I've got a non-working outlet that I can't seem to fix.
It's got two black wires, two white wires, and no ground wire.
I bought a new outlet (shown) and attached the black wires to the screws on the right, and the white ones to the screws on the left. (I didn't understand why there were two of each kind of wire, but read on this board that that's not uncommon. I still don't understand why there is no ground wire.)
When I turn the circuit back on, the outlet does not work, and I detect no current in either the hot side or the neutral side. BUT the ground screw IS hot. Yet as i say there is no ground wire to attach.
This is a weird circuit, tied in to a dishwasher and another light. The light works when the circuit is on, but the outlet and dishwasher do not. An appliance guy said he was getting current on the hot wire on the dishwasher, but not the neutral wire, and thought replacing this broken outlet would fix things. But I can't make the outlet work.
The original outlet. It was installed upside down; I shifted the black and white wires in order to install the new one in the normal orientation. (Maybe that matters?)
I learned the outlet was hot by accident. Assuming it was all dead (having tested the black and neutral wires and screws with a two-pronged voltage detector, and since the outlet wasn't functional), I started to screw it in before seeking help here or from an electrician. There was a significant spark. I then used the voltage tester on the ground screw, and the light went on.
Despite the tile, this is nowhere near water; it's decorative tile on the opposite side of the kitchen from the sink.
Original box, showing the two black and two white wires. AS mentioned, the previous outlet was installed upside down, with black on the left and white on the right. No evident ground wire.