will work most of the time.

it should be corrected

some devices rely on the hot and neutral being in the correct orientation
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:24 PM   #7
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I always do it correct but never knew some devices could do that
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:19 AM   #8
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It does matter. The Black (Hot) wire needs to be on the brass screw, and the White (neutral) on the silver. This is to be sure that the wide slot on the receptacle is the neutral return, so that anything, like a lamp, plugged into it will have it's threads on the neutral side and not the HOT! Fix it, and any others that you can find.

Also, someone said to check the panel. Make sure that the breaker that serves that receptacle, and others, has a Black wire on it.

get a receptacle checker, like this one ...
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what should I do?-receptacle-checker.jpg  

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