The Importance of Electrical Circuit Polarity


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Identify and Repair Reverse Polarity of an Electrical Circuit: Electrical Safety and Proper Circuit Polarity, Polarity has to do with the flow of electricity. Polarity and Outlets, Circuit Wires and Polarity.


The Problems of Reverse Polarity and How to Fix It

Electrical Polarity Question#1: I need your help on something. I know what reverse polarity is – when a receptacle is wired with the hot and neutral wire feeds attached to the opposite screws that they should be attached to.

Thank you for your help in this,
Randy

This electrical question came from: Randy , a Homeowner from Alexandria , Virginia.

Electrical Polarity Question#2: I recently moved into an older model mobile home. I was outside and touched the metal strip right above the skirting and got shocked.

Have any suggestions on what I should do?

This electrical wiring question came from Vicki, in Oolagah, Oklahoma.

Additional Comments: very good, helpful.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Randy and Vicki.

How to Identify and Repair Reverse Polarity of an Electrical Circuit

Electrical Safety and Proper Circuit Polarity

The Importance of Electrical Polarity
Randy, polarity has to do with the flow of electricity. As the name implies, polar has to do with direction, north pole, south pole, and this is related to magnetism which is the influencing force or flow or direction, which takes us right back to polarity.

Polarity and Electrical Devices

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

4 Responses to “The Importance of Electrical Circuit Polarity”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Paul,
    Please visit the dryer cord section of the website to make sure the dryer cord is wired correctly. If the cord is wired right and the circuit breaker trips off when the dryer calls for heat then there may be a fault with a heating element or control wiring.
    Thanks for sharing your electrical question with us,
    Dave

  2. Paul Rake says:

    I recently installed a three wire electric dryer cord and am worried that the polarity is wrong since the machine runs until heat is called for and then it trips the circuit breaker. Will reversing the cord hot wires fix this or is the machine defective?
    Thanks,
    Paul

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Terry,
    Standard single light switches are not polarity sensitive, which means that when there are only two screw terminals for the two wires that are connected to the switch, so it really does not matter which of these two screw terminal the wires are attached to. You may want to question your friend and find out more about why he wired it that way.
    I hope this helps you,
    Dave

  4. Terry C. says:

    My friend wired a plug and made it so that one side would only go on if switch was turned on. I had to change the wiring so the switch would turn the ceiling fan on. I noticed he may have wired the switch backwards I don’t understand why he ran the hot wire to the topside (Off) when my other switches are wired normally.

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