Switched Outlet Questions

I have an outlet in the floor of my living room. I recently had the floor tiled and the tile contractor removed the outlet and clipped off the wires. When I went to reinstall the outlet I discovered a red wire as well as the black, white and bare ones in the outlet box. Apparently one side is switched and I didn't even know. The switched side had one of those plastic plugs in it and I had never used that side (only lived here about 6 months). I then found out that the switched side is controlled from two wall switches on opposite sides of the room. I have a cheap voltage meter that I used to check the wires in the outlet box. The black wire is 117 volts (black to bare wire), but the red wire measures about 41 volts (red to bare wire) when it's "off" and 117 volts when on. Both switches seem to work, i.e., they switch the outlet from 41 volts to 117 volts. I sure would appreciate any ideas and suggestions.
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says...

Don't worry about the voltage there when it's off. This is induced by the red wire running next to the black wire. While there is a voltage there, there is almost no current behind it. Modern volt meters are internally very low resistance and can very easily pick up such inductive voltage. If you put a resistive load on that circuit, such as a light bulb, you will see it go away.
Marc
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...

very HIGH impedance. like 10 megOhms i believe. ...thehcik
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On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 20:34:31 GMT, frank-in-toronto

That's why you should be using an old fashinoed analog meter, or neon light tester for house wiring. Those new fangled digital meters are for electronics use, not for wiring in a home. Of course now a days this new generation probably cant figure out how to read an analog meter, just like they cant tell time on a clock that has hands. Everything has to be digital !!!
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wrote:

Your tile contractor snipped off the wires? Is this guy suicidal, or just plain stupid? I was in the flooring biz for many years, and although there were times we had to shut off the power, loosen the hold down screws, and raise a floor outlet for underlayment, or do something similar when installing wall tile, we NEVER snipped the wires. You had an idiot doing your flooring. Unless he is also a licensed electrician, he is NOT supposed to be snipping wires or touching elec wiring. Either an electrician should have come, or else you *as homeowner* could have been asked to deal with it.
If I were you, I'd hire an electrician, and have the bill sent to the flooring installer or his company, for damages. If the wires are too short, they will all have to be replaced. Then I'd file a complaint with your local building inspectors and notify them that this non-licensed idiot is tampering with wiring.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Have you not dealt with flooring guys? My office mate just had rugs pulled up in a new (to him) house and wood and tile put in.
As he showed up at lunch he found the smart guy NOT there and the guys pulling stuff out of one box at a time (each box is a slightly different color than another. so properly, you pull from 3-4 boxes and the pattern works out better than "a little dark there until you got to a *slightly* lighter color).
no, by and large, the guys doing the work in the flooring business these days have the ability to tie their shoes and perhaps have done a floor or two in the past.
Their BOSSES may know a ton, but the supervisors are generally supervising 3-4 jobs each day.
And would you rather have had the work STOPPED part way through a job because "Oh, we had to stop with half the floor done because we needed an electrician to come undo an outlet." No, you'd be pissed off.
The guy made a decision. The wiring is a little confusing for a non-electrician. If you can't quickly figure it out, have them hire an electrician.
You're "local building dept" doesn't usually have much jurisdiction over some tiling subcontractor.

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On Sun, 08 Aug 2004 01:15:56 GMT, chuck yerkes

YES, I WOULD RATHER THEY STOP AND CALL AN ELECTRICIAN, Rather than risk a fire in my home, or other possible hazzard. And yes, I WOULD BE PISSED that the idiot who did the estimate did not note the need for an alectrician, plan ahead, and contact an electrician BEFORE starting the job.
Now, do you know what I did for many years before I retired? I did plumbing, and guess what, one of my sources of work was several flooring installers. Guess what I did? When they had to do a bathroom floor, I'd come there early on the day they did the floor, and remove the toilet, and/or any other plumbing that needed to be removed, or changed, or whatever. Then I'd have to come back later in the day and replace the toilet and/or plumbing. In the process I learned a lot about installing flooring, because it was often not worth leaving and coming back on small jobs, so I would just stay there and wait.
I guess that was when us older generation still knew what the fuck we were doing, and took pride in ou work. That was before this so called "generation X". whose only goal in life is to get rich without doing any work, screwed up this whole country.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote: ...

You damn kids! You ruined everything!
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magee wrote:

Just install a new outlet with the tab between the two terminals on the brass colored side removed. You grab the connecting tab with needle nosed pliers and twist it back and forth until it breaks off. You then connect the red to one brass terminal, the black to the other brass terminal, and the white to the silver colored terminals. The bare or green wire then connects to the green hex headed screw on the strap or yoke of the receptacle.
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M > I have an outlet in the floor of my living room. I recently had the floor M > tiled and the tile contractor removed the outlet and clipped off the wires. M > When I went to reinstall the outlet I discovered a red wire as well as the M > black, white and bare ones in the outlet box. Apparently one side is M > switched and I didn't even know. The switched side had one of those plastic M > plugs in it and I had never used that side (only lived here about 6 months)
M > I then found out that the switched side is controlled from two wall switche
M > on opposite sides of the room. I have a cheap voltage meter that I used to M > check the wires in the outlet box. The black wire is 117 volts (black to M > bare wire), but the red wire measures about 41 volts (red to bare wire) whe
M > it's "off" and 117 volts when on. Both switches seem to work, i.e., they M > switch the outlet from 41 volts to 117 volts. I sure would appreciate any M > ideas and suggestions.
Nice guy that clipped the wires and then left them.
The "41 volts" is probably 41 millivolts (mV). This is a common error when reading with a digital voltmeter. To double-check clip in a low wattage (i.e. nightlight) bulb to the circuit and test the switches.
You should also be measuring from black to white and red to white; the bare wire is ground and under is a redundant safety. (Not that it is not important, just when things are right it's not used. It's when things are wrong you want it!!)
Please not you will need to break the little tab on the hot (brass screws) side. Wiggle with a pair of flat-nose pliers and comes right off. You want to retain the tab on the neutral (silver screws) side.
The black lead goes to one of the brass screws -- if you have a preference as to which outlet is switched or unswitched now's the time! The red lead goes to the other brass screw. The white wire goes to either silver screw (both outlets are tied together by the in-place tab). The bare wire goes to the green screw on the end.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
* "Happiness is a warm puppy." Not if still warm from the microwave.
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