Electrical Wiring Safety and Home Inspections
How to Troubleshoot Home Electrical Wiring Problems: Testing Electric Circuit Wiring, Home Electrical Inspection, Upgrading Older Home Electrical Wiring.
Troubleshooting a Reverse Polarity Problem
Electrical Question: Why does my tester show that the neutral wire and the hot wire reversed?
- I have an 80 year old home that has electric service to the second and third floor bedrooms using standard Romex brand Type NM wire with a ground wire coming from the breaker box to a junction box.
- The home has some updated electrical wiring and now my polarity tester shows that the wiring is incorrect.
- The wiring turns into the old individual 2-wire, and then on the third floor the wiring changes back to the standard Romex with a ground where it feeds grounded outlets.
- The polarity tester shows that I have the neutral and the hot reversed but it is not the case that I can find
Do you have any suggestions?
Background: Wes is a Homeowner in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Wes.
How to Troubleshoot Outlet Wiring Problems
Application: Troubleshooting a Reverse Polarity Wiring Problem.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with hand tools and electrical troubleshooting skills.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring or inspections.
Troubleshooting Outlet Circuit Wiring
- Testing Electric Circuit Wiring
- This circuit condition should be tested so the circuit polarity can be corrected, and checked for an open ground.
- Important: If the circuit wiring does not have a separate ground wire then polarity tests can have mixed results.
- Replacing Outlets Where There is No Ground
- From what has been described, the circuit does not have a continuous bonded ground wire, therefore grounded outlets should not be installed, however the receptacles should be replaced by 2-prong ungrounded outlets.
- Home Electrical Inspection
- Older homes such as this, that have a mix of original electrical wiring spliced together with other wiring types, should have an electrical inspection to determine the safety and integrity of the home electrical system.
- Upgrading Older Home Electrical Wiring
- Upgrading and replacing older electrical wiring is highly recommended to provide safe electricity for the home and its occupants.
- Ungrounded electrical cable, or old knob and tube wiring should be removed and replaced with Type-NM cable which has a ground wire and two insulated wires.
- Before grounded receptacle outlets are installed a ground wire must be present and verified.
More about Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Wiring
Troubleshooting and Repairing Old Electrical Wiring
- Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.
- 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.
- 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 to wire electrical outlets for the home.
- 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.
Home Electrical Safety
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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