We recently bought a house and then we found one of the outlet in master bedroom doesn't work. The lower outlet has power but the upper outlet doesn't.

After open the cover plate, I found the copper bridge on the hot wire side is broken. There is a red wire connecting the upper hot side, a white wire connecting upper neutral side, another white connecting bottom neutral side, a black wire connecting bottom hot side. The other side of black wire is connecting with another black wire using a wiring nut.

There are two wall switches, one is for the ceiling fan and the other one is for recess light. I guess the red one was from the switch and later when the previous owner change the switch to control the ceiling fan or recess light, the red wire is abandoned. My fix is replace the outlet with a new one, connect black wire to bottom hot side, white to bottom neutral, the other white to upper neutral and I use a wiring nut to cap the red wire and leave it in the junction box.

  • 2
    Since you are not breaking the bridges and not connecting the red, you also shouldn't connect the upper white. Presumably, the lower white is the correct neutral for the black hot. Otherwise, your plan sounds good. – DoxyLover Nov 2 '15 at 6:07
  • I tried that option. The tester showed open neutral if I don't connect the upper white for all outlets in the same room including this one. – Changgeng Nov 2 '15 at 6:10
  • I am not sure if this makes sense ... is it possible the receptacles were wired as a multi wire branch circuit with a shared neutral, and the bridge was not cut on the neutral side in order to use the receptacle to tie the neutral to the downstream outlets? – batsplatsterson Nov 2 '15 at 10:55
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    Ah, I'd missed that there was another black wire with a wirenut. I assume that the bridge was not broken on the neutral side? In that case, ignore my comment. The neutral side is being used as a jumper to connect the white wires already and together with the second black is feeding more outlets. Your original plan sounds correct. – DoxyLover Nov 2 '15 at 10:56
  • How many black wires enter the box (1 or 2)? Are the wires part of a cable, or is the box fed through conduit? If the wires are from cables, which wires are from which cables? – Tester101 Nov 2 '15 at 11:11

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