Two fuses blow together but not seperately

I replaced four regular power receptacles this afternoon. Some on one circuit some on another. There was one receptacle that had a red wire. I wired the receptacle like the one that was there before. Black and red on the same side opposite white. When I searched this group I see the red is a switched power source. My problem now is a can't turn on both circuits at once or they both blow. The funny thing is all receptacles have power! That is very strange. Could the wires be crossed giving power to the other circuit some how?
Thanks, Tom
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Is that one in a kitchen or used for some other high wattage appliances? It sounds like a split circuit. It works similar to a switched receptacle but it is supplied with a 120/240 volt circuit, if you have the old receptacle you will see a brass jumper between the two brass screws was broken away separating the outlets on the receptacle. This is done to provide a switched outlet and an unswitched outlet. However, yours don't seem to be switched but a split circuit. What you are doing is creating a 240 volt short circuit that would blow both fuses. Turn off the power and remove the break-away jumper on the brass coloured screw side. Leave the jumper on the white screw side.

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On 10 Sep 2006 16:26:38 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Red doesn't have to be a switched line.

It sounds like the red and black are two hots on different phases. If so, and assuming you're in the USA, you created a dead short with a potential of 220 volts. That's bad.
You could get a meter and figure this out, but I'm reluctant to tell you how if you don't know. It might be better to get an electrician.
Greg Guarino
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Greg Guarino wrote:

This sounds like the most likely scenario.
Your house has two hot lines coming in. Both are 110 volts but are on opposite cycles. Some things like electric heat, electric dryers and electric stoves are designed to use both lines. For those appliances, each line basically grounds the other.
You probably have a switch recepticle that is typical for a lamp that is switched. In on older house, it might just be wired on and covered up long ago. But it's probably there.
So without removing the tab, you are creating a dead short on that side of the recepticle where the two wires are connected. That's why both breakers are blowing -- which is a very, very good thing. If they had been on the same phase, you'd probably be worse off in the long run because you'd effectively have to go twice as high before you tripped one and it might have caused a fire. So if this is the case, consider yourself lucky.
There are two very simple tests to do. First off, if any lamps were switched, turn the switch the other direct and see what happens. Basically, nothing should happen except the lights should work okay and not blow anything. (Caution, don't have anything else except lights on the circuit. The other test is to turn on 1 breaker. Everything should work okay. That lets you know if the scenario is true. If ALL lights and ALL recepticles work, then you know you have a problem.
Assuming this is the case, both breakers should have tripped basically as soon as you threw the second breaker. It shouldn't take any time when you did it.
Just out of curiosity, if this isn't the case, are there any GFIs on either circuit?
Good luck with it.
In the US it is getting late. Shut both down and check to make sure all is dead before you go to sleep. Then double check your work in the morning.
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wrote:

Did you break off the tab between the two screws? If not, you're joining the black and red wires together. Definately a no-no!
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I capped off the red wire and all works fine now. I didn't break the tab on the red wire screw. Is there a problem just leaving that just capped off?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Also I wanted to say this is in a bedroom and I am in the USA. This house did originally have electric heat so maybe they were planning on adding a heater in the bedroom. The house was built in 1979. I will check into if there are GFIs on this circuit. I think there might be some on this circuit in the bathroom.
Thanks for all your help! Tom
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A couple of more questions before anyone can say if all is okay.
First, look inside the box. Do the red lead and the black lead come from the same wire or separate wires? This is very important.
Second, go look at the breakers that trip together. Are they side-by-side? Do they have a little metal wire connecting the switch part. Some breakers have a small hole in the handle that you touch. Then there is a small wire going from that breaker to the one next to physically connect them so they have to go off together. Are your breakers like that? Is it possible to turn off one and not the other? Go try it.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Depending on the answers to the above questions, maybe yes and maybe no.
In the mean time, disconnect the black and reconnect the red. I would imagine everything works fine that way, too. We need to know that.
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Pat wrote:

Separate wires. In the box there are three romex cables coming in two with white, black, and ground. The third has all three plus the red wire. All three blacks are taped together to give one black that goes to the receptacle. .

Yes there is one on top of the other.

Do I need to take the cover off to see this wire?

I can turn them off seperately.

Yes I did reconnect red and disconnect black and everything works fine.
Should I just clip the tab and reconnect both?
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These are my best guesses, but by all means wait until someone else confirms them or argues them. This is sort of like troubleshooting by remote control.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, see next comment

Okay, not a 220 breaker
I was just checking to make sure we weren't dealing with a 220 breaker. We aren't. That's good.

Okay, 3 romex wires into the box. Here's my guess as to the scenario. One 2-wire is hot and the other goes onto another recepticle. That's normal. If the cut-out wasn't clipped and you only had 2 wires, you'd put on on each screw. But for you with a cut-out that's clipped, they both go on the same screw (or using a jumper). All standard and okay. The test for this is to hook up just one wire and test the recepticle. With one it should be fine and with the other is should be dead. Check that. Assuming it is like that, you are okay so far.
Now, do you have any unexplained switches handing around behind a door or something. If so, one part of the recepticle was probably switched. If not, hmmmm. If you have a switch, let us know and with a switch recepticle. If not, then you just have a wiring problem.
Hook up the black wire and not the red one. One breaker will now turn off the power and one will not. Leave on the "good" one and shut off the other one. Go do an extensive search and see if anything is dead. If so, see what. If not, go count the recepticles and lights that this one breaker controls and get back to up. You're probably okay but it should be checked. Also let us know what is on these recepticles (for example, 1 recepticle with a refrigerator and a freeze is more load than 3 that are never used except for vaccuuming).
If nothing is dead, the load is okay, and there are no switches, you are probably just fine like this. Otherwise we need to know what's going on.
BTW, this recepticle isn't up high like is used to be a switch, is it?
Did you ever find the old recepticle to see if it had the cut-out removed?
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Yes.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I checked the old receptacle that was in the trash and it had the tab removed. So I clipped my tab and now it works fine with both red and black wires coming in. Thanks for all your help, you guys are great! Tom
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Go and look closely at the old receptacles , you will find a tab that ties them together in the middle removed on at least one of them. You need to do the same to at least one of the new ones
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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On 10 Sep 2006 18:02:22 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com wrote:

This brings up another lesson of home repair, and other repair. Never throw away anything until your done and everything works right!

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If two fuses blow together, you have GAY FUSES. Hetrosexual fuses will not blow together. I suggest buying fuses somewhere else besides the place you are getting them. That place is probably run by a couple gay guys.
On 10 Sep 2006 16:26:38 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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