Receptacle hot both sides

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by CallMeVilla, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Jan 21, 2014 #1

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    594
    Yep ... One recep reads reversed hot and neutral. Others in house are reading hot on BOTH SIDES with a noncontact detector ... Got ideas?
    _
     
  2. Jan 21, 2014 #2

    JoeD

    JoeD

    JoeD

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    273
    Get a real meter. Those contact tester will often beep on a properly installed neutral wire.

    The one with hot neutral reversed could be wired wrong.
     
  3. Jan 21, 2014 #3

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    594
    OK, I pulled the outlet and it is wired properly ... but the neutral (white) wire reads HOT ... That is on one side of the kitchen (circa 1941 house) while the other side is wired propely and the GFCI works as it should.

    While I understand the problems with the NCD, if multiple outlets are reading the same problem, I tend to suspect it is detecting a problem. I could throw my clamp meter on it but the NCD was a first test. I tried to identify a "good" outlet in the main part of the house and none of them were. ALL of them are hot on the neutral side.

    Where the house was remodeled, the outlets are properly wired and reading hot on the black side as they should.

    Any thoughts?
     
  4. Jan 21, 2014 #4

    JoeD

    JoeD

    JoeD

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    273
    If the receptacle functions properly, that is a light or toaster will work in it, then it can't have hot on both sides. It is a false reading.
     
  5. Jan 21, 2014 #5

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Well-Known Member Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,471
    Likes Received:
    175
    I draw the opposite conclusion.
    There are many ways to miswire an outlet and it'd be unusual for all to be miswired the same way. It may also be unusual to have every outlet in a house wired correctly.
    Plus in the NCD there is a lot of electronics, plus air, between you and the energized conductor. Complexity makes for false positive and false negative readings. You are trading safety and convenience for these problems and I'm not sure who got the better of that deal.
    The least complex is an incand. test light that has been first tested to make sure it is not blown out. And these bulbs do not respond to Phantom Voltages.

    When things get weird run an extension cord as a test lead back to the load center and use the neutral, ground and both hots at that place as reference points to make your measurements.

    This may be a classic example of
    http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-the-sunk-cost-fallacy-makes-you-act-stupid.html

    The thing may or may not lie to you and troubleshooting is difficult enough as is.
    It may be useful for troubleshooting Christmas tree light strings but otherwise give it to someone you don't like. . .:D

    The cost of it was tuition for the lesson you are now learning.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014

Share This Page