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21

Yikes, good find! This is most definitely the reason. The ground and neutral are only supposed to be tied together at the main panel. In this case, instead of only the neutral carrying current, both the ground and neutral will carry it. There is no legit reason that I know of to do this at an outlet. I wonder if perhaps the neutral was open and the ...


21

There is no reason why they should be reversed. Fix the receptacles and double check all the electrical in your house. It looks like you had someone living there that was comfortable making electrical changes that didn't know anything about electrical.


19

The sockets I've been using for the last 15 years have standard screw connection, holes behind that location where the screw pulls a plate against straight stripped wires and the push-in holes. After you've encountered a few burnt sockets from using the push-in connection in the first couple outlets in a daisy chain, you start to realize something. The ...


18

If wired correctly, this is fine. GFCI outlets typically have line terminals (power input) and load terminals (power to other outlets, which will be protected by the GFCI.) Your contractor will have wired the outlet in the second bathroom to the load terminals of the GFCI in the main bathroom. There should also be a sticker on the outlet stating that it is ...


16

To answer all the issues you raise would require a book on US electrical wiring. Or several. And a copy of the Code. The vast majority of outlets in residences in the US are attached to branch circuits that are rated at 15 Amps and 120 Volts. Current practice and code calls for outlets like these This version is tamperproof, required in many ...


16

The grounding conductor in an electrical system provides a safe path for fault currents to travel along. It's there to prevent electrocution. No Grounding Conductor Let's say we have a toaster. Inside the toaster are two conductors, a black ungrounded (hot) conductor, and a white grounded (neutral) conductor. To heat the toaster, current flows ...


14

It is difficult to test without a ground reference. One way to do this is with a very sensitive (very high impedance) voltmeter such as a digital voltmeter. Make absolutely sure you are not grounded (and no pets or children are around). Make sure the digital voltmeter is definitely on the voltage setting. Plug one probe into one hole of the outlet, while ...


14

That is correct. See NEMA 14-50R Source G - Ground W - Neutral X - Hot Y - Hot If you look at the terminal screws on one of these receptacles, you may notice they are different colors. The green tinted screw is ground. The silver screw is neutral. The two brass screws are hot. This is a common pattern in most electrical devices, and can ...


14

You should never chain two GFCI circuits together. When you install a GFCI circuit, you should only ever chain standard outlets off of them. Multiple GFCI on the same circuit can cause each other to trip. So yes, what you want to do is actually what you should do. What you do need to do, however, is make sure you connect the new outlet to the LOAD ...


13

All outlets that support convenience plug in items within 8 feet of a water source must be GFI protected. However, the new NEC calls for a separate non GFI circuit (home run) for the fridge or other fixed appliances. These non protected circuits must be single purpose and wired to a single outlet or direct wired and dedicated to the appliance. This can ...


11

A child-proof, or tamper resistant (TR for short) receptacle, has a spring-loaded cover over the electrical contacts that retracts when both pins of the plug press against it. You need to push against both sides simultaneously, and some force is required to open the cover, making it difficult for a child to get something in far enough to get a shock. A ...


11

The NEC (NFPA 70 2011 edition) requires GFCI receptacles in kitchens of dwelling units where the receptacles are installed to serve the countertop surfaces. It does not mention a distance requirement in kitchens. The distance requirement of 1.8 meters (6 feet) is for sinks located in areas other than kitchens. Section 210.8 A of NFPA 70 2011 Edition deals ...


11

As I said in the comments to the OP and to Aaron's answer, there are several wiring failures that could cause an NCVT (non-contact voltage tester; usually a pen-looking thing that beeps when you point it at a live electrical wire) to light up, and some that even a plug tester can miss, but that would prevent a "real" load from being plugged in. The first ...


10

The correct answer is that you cannot install a 3 prong grounded outlet without using a 2 conductor with a separate ground conductor, that's three conductors. I know people cheat and put a wire from the ground screw of the outlet to the metal box and hope that the armor case is firmly connected to the box and grounded at the panel. This is not a good ...


10

NEMA First let's take a moment to understand what NEMA is, and how it relates to receptacles and cord-and-plug appliances. National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is a standards organization, that creates standards for electrical equipment. Each standard has a number associated with it, so you may see something like NEMA 5. That simply ...


10

To answer your first question, no it's not permitted to have a 3 prong receptacle without the ground wire being attached. See some of the other questions explain how you should fix this situation. I believe the short answer is that it should be a 2 prong receptacle (which will be difficult to find and only to be used in grandfathered situations) or you could ...


10

My experience says to use the rotary tool, but I have always used metal boxes with plaster rings. I have no experience cutting drywall over plastic boxes. I do have three pointers for cutting with a rotary tool: Put as little pressure on the box from the drywall as possible. The more pressure against the drywall, the more likely that you'll get tearout ...


10

Make sure that your ground is not hot. I found so receptacles in my house that were apparently wired in reverse (according to a receptacle tester). In reality, some had connected the ground for that are to the live wire with no connected to actual ground. As a result, the ground and live are at the same voltage and there's a 120V difference between ground ...


9

Neutrals shouldn't be connected together with the GFCI. Connect the neutral of the line and load to the appropriate connections on each side of the GFCI. Otherwise, the current will appear to go out via the hot connection and not return via the neutral on the load side of the connection, which is exactly the scenario that the GFCI detects and trips on. ...


9

tl;dr 15 Ampere cord-and-plug appliances can indeed, safely be connected to 20 Ampere receptacles. A deeper understanding NEMA 6 is a design standard for three wire grounded cord-and-plug devices and receptacles. The number after the dash (-), is the current rating of the device. For example. A NEMA 6-20 device, would be a three wire grounded ...


8

After some experimentation, I have a solution that I think will be useful to others. I go into some detail here, so that people can take the principles and adapt them to their own circumstances. A lot of it seems obvious in retrospect, of course! Tools I used: Two long plastic yardsticks (wood or fiberglass would be fine, too). One small plastic binder ...


8

Whenever you have an appliance that is drawing current, and you pull the plug while it is in operation, you are going to draw an electrical arc. The voltage is high enough that current still wants to flow through the air to power the item. This is not a good situation. Items that draw high amounts of current, ie; high wattage, should have an on/off switch ...


8

The accepted answer states "it's not permitted to have a 3 prong receptacle without the ground wire being attached." This is incorrect. 406.4(d)2(b) A non-grounding type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a ground fault circuit interrupter type of receptacle(s). These receptacles shall be marked "No Equipment Ground". An Equipment ...


7

Yes, that is correct. Another alternative is to disconnect the existing supply, and run a new line to the switch/receptacle. It really just depends on which line is easier to run. (Note, I just copied the original image, but didn't erase the ground. The ground should be connected to the box and the ground nut on the receptacle, and switch if it has one. ...


7

To directly answer your question about the unused switch in your kitchen, you have to check a couple of things before you install a receptacle in it's place: Is there a source voltage feed in the box? If there is only one cable entering the box and both the black and white conductors are connected to the switch(es), then the voltage feed is coming through ...


7

I'm not in the US, so I used Google to deduce which prong is doing what in this outlet. I'll assume that the left and the right wires are phase wires and the middle wire is the ground. Note that although the left wire looks melted the right one looks just fine although they usually carry equal currents. So this is not melting due to overload. The most ...


7

You can probably get away with a weather proof box on top of the siding, but here's the full procedure to make it look nice. Vinyl siding can be pulled off and later reattached. To remove it, you need a siding removal tool that has a flat blade with a small hook on the end. You shove it up the gap between two pieces of siding and then pull to separate them. ...


7

No, the plugs are different for different voltages. There are many different NEMA receptacles for various combinations of voltage and current, and also a "twist-lock" receptacles. Some common ones are: (From Wikipedia).


6

It must be GFCI (2009 residential codes, chapter 29): E3902.1 Bathroom receptacles. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in bathrooms shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel. VA building codes are online: ...


6

I doubt it's required for existing construction and repairs, depending on where you live; some states have not yet adopted the code but it looks like most (pdf) have; The incremental cost is small and if you have small children, it'll save having to buy those plastic inserts. And since I'm one who vividly recalls being a toddler a long time ago getting his ...



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