Circuit Breakers and Electrical Wiring Safety
My outlet tester says that that the Hot and Ground are reversed, how can I fix this? Electrical Circuit Outlet Problems and How to Fix Them, Troubleshooting Problems with Outlet Circuit Wiring.
Guide to Troubleshooting Problems with Outlet Circuit Wiring
Electrical Question: When I plug my outlet tester into my outlets it gives a signal that that the Hot and Ground are reversed.
- I have three outlets that are not working, a laundry room outlet, an outdoor outlet, and a garage GFCI outlet.
- I don’t know the specific wiring order, and here is why. When I plug my GFCI outlet tester into any of these three outlets, it gives a signal that that the Hot and Ground are reversed. (GB tester reads red, off, yellow.)
- This is true even when I turn the circuit breaker to the laundry room off. I would look at this wiring to see if that is the case, but my real concern is one of safety.
- Something is powering this circuit and I don’t want to work on it if it is getting power even when the circuit breaker supposedly serving it is off.
- Do I have the wrong circuit breaker? Another outlet in the laundry room is working, and when I turn the breaker off, it powers down that outlet as one would expect.
- This leads me to believe that the GFCI is bad, and the GFCI comes first in line among the three bad outlets. But again. I don’t want to be working on a circuit that I cannot power down.
Can you help? My home was built in the late 1990s.
This electrical question came from: Clay, a Homeowner from Stillwater Minnesota.
Thanks for your electrical question Clay.
Problems with Electrical Circuit Wiring and Outlets
Application: Troubleshooting an Outlet Circuit.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by a Certified Electrician or a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester or Volt Ohm Meter.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and age of the electrical wiring and the access to the circuits and wiring to be evaluated.
Precaution: This is a project that should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor and typically requires specific tests of the electrical circuits.
Notice: Repairs to Home Electrical Wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes and installing new or replacement electrical parts or equipment may require a permit and inspections.
Common Problems with Outlets and How to Fix Them
- Circuit Voltage
With the problems outlined in this question it is possible that the GFCI outlet is bad, however if there was circuit voltage to the ground then at least one circuit breaker should be tripping off.
- Identify the Circuit
The problem circuit will need to be identified by turning off the circuit breakers one at a time until the GFCI tester or voltage tester shows the power is off.
- Inspect the Wiring
The affected outlet wiring and splice connections will need to be examined for faulty, burnt or corroded connections which will need to be repaired.
- Check for Faulty Connections
Examination of all wiring connections are essential, especially the white neutral wires which will often cause a problem such as this.
- Circuit Wires at the Panel
The wiring connections of the affected circuit should also be checked at the panel as well for loose, burnt or corroded connections of either the circuit wire to the circuit breaker or the white neutral wire to the terminal strip.
More about Electrical Troubleshooting Circuit Wiring
- Electrical Safety and Voltage Testers
- When working on home electrical wiring, quality voltage testers can play an important part in electrical safety.
- Electrical testers enable you to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock.
- GFCI Wiring
- This list of articles will help you learn about the features and benefits provided by GFI and GFCI Receptacles and how they are wired.
Electrical Outlet Wiring
Wiring Electrical Outlet for the Home
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
- Electric Circuit Listing
- The size of the home electrical service panel is designed by calculating the square footage of the home and factoring in the code requirements for the electrical circuits that are required.
- Electrical Wiring Protection using Circuit Breakers
- A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
How to Install Laundry Room Electrical Wiring
- Laundry Room Electrical Wiring
- Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Laundry Room Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
How to Install Garage Electrical Wiring
- Garage Electrical Wiring
- Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Garage Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
|More articles about Electrical Safety, Outlet Circuit Breaker and Home Electrical Wiring:|
|« Previous||Next »|
|Safety Guidelines For Light Fixture Projects||The Shocking Truth About Neutral Wires|
how to calculate/formula the interrupting capacity of breakers in KA
I renovated my basement 6 years ago (2006) in Massachusetts. I bought my home in 2004 and when I did I had the builder put in rough plumbing for a half bath. Directly behind the toilet (but approximately 1 foot to the right) is where they placed the fuse box. When I finished the basement there was no place to move the box. Is it a code violation to have the box in this half bathroom? There is no way to seperate it from the rest of the room…..especially now that it is completed. I am selling my home and I am thinking about pulling a permit after the fact. I know it can be done. Will they make me remove the bathroom?
This is just one of the reasons why I encourage getting a permit and inspections.During the plan check phase it would have been noted that according to NEC Article 230.70(A)(2) and 240.24 Service equipment or other panel boards are not allowed in residential bathrooms.
Electrical work without a permit such as this will always be a problem if the home is to be sold, and inspections take place. What will be required will be up to your local building department. I have been on jobs where the panel is rotated 180 degrees to face into another room, just a thought.
I have two 25k BTU Air Conditioners. Each AC Unit is in two different rooms. I can not run both at once. Is there something I can have done so I can run both at once? Can I switch to 440? Is there a good list of instructions for this you know of?
Each AC Unit will require it’s own dedicated circuit to avoid tripping the circuit breaker of a shared circuit with other devices. Please consult the equipment specifications label on each AC unit or the installation manuals to identify the required circuit. The specifications will state the required amperage and voltage for each air conditioner which will be essential for installing the proper circuits. Once the required circuits have been installed the AC Units will not trip the circuit breakers.
I hope this helps you,