I have a older outlet that I'm replacing with a newer style. My outlet has 2
wires a red and black one what side does each go to I have no ground wire. The
house is probably 80 years old with old wiring
On Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 12:44:05 PM UTC-4, Raymond wrote:
I'd test it using a meter or test light. Between one wire and a ground
point, eg cold water pipe, you should have 120V. That is the hot.
The other may show some lesser voltage. The hot wire goes to the
receptacle side with the smaller opening, typically brass screw on
that side too.
You could also pull off the cover on the panel and see where the reds
and blacks land there.
I assume you are in the U.S., working with a 120 Volt outlet. My first
thought would be that Black was hot and Red was neutral. But because of
the age of your wiring, you can not be sure without performing some kind
of test or looking at which wire is connected to the fuse at the fuse
There is a neon test light available, made with a neon bulb in series
with a high value ballast resistor. Its two "test leads" would normally
be plugged into an outlet. The neon bulb would light if there was power
in the outlet. You can also use such a test light to see which of the
outlet's wires is hot. You hold one of the two test leads in your hand,
and touch the other lead to one of the wires. The hot wire will cause
the neon bulb to glow dimly.
In modern outlet wiring, the hot wire is connected to the brass-colored
terminal (Narrow Slot). The neutral wire is connected to the
silver-colored terminal (Wide Slot).
Why are you replacing the receptacle? Does the old receptacle not firmly hold a plug in it, or are you
changing it so it will accommodate a newer plug with a ground? If the latter, by code you must add a ground
wire. That could get difficult and/or expensive for the novice very quickly.
On Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 2:01:08 PM UTC-4, Gordon Shumway wrote:
That's not true. It's code compliant to replace an old two wire,
ungrounded receptacle with a 3 wire grounded type receptacle as long
as it's protected by an upstream GFCI and marked as "GFCI protected,
no eqpt ground".
Nonsense, just bond the neutral to the ground. It all lands on the neutral/ground buss in the panel anyway.
Yah, I know, code requires a separate ground wire but that's just a distinction without a difference.
On Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 9:43:43 AM UTC-4, Megg A. Hertz wrote:
There are real and significant differences, some of which have been discussed here. And
as I just pointed out, in this application code doesn't require a separate ground, a gfci is permissible. Too cheap to buy one gfci for a circuit?
If you swap the neutral and an ungrounded conductor, the stove or
dryer will not work. If someone swaps the neutral and ungrounded
conductor on a 120v circuit, everything still works, until someone
gets killed because the frame of the equipment is 120v above ground.
On Sun, 4 Jun 2017 20:05:23 -0700, Taxed and Spent
It happens a lot, particularly on old 2 wire systems. Before polarized
plugs became the norm (~1970s), it was not even important to keep the
hot and neutral straight. When I was a kid, there was no silver screw
on the receptacles in our house and both slots were the same size.
(house built in the 40s)
On 06/05/2017 12:30 PM, email@example.com wrote:
IIRC the only place I've seen non-polarized 120V plugs or receptacles
recently is on miniature holiday lights. Maybe that's to keep you from
using the receptacle on the end of the string for anything but another
I have some old stuff with switches or lamp holders in them that have
nonpolarized plugs. That is pretty much worst case.
I also found a couple of 18ga non-polarized extension cords in my
mom's stuff. I put them in with the christmas stuff, just for those
cheap lights with 20-22 ga wire.
On Mon, 5 Jun 2017 19:35:24 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
... or anything that is not polarity sensitive. The cheap christmas
lights get away with it because there is no switches or lamp holders
with a "shell".
The chargers are polarity agnostic too since they simply feed an
isolation transformer or a switching power supply. Most electronics
are the same way these days.
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