Can Miswired Receptacle Affect Others?

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If one or more receptacles are wired backward (hot wires on neutral side and vice versa), can that affect other outlets on that circuit?
I guess I am confused since they are wired together through the receptacles is it possible to introduce current to the neutral wire (which would then screw up the next one)?. I was wondering if doing one wrong could cause a ripple effect so that even if another is wired correctly (black wires to hot side and white wires to neutral side), it may not in fact be functionally correct.
Or does the backward wired one(s) only affect itself and the others are fine? Note: There would be NO GFCI's in this scenario. -- John
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If at one receptacle, you wired the hot wires to the neutral side and the neutral wires to the hot side, it would only affect things plugged into that outlet. You can buy a plug in outlet tester to prove out all the outlets

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RBM remove this wrote:

That's a relief! I had a few receptacles in a room replaced and at least one was wired backward. So I was concerned the newly correctly wired ones may still be "wrong."
These are 2 prong outlets. Those testers are for 3. Is there a way to test the 2 prong outlets? I should note that the screw on the plate does NOT provide a ground. -- John
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How old is the wiring in this house?
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John Ross wrote:

You can use a neon tester http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId 92792&cp%68443.2568454.2632224.1259271&parentPagemily The neon 'lamp' has 2 parallel rods and it glows orange on voltage (like a neon sign). Plug one lead into a receptacle slot and touch the other lead. The lamp will glow *very dimly* if the slot is 'hot'. You probably will have to cup you hand around it to block other light. These lamps work at very low current and can light even if you are insulated from everything (capacitive current).
There are also many 'non-contact' voltage detectors like http://www.toolbarn.com/product/greenlee/09022/?ref se that light up or make sound when placed at the 'hot' receptacle slot. (Some may have to be closer to the conductor - don't know about this one.)
--
bud--

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bud-- wrote:

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId 92792&cp%68443.2568454.2632224.1259271&parentPagemily
OK, Bud, you want me to place one lead in a socket and touch the other lead to myself? I think a little bit of explanation is needed before I would do that! :)
And how come everyone else says you need a ground for those to work?

Have you ever tried that? I saw an eletrician with one of those, and when it was about a few inches from the *entire* outlet, it went off.
-- John
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John Ross wrote:

*Neon* test lights operate at very low currents (well under 0.001A IIRC). I believe they have a resistor of around 200,000 Ohms in series with the lamp. If one hand was well grounded and the other hand touched the 2nd lead the current would be so small you probably couldn't feel it. If you are fairly well insulated the current is miniscule (so is the light). (You and the 'real world' form a capacitor and the very small current flows through the capacitor.)
Since I use these testers often, I am rather picky what I buy.

Ask them. I have never owned a 3 prong outlet tester. I always carry a neon test light which is smaller and more versatile. If a circuit is "dead" I typically use the tester to check if there is a hot (open neutral).

It works with the one I use. If it is too sensitive you may not be able to distinguish. You may be able to approach the receptacle from the sides and get an indication. With the outlet pulled out they will give a reliable indication at the terminals. Great for knob-and-tube wiring to pick the hot (neon can also be used as above if the conductor is available).
--
bud--

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easy enough to check. get a plug in tester.
s

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Read the other messages. He said he has nothing but 2 prong outlets, and the boxes aren't grounded. He's got a mess on his hands.
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Right you are. I hadn't read the OP's second message.
s

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Get a non-contact voltage tester. Hot side will make it beep, neutral side will not.
http://tinyurl.com/2vwbdg
Ken
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On Fri, 26 Oct 2007 10:15:55 -0500, "Steve Barker"

These require ground to be connected properly, in order to detect a hot/neutral reversal.

--
60 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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wrote:

Think about it. If you have one receptacle wired to another, and the first is wired wrong it is not a "correct" source for feeding the other.
--
60 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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You need to think about it a little more yourself.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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OK, no troll, I'm confused.
If you have two outlets on a circuit, and outlet one has hot wired to neutral, would it not make sense that the downstream plug will also have juice at the neutral side as well? Or are you implying that it just really isn't an issue when plugging something into either outlet?
Tnx Gary
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It only affects the outlets that you connect the wires incorrectly on. The hot wire stay hot, and the neutral stays neutral. If you reversed the "load" connections, then you'd be running your hot through a white wire, and neutral through a black or colored wire

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G Wood wrote:

If one outlet can have the lines switched, a downstream outlet can have them switched again.
Two prongs make a right.
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Go to your room, young man!!! (g).
Kurt (A good pun is in the ARGGGHHH!!! of the beholder) Ullman
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HeyBub wrote:

As long as they match colors on the sides of the outlets, if one is miswired, the downstream ones can still be okay. If they cross colors at an upstream outlet, you are screwed. When I replaced about 16 2-holers with 3-holers here (grounded metal boxes, grounded romex, luckily), about half were polarity-reversed 'as found'. No apparent pattern, or effect from one box to next. Just made sure they all had the same color wires on the same color screws, and the little 3-prong idiot meter happily lit up green on all of them.
aem sends....
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It could be miswired too, correcting (for the second outlet) the first miswiring. In that case, correcting only the first would make the second one wrong.

I know someone who recently said that it didn't matter which wire (hot or neutral) was connected where. Not with AC.
He didn't know much.

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