Well last I checked they had them in McLendon's as well, it's a small
(though admittedly very well stocked) local hardware store. Can't say I've
ever really looked for the things, just seen them around.
Obsession? Well I'm not sure it's an obsession, but I do like them. They're
everywhere (including less than 5 miles from both my house and my work),
have a decent selection, good prices, and they're a one stop shop for home
improvement. I'm not sure where the nearest electrical supply shop is, would
probably have to drive all the way to Seattle.
Why ... what makes them suck?
They have reasonable prices.
I don't think they have "experts" that work there but not everyone needs
an expert to buy what they need for a home renovation.
The selection they have is limited ... but that's why their cheap ...
they don't have to stock a larger selection so they can have larger
volumes on the stuff they do stock.
They have a reasonable return policy .. almost anything
you don't use can be brought back.
Since there are so many of them ... there is usually one
in the neighborhood ... so they are convenient.
Why is it that you think they suck?
They drive competitors out of business, which is fine in itself unless
you happen to need to talk to an expert or find a specialty item. The
difference between a good hardware store or store that supplies the trades
and Home Depot is huge, but most people don't know the difference. Everyone
just knows Home Depot (or Lowe's). It's like buying everything you own at
Wal-Mart or Target. It can be done, but I'm not sure you'd want to.
I generally try to avoid Home Depot and give my business to the places that
stock hard-to-find items and employ guys who actually give correct advice.
Prices are higher, but that's what happens when one stocks specialty items
that don't turn over often and pays his employees a living wage.
I would have to drive past two lumber yards, four hardware stores,
three electrical supply and at least on plumbing supply, to reach a
I see where HD rents trucks for something like $19/hr for people to
take stuff home in. If I call my local lumber yard, they will deliver
for no extra charge, and have it out to me usually by the next day,
and sometimes its been the same day. I tell them where I want it, and
when I get home it is stacked there. I expect that the price is
probably a little higher than HD to begin with, but not enough to
concern me given the level of service (I also have an account at the
local place, and they bill me at the end of the month, Net 30.)
HD can be good for the semi-clueless, who know only to buy generic
stuff by price, who need to see it in the aisles because they don't
know to ask for it from a counterman, and who are basically looking
for generic items at generic prices. Personally I hate the whole
big-box crowded experience, even the parking lot is a zoo. Its not
worth the few percent savings to go through the hassle when I can just
go up to the counter (or call) my local yard, tell them who I am, and
tell them what I want and where to leave it.
I will admit that sometimes HD has a deal - one of my employees found
a power tool that he felt was equivalent to what I had authorized him
to buy for us, for MUCH less at HD so he got it there; for a volume
item on "special" yes they might have it cheaper. But generally I do
not look forward to a trip to HD and would rather buy locally (the HD
is maybe 23 miles from my house).
It is not legal to retrofit 3-prong outlets without a proper ground,
unless the circuit is GFCI protected and labelled as such. Hell, I
GFCI protect most of my outlets anyway because they provide good shock
I had one save my arse once, standing bare foot on damp concrete and
grabbed a fray cord. Everything went dark for a few seconds and I
heard the gfci snap off about 20-miles away. Only damage was an achy
arm for several hours afterward.
Danger is Hot, Black, and Brass. Make it so.
To find which wire is Hot, measure it to a solid ground like a water
pipe. Neutral is Dead, White, and Silver, like the bare Safety Ground.
Put a 200 VAC voltmeter, or DMM set to that range, from Hot to
Neutral, this should show 120VAC. Then from Hot to Ground, you
should again see 120 VAC.
The hot should be 120VAC to EITHER of them separately!
If not, then Hot is not connected to the "hot"!!!
Try neutral to both each separately, see if it is BOTH 120VAC to
ground and also the black. If so then the neutral and hot are
switched and should be switched back at the bus. Of course, use
insulated probes, rubber gloves if you are dim-witted, and switch
off the breaker when you change things. I take no responsibility
for your stupidity or your death.
-Steve Walz firstname.lastname@example.org ftp://ftp.armory.com/pub/user/rstevew
Electronics Site!! 1000's of Files and Dirs!! With Schematics Galore!!
email@example.com (Niel) wrote in message
Yah I think you need to get a tester. Just a neon bulb and two test
leads. Did the inspector determine this problem with a tester? You
need to verify that the hot lead (black) is the small slot. Determine
this by testing from small slot to ground (metal box, conduit or earth
ground) If it reads hot from large slot to ground then the hot
/neutral is reversed and should be switched. If you were doing this
right I would trace the wires back and find where the switch occured.
??? Do you mean the same wires black/white/green feed both outlets??
This could be normal is shared on the same breaker.
The head end would be in the breaker panel. If this is true the
electrician should be immediately terminated with extreme prejudice!
Use your tester or meter to test empirically from the small slot
(brass) to ground metal box, BX or conduit (water pipe verify the
ground first) Make the brass hot and correct the color code all the
way back to the breaker panel. If you're not comfortable with wiring,
being in the breaker panel or don't understand how you can get shocked
taking apart a neutral nexus then hire an electrician. On second
thought you might want to hire a competent electrician anyway to
review all your wiring. As a professional I've seen some weird things
and your wiring sounds like it needs a good going over. While reversed
wires are usually not a problem it can be dangerous as above and is an
indication of someone not knowing what they were doing doing the
I did have a toilet that buzzed and had about 40 VAC on it but that's
I'm speaking strictly based on Australian wiring regulations. I don't know
how they apply your way. Here, you should get a licenced electrician to
check out all your wiring. It is possible that it was originally wired up by
someone unlicenced. If your house catches fire as a result of faulty wiring
and there is a possibility that it was wired up illegally, you may have
problems claiming insurance.
I would do that.
Probably the two "suspicious"outlets that you are concerned about
were daisy-chained from one or more of the badly wired outlets that
were upstream of these two. They are now properly (probably) wired.
Your local hardware store sells the "idiot-lite" sensor that you
mentioned and it would be a Good Idea to have one around.
| Marvin L Jones | jonz | W3DHJ | linux
| Gunnison, Colorado | @ | Jonesy | OS/2 __
Of course if they screwed up one on the chain they may have screwed up
more, so fixing one might fix several and/or screw up others.
Our boy need to by the $3.00 tester and check all the outlets in his
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