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Electronics Rewiring an Outlet

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Mathmarauder, 3 Jun 2007.

  1. Mathmarauder

    Mathmarauder What's a Dremel?

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    I am trying to fix an outlet in my house that hasn't worked in some time. The darn thing just cannot be fixed. We are correctly attaching the two wires to the hot side of the outlet and grounding it with the required wire. The circuit detector says there is current flowing in the outlet but nothing works.

    I took a picture in the hopes that someone might see something I missed. Beware! >20 year old wiring here!

    [​IMG]

    Again with a better shot of the wires in question:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bas van der Werff

    Bas van der Werff What's a Dremel?

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    It appears that is used to be a light switch, so connecting a mains socket won't work.
     
  3. Mathmarauder

    Mathmarauder What's a Dremel?

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    Thats weird, it's near the floor, there is a light switch maybe 3 feet above it though.
     
  4. AJB2K3

    AJB2K3 What's a Dremel?

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    Pay an electriction to do it its just not safe.
    What are you using to test it?
    Find the other end of that cable and pull it out (if its disconnected.)
     
  5. SteveyG

    SteveyG Electromodder

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    Care to clarify? There should be three wires from the incoming cable - One Hot (Live) one Neutral, one ground. You shouldn't be connecting any two wires together.

    You should get an electrician in if you are unsure. :idea:
     
  6. Mathmarauder

    Mathmarauder What's a Dremel?

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    Yea I just worded things wrong. The problem is we are not sure which cable is which. The wiring is so old that they are all the same color except the black ground. It's so old the wires are wrapped in paper as you can see. :duh:
     
  7. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Your best bet is to re-wire the sucker back to wherever that wire ends. Basic household electric guides are available online.
    If you have a circuit tester you can figure out which wire is the ground. If it's 110V you should have 2 hot wires and 1 ground with no current. The black wire is always black, and the other hot line is either white or red.
    If all 3 lines are hot, then you have a 220 line and there is probably a ground wire mounted to the back of the box. (It's not likely, but I've seen all kinds of crazy wiring techniques over the years...)

    I just re-read your last post. the black wire is NOT the ground! It should be hot.
    An even quicker way to figure out your wiring scheme is to open up a working outlet.
    Just be carefull- more people die playing with live 110 lines than any other voltage. Use the breaker box!!!!
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2007
  8. identikit

    identikit Minimodder

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    There's the problem, it's old. It's very old. OP if it's not essential just cap the ends and put the face plate back on. Getting a qualified person in to look at it will do more harm than good. They'll want to rewire the entire house to bring it up to spec. Not worth the hassle.
     
  9. SteveyG

    SteveyG Electromodder

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    If it's all in that state, I'd definitely want the entire house brought up to spec.


    Madness. :duh:
     
  10. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    If they pull that crap you tell them to leave. The only thing he should be worried about would be cracked outer casing or aluminum core wire. (The only big things that have canged in the US codes are the color codes and the aluminum wire ban.
    Household wiring is actually really simple. It's just that most people are intimidated by the 'may kill you and burn your house down' factor. Most problems are caused by people who don't read up on the subject before they tear into something.
     
  11. identikit

    identikit Minimodder

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    It's a bit like taking the wheel off your car and discovering you need a new engine. It's a bit shocking. However it's lasted this long and if there's nothing else wrong with the electrics of the house it's a good idea to leave it and start saving.
     
  12. identikit

    identikit Minimodder

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    Maybe it's different in the UK. Maybe we like having up-to-date electrics.
     
  13. AJB2K3

    AJB2K3 What's a Dremel?

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    Unfortunatly if its that old then the house will have to rewired to todays spec if he ever want's to sell ( at least in the UK)
    NO HSE and regs like things upto date.
    This is soo true for most industries.
     
  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I've worked on houses with 50 year-old wiring. As long as it's capped, covered, and copper, it's safe. I'm pretty sure this guy just wired it wrong. US wiring standards were always pretty heavy.
    The fire hazzards start with people adding to and overloading existing circuits, or by crushing the wires in the attic with junk. I've also seen a few circuits kicked by a well placed nail. (Why did they need to hang a picture with a 4" nail, anyway?)
     
  15. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    if you can measure voltage, but nothing work when you plug in some load, it could be that the cable is damaged somewhere. If the insulation is a bit moist, you will be able to measure voltage, but when load is added the resistance is to high and the voltage drops to near zero.

    this is basicly what causes fires in electrical systems.
     
  16. Jaxx

    Jaxx What's a Dremel?

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    110?

    I thought that would just give you a little shock. I've always heard that 347 is the guy that won't let you go...

    But then again this is a house and not commercial :p
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2007
  17. greensabbath

    greensabbath Got Wood?

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    You get a little shock if you touch the little screws on the side of the outlets when they're connected. You die if you touch the hot wires because of the amps.

    I'd second the concern of smilodon and personally i'd just get rid of the wire and run some new molex to the box if you really need that outlet.
     
  18. jakenbake

    jakenbake full duplex

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    maybe someone already said this... its late and i'm tired...

    turn off the breaker to another outlet, and see how its wired (assuming it work correctly)? just an idea.

    edit: haha, or you could unplug everything from that line and start shorting the wires together until they flip the breaker. but have a fire extinguisher handy for any electrical fires. lol.
     
  19. beesbees

    beesbees What's a Dremel?

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    110? I thought mains electricity ran at 230-240v :s
     
  20. Bas van der Werff

    Bas van der Werff What's a Dremel?

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    It depends on where you live :)

    Than the wiring indeed is really old if it isn't a light switch, in a normal outlet there should be at least 3 different colors (if you've got an earth connection)

    The best idea is indeed to put down the power and open another outlet and see how that one is wired, hopefully it has the same colors and you can figure it out.
    But don't be suprised if they are different, i've seen main outlets that used speaker wires, and heard of much crazier things from others at work.
     

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