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
- 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.
Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring
- Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.
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
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 Wiring!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, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard 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.
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