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Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help #4613921
12/25/17 03:11 PM
12/25/17 03:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 794
Scituate MA
coopns Offline OP
coopns  Offline OP
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 794
Scituate MA
I have done outlets before but not this one.

Tried to simply change outdated outlet. It is connected/powered by a wall switch...but I can't figure out how.

I have two black to brass, two white to silver. Didn't work. So I broke the tab and that didn't work either.

No power to outlet or the light switch. Previously switch worked outside light and I think it just powered the bottom outlet,
not top. I never used it but wife mentioned that.

Does the order of the wires matter (which white or black on top?) and do I just break the hot side or both? I tried on hot side.

Any advice (besides calling an electrician).

Outlet
Outlet 1

Last edited by coopns; 12/25/17 03:13 PM.

Coop
Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: coopns] #4613928
12/25/17 03:21 PM
12/25/17 03:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 568
West Ma.
rollinpete Offline
rollinpete  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 568
West Ma.
no power to outlet , check the breakers


Pete.
97 Ford Expl.Sport 4.0 ohv 4wd 5spddrive184k miles
Last Change;
Penn. Plat. HM. 5w30
Fram xg8a, Fram CA8141

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Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: coopns] #4613949
12/25/17 03:44 PM
12/25/17 03:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 694
central ga
urrlord Offline
urrlord  Offline
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 694
central ga
I hate electrical.My house was built in the early 70's.We recently had a mouse chew some of the wiring.Two electricians have came out and looked at it ,said they would have to get back with us.Have not heard back from either.

Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: coopns] #4613952
12/25/17 03:46 PM
12/25/17 03:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,916
Chicago, IL
EdwardC Offline
EdwardC  Offline
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,916
Chicago, IL
So you're saying that that there's a switch that switched and outside light in addition to the bottom outlet? Looking at your images, you have 4 wires, 2 white, 2 black. I think it should be connected like this:

Neutral (white) should be connected throughout, and the shorting tab should not be broken on that side of the outlet (one of your white wires is coming in, the other is going out to the next outlet/light). One of the black wires should come from the switch, and you should be able to measure it go hot when the switch is flipped. That wire should be connected to the bottom outlet, with the shorting tab broken. That wire should also be connected to the light outside (either at the outlet or somewhere else in the junction box, or even wired somewhere else). There should be another black wire that is always hot, you'll connect that to the top outlet.

Take a multimeter and start probing, figure out which lines are switched. Hard to describe in words. Obviously, if there's zero power, check your breaker.

Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: rollinpete] #4613970
12/25/17 03:58 PM
12/25/17 03:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 35
Tennessee
tvaughn0712 Offline
tvaughn0712  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 35
Tennessee
Did the original outlet have a tab broken? If broken only the hot side should be broken (gold side with black wires). If not you need to get a new outlet and replace since you already broke the tab. In this configuration it doesn't matter which wire goes where. If the original outlets tab was broken (and it should only be done on the hot side) then that means one of the outlets is powered all the time and the other is powered off a switch. In this configuration it still doesn't really matter which black wire is on top except for that the outlet that was previously switched and the one that was hot all the time may be switched. If you want to switch simply reverse the black wires. In both configurations it doesn't matter which white wire is on top (just keep white wires with silver screws and black wires with gold).

With that all said it sounds like nothing works so I agree check your breaker. It looks like you have a metal outlet so maybe one of the black wires were touching the side and tripped the breaker

Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: tvaughn0712] #4613973
12/25/17 03:59 PM
12/25/17 03:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,916
Chicago, IL
EdwardC Offline
EdwardC  Offline
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,916
Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: tvaughn0712
Did the original outlet have a tab broken? If broken only the hot side should be broken (gold side with black wires). If not you need to get a new outlet and replace since you already broke the tab. In this configuration it doesn't matter which wire goes where. If the original outlets tab was broken (and it should only be done on the hot side) then that means one of the outlets is powered all the time and the other is powered off a switch. In this configuration it still doesn't really matter which black wire is on top except for that the outlet that was previously switched and the one that was hot all the time may be switched. If you want to switch simply reverse the black wires. In both configurations it doesn't matter which white wire is on top (just keep white wires with silver screws and black wires with gold).

With that all said it sounds like nothing works so I agree check your breaker. It looks like you have a metal outlet so maybe one of the black wires were touching the side and tripped the breaker


Good call, that's a lot more clear than my explanation!

Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: rollinpete] #4613980
12/25/17 04:11 PM
12/25/17 04:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 568
West Ma.
rollinpete Offline
rollinpete  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 568
West Ma.
Originally Posted By: rollinpete
no power to outlet , check the breakers


Just noticed it's feeding another outlet or light


Pete.
97 Ford Expl.Sport 4.0 ohv 4wd 5spddrive184k miles
Last Change;
Penn. Plat. HM. 5w30
Fram xg8a, Fram CA8141

I like my oil (slippery).

Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: coopns] #4613989
12/25/17 04:22 PM
12/25/17 04:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,073
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,073
ME
As you initially hooked it up the light should have come on, as you shorted switched to always-hot. So I think your issues are further upstream. Pull other outlets from that circuit that work and see if they have any "backstabbed" connections instead of to the screws. Those notoriously flake out and go bad. They are also a legal-but-lazy way of adding a 3rd wire to spur off in another direction, typically found in handyman additions.

I would look at the switch next to see if it's still hot somewhere.

Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: coopns] #4614092
12/25/17 06:56 PM
12/25/17 06:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,085
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,085
New Jersey
Did you put a meter on it? Should be able to find 120v between one of the sets.

Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: coopns] #4614130
12/25/17 07:51 PM
12/25/17 07:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,244
North Texas
ARB1977 Offline
ARB1977  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,244
North Texas
You tube. I figured out my 3 pole switch issue. One switch has 120 constant. The other wires are travelers. Tie the two travelers together. Go to the other switch and ohm two wires to find the other two travelers. The other wire will be your common.


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Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: coopns] #4614400
12/26/17 08:13 AM
12/26/17 08:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,249
South Central PA
Delta Offline
Delta  Offline
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,249
South Central PA
First I would redo those connections to the outlet, especially the hot on the bottom in the second picture. They need to be cleanly under the screw. Second, the way you have the grounds in against code; needs to be wire-nutted.

Did the old outlet work before? If the outlet itself isn't switched, but power came off that outlet to a switch then the tab shouldn't be broken.


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Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: coopns] #4614414
12/26/17 08:37 AM
12/26/17 08:37 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,774
Buffalo, NY
JTK Offline
JTK  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,774
Buffalo, NY
Coops, does that wall switch control anything else along with this outlet?

I know in my previous home, I had some duplex outlets where the top was switched and the bottom was constant. Both tabs were broken on those IIRC. Been awhile.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: JTK] #4614786
12/26/17 03:54 PM
12/26/17 03:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 794
Scituate MA
coopns Offline OP
coopns  Offline OP
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 794
Scituate MA
Thanks for all the replies...

Update: I tried the outlet with black tab side broken off, tried either wire on top, neither worked. The breaker is fine.

I opened up the wall switch which I replaced a few months ago and it has two black which are hooked up...one black to top screw
one black to bottom screw and both white capped...not going anywhere. This was the configuration that worked the outside light and gave power to the bottom outlet that worked before I tried the new outlet. Previous owner of house was electrician so we are finding a lot of different setups.


Coop
Re: Electrical Outlet - Wiring Help [Re: coopns] #4615548
12/27/17 10:15 AM
12/27/17 10:15 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,523
USA
mk378 Offline
mk378  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,523
USA
It is common for circuit breakers to fail open. They don't close the circuit even though the handle is in the on position. So after you turned it off to work on the wiring, it may not have come back on. That would be the first place to check with a voltmeter. Then go toward the outlet and find out where the electricity is being lost.


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