Replacing a 2-Wire Receptacle Outlet
How to Wire a New Replacement Outlet: I replace a receptacle but I failed to mark which wire went to silver common side of old receptacle and which went to brass hot side.
Identifying Wires for a 2-Wire Receptacle Outlet
Electrical Question: I replace a receptacle but I failed to mark which wire went to silver common side of old receptacle and which went to brass hot side.
- I have an older home which was built in the mid 1950’s.
- I went to replace a receptacle. It is on the END of the line, but I have no idea what is “upstream”.
- Both electrical wires in the Type-NM cable are black (instead of normal black & white).
- How do I now figure out which is which?
- I used a volt meter, figured hooking ONE was would produce +120vAC and hooking the other would produce -120vAC, but both attempts produced a positive – about 123vAC. Now what do I do?
This electrical question came from: Alan, a Homeowner from Galt, California.
See more about Home Wiring for California
Additional Comments: Great site – I also cruised around for more general knowledge.
Thanks for your electrical question Alan.
How to Wire a New Replacement Outlet
Application: Replacing a 120 Volt Receptacle Outlet.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best if wired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of outlets that will be replaced.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Testing Electrical Wires for Polarity
- Alan, use a tick tracer which will only give an indication when it is held to the hot wire.
- If the original receptacle did not have a ground source or ground wire then you should be replacing it with a two wire outlet, not a three wire outlet.
More about Electrical Testing and Electrical Troubleshooting
Electrical Safety and Voltage Testers
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- Electrical testers enable you to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock.
Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring
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Electrical Wire for the Home
- Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
For more information about Home Wiring
- Basic Home Wiring Diagrams with Pictures
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.