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Old 08-19-2009, 07:54 PM   #1
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What are the circuits INSIDE of a wall receptacle?


I'm looking at the diagram of how to wire up a wall receptacle in middle of the run and end of run. While the pattern is easy to remember, I can't figure out from this info the paths of the current inside of the receptacle.

Does anyone know how the electricty flows inside of a receptacle? Or can point me to a resource? I've done a couple of searches on google and can't come up with anything.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:03 PM   #2
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Inside of a receptacle??
What do you mean?
Power doesn't really flow inside
One side is hot, the other is neutral, 3rd plug is the ground
Plugging something in & turning it on completes the circuit



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Old 08-19-2009, 08:03 PM   #3
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It flows through the receptacle when you have something plugged in and it's "consuming" it. When the receptacle is just sitting there, it's not "flowing".

When receptacles are daisy chained, the screws on the receptacles are just making a connection to the receptacle and continuing it on to the next unless it's the end of the line.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:47 PM   #4
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I mean the circuit.

In middle of the run receptacle, the diagram shows both black wires going into the brass and both white wires going to the silver terminals. So my assumption would be the circuit goes through the black wire, thru both sockets to supply power, and out the other black wire to the rest of the run. Then the circuit comes back through the white wires and the silver terminals to complete the circuit.

However, end of the run diagram has the black wire going to the 'top' brass terminal, and the white wire connecting to the 'bottom' silver terminal, which seems like the circuit goes through the sockets to supply power, then connects directly to the bottom silver terminal to go back and complete the circuit. But this contradicts the assumptions I made about the middle of the run receptacle connection, where the brass and silver terminals never connect inside of the receptacle.

Hope this explains what I mean.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:56 PM   #5
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The two screws on each side are joined by a little metal tab between them, and therefore are electrically continuous.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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"Clearing up" misconception about Electricity!


Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
The two screws on each side are joined by a little metal tab between them, and therefore are electrically continuous.
As IP277 & other posters explained. There is no electricity flowing [in the circuit] when nothing is plugged in. You can have the thickest wire, with a capacity of 400 Amps. and if no appliance or machine is connected (or plugged in), there will be ZERO current flow.! (Now more than ever) (IMO the YES and the NO smilies are the ultimate symbol of confusion)Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
The two screws on each side are joined by a little metal tab between them, and therefore are electrically continuous.
So if the two brass terminals are joined, and the two silver terminals are joined, in what fashion do they connect to the sockets? I would guess the first socket would have a wire from the brass terminals to one hole, and a wire from the other hole to the silver terminals. Ditto for the second socket. So when something was plugged in it would complete a circuit from the brass terminals to the silver terminals back to the breaker box.

Just a guess.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:26 AM   #8
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Yup
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:15 AM   #9
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A hammer will answer all you questions. Take an old receptacle and break it open is you want see how it's made inside.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
A hammer will answer all you questions. Take an old receptacle and break it open is you want see how it's made inside.
The perfect answer for a DYI board!
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:00 AM   #11
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Hmm, that's my usual way of figuring out how things work. Why did someone have to tell me this time?
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:24 AM   #12
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Now I understand the wiring diagrams clearly. I couldn't figure out that the two terminals on each side were probably connected - forgot my electrical circuit basics.
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