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Reverse polarity

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  • Reverse polarity

    I used a circuit tester (2 yellow lights, one red) to test an outlet. It showed reverse polarity. The white neutral wire was attached to the silver screw and the black to the gold. The outlet worked. So I switched white to gold screw and black to silver and the oulet works, and the circuit TESTER shows ok. Two other outlets on the circuit are wired correctly and are ok. What?s going on? Am I at risk with that one flip-flopped outlet? Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by johneel; 03-18-2019, 01:52 PM.

  • #2
    The outlet was wired correctly (black to gold term...) at that location.
    Problem is, where that same wire (cable) originates it is wired backwards.

    So put that outlet back how it was and transpose black and white where that cable originates. Usually a nearby box.


    • #3
      As John Cameron stated, that particular outlet WAS wired correctly, so it must either be the source or the previous box(s) that were wired incorrectly. I always remember it as "Black to Brass - White to White (silver)! If any of the previous boxes in the line were wired incorrectly (or at the panel CB) then the error is passed down the line.



      • #4
        receptacles are not all the same. For safety's sake, the power lead goes on the terminal that is on the side with the smallest slot.

        ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder