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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some help tracking down whats up with the wiring in my living room. The house was built in 1995. during the home inspection the inspector told us that half of the outlets in the living room were not grounded, after being in the house a couple of months we bought a tester you plug in the wall and all the plugs tested normal until last night. six of the outlets tested a hot to neutral reversed. the breaker kept triping so i replaced the 20A breaker, i checked all the connections...ground wires connected, white on left, black on right. I used a voltage meter on the outlets....the ones showing reversed are testing revesed on the voltage meter (white is hot 120) (black is at 0). If i plug in the tv the breaker trips again. The only thing unusal today is that it is raining. Any ideas?
 

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flipping slumlord
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I need some help tracking down whats up with the wiring in my living room.
Yeah should get pro help in person at this point.

The house was built in 1995.
...inspector told us that half of the outlets in the living room were not grounded

after being in the house a couple of months we bought a tester
...and all the plugs tested normal ... until last night.

six of the outlets tested had a hot to neutral reversed.
the breaker kept tripping so i replaced the 20A breaker,

i checked all the connections... ground wires connected,
white on left, black on right.

I used a voltage meter on the outlets...
the ones showing reversed are testing reversed on the voltage meter (white is hot 120) (black is at 0).
If i plug in the tv the breaker trips again.
 

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Get a long length (say 100 feet) of single conductor insulated #12 or #14 wire.

Connect one end to the neutral bus bar (terminal strip) of your panel.

In the living room or wherever connect the other end of this loose wire to one prong of the plug for a light fixture with a 100 watt incandescent lamp. Connect a short wire to the other plug prong and stick the other end into receptacles, observing whether the light goes on. Also measure the voltage between the two plug prongs.

Do not insert the plug into a receptacle with the end of the long wire attached to a prong.

The light should go on and you should measure close to 120 volts across the plug prongs when you insert the short wire end into the smaller of the two prong slots ((edited) or first counterclockwise from the ground hole). The light should not go on and you should measure close to zero volts when you insert the short wire into the larger slot or the ground hole.

Write down your results for each receptacle in the room.

Do not touch any bare wire or plug prongs with your fingers when the short wire end is inserted into any receptacle slot or hole. Be very careful that the end of the long wire does not touch anything other than one prong of the plug of the light fixture used for testing (and one meter probe).
 
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Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
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Receptacles have no right or left. They have silver screws for neutral, brass screws for hot black and green screw for bare or ground.
If you install them right side up, hot is on the right. (OH BOY HERE WE GO AGAIN! :laughing:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
all black wires are attached to brass screws and all white wires are attached to silver screws. all grounds are attached to green screws, and if the recepiticle were upside down the ground hole would be on top and rather noticable. Not using tv as a test everything is unplugged in the room and all lights bulbs have been removed. I have tested the plugs with a voltage meter and the black to ground is reading 0 and the white to ground is reading 120 in the six affected recepticles. in the two recepticles that are showing they are correct the black to ground is 120 and the white to ground is 0.
 

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flipping slumlord
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...with a voltage meter and the black to ground is reading 0 and the white to ground is reading 120 in the six affected recepticles.
You have a cross somewhere. It might be damaged wire too.
Starting with the receptacle on that circuit which is closest to the panel...
VERIFY the polarity... or find the damaged wire.
 
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