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Discussion Starter #1
Ok i was going to add and outside outlet to my house and i was going to get power directly off an outlet from the inside. I drew a diagram on how the wiring was but i seem to have lost the diagram. I know it was stupid to have lost it but now i need help. I remember there being 3 cables coming into the box, two whites being plugged into the silver screws and one black to the brass. One black and one white was capped together. This is my problem i don't remember how the wires where connected to the outlet reciplcal and which black and white wires were connected together. There are two light switches (one above the outlet and the other on the other side of the room) that controls the outlets. It appears as there are 5 outlets and one outside light(outside light switch is above the outlet) that are controlled by this breaker.

Any help would be great.
Thank you
 

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To an outlet (typically):
black to brass (hot)
white to silver (neutral/common)
green/bare to ground screw

It sounds like you have a 3-way switch circuit controlling the outlets, that's where you have to start identifying the wires because we can't tell you how it was run. The switch circuit may or may not have run through that box, it may be controlling just one outlet (typical), etc.
 

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Kill power to all circuits in the box, verify it's dead, then do some continuity checks to identify the switch circuits.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry but i am not sure how i would do this with my voltmeter because the prongs are not long enough. Unless i am miss understand you comment.
 

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Sorry but i am not sure how i would do this with my voltmeter because the prongs are not long enough.
"prongs"? Are you talking about the probes on the volt meter? You can check voltage at the screw connections on most outlets and switches.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yes the probes, sorry.

I guess i am not understand what you mean. Sorry.
Would you mind describing in detail why exactly you mean please?

The main power wire is the only wire that will have continuity?
 

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Was there one switch or two? I think you said 2.
Did both switches control the same thing(s)?
You said the outlets were turned on and off. Was it both the top and bottom outlets or just one?
Did they control anything else? Ceiling lights?
Can you take a pic of the box and the wires coming out of the box?
Yes continuity checks can be useful if you know what you are doing, and understand how these circuits are wired, but there are other checks you can do.
Please do your best to answer these questions and we will do our best to help.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes two switches and they control two outlets out of the five that are on the circuit and nothing else.

You said the outlets were turned on and off. Was it both the top and bottom outlets or just one? I don't know what you mean here?

I will take a picture later today and upload it this evening.
 

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The usual way to switch a duplex receptacle is to switch only one (the top) outlet, having the other one (the bottom one) live all the time. This way you can plug a lamp into one and have it controlled by the switch and plug, say the TV in the other. You wouldn't want the tv turning on and off whenever you flipped the switch!


What is you location? Please add it to your profile, it often makes a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You know i don't know if it was just for the top or bottom. I just bought this house a little bit ago.
Damn. I can i test for the live wire buy turning off power pulling out the wires out of the box, turn power back on and place black probe one white wire and red probe to each black wire until i get a reading of 110 ohms?
 

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First of all, it would be 120 Volts, not Ohms

You are really starting to worry me.

I think you need a professional. They will be able to figure this out in no time at all. SAFELY!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I meant voltage. "V" on my multimeter. As you can tell i am not an expert electrician i get some symbols and names mixed up. my bad
 

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Just for your info, as I have the feeling you won't give up.

On a duplex receptacle, there is a tab that connects the screws on each side (the two dark together and the two silver together)
When an electrician wants to switch one outlet, normally he will break the tab only on the hot side, running one always hot to one screw ; and one switched hot to the other screw (on the same side).

The tap is normally left intact on the silver side and the 2 neutrals are connected to these 2 silver screws so they are connected together electrically.

QUOTE I remember there being 3 cables coming into the box, two whites being plugged into the silver screws and one black to the brass. One black and one white was capped together END QUOTE

Here you say there are 3 whites and 2 blacks. This simply does not make sense.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
No the tabs are not broken on the reciprocal outlet.
Here is a picture of the box. hopes this helps.

IMG_20121217_185141.jpg
 

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give me a moment.
 

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Please post a pic of both sides of the receptacle.
 

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I see 3 cables, and since none of 3 whites are marked as being a hot wire for a switch loop, you will have to figure out which one is for the switch (probably one of the top ones since you said one switch was above it) and where the other cable goes.
 

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One 'cable' should go to the switch.

One should be hot all the time

One should be heading off to the next switched receptacle.

Now you need to figure out which one is which.

With the breaker OFF, confirm no voltage present on any of the wires.

Unplug everything on this circuit and remove all light bulbs from fixed fixtures so you don't get false readings.

Put your meter on ohms and check each cable separately for continuity. Flip switch and check again to figure out which one is the switch wire.

Then, making sure no blacks or whites are touching anything, switch the breaker on and check the other cables for voltage. That will be the hot.

There should be no voltage on the last cable.

If you wire this wrong, you can send voltage to the switch and cause a short circuit, blow the switch, and possibly cause a fire.

If you have children don't let them anywhere near this.

If you don't know how to do all of this safely PLEASE call a professional.
 
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