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Any electricians in the house?

bharvey2

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Got it. Just remember to get you connections good and tight. Just make sure you don't strip anything. The grease helps keep the oxidation at bay. If you use the proper receptacles instead of the pigtails, you can pop the covers off the outlets and inspect them periodically. While I don't have aluminum wire to most outlets (dryer only, the stove and such are hard wired) I do check in on things every once in a while.

If you find that you have any burnt wiring, make sure you cut back until it's good. Trying to connect to bad wire will just cause more of the same problem. The insulation should not be discolored or brittle and the wiring underneath should be smooth with no pitting. It probably won'be be shiny but you can clean it up with a scotchbrite pad (preferred) and wipe it off right before applying the grease and assemble the connection.
 

nmelfi

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I have a question. What is the best way to tell if power is off in a room remotley? I have a two story house with a basement. I need to replace all oulets. Problem is 3 fights of stairs and 40 breakers. Anything remote I could use?
 

SteveC0625

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I have a question. What is the best way to tell if power is off in a room remotley? I have a two story house with a basement. I need to replace all oulets. Problem is 3 fights of stairs and 40 breakers. Anything remote I could use?
Plug a radio into the outlet you’re testing and turn it up loud. Go to the breakers and turn them off and back on until radio goes silent.

HELPFUL HINT: Once you determine what breaker controls what outlets, etc. LABEL THE DARNED THING!
 

nmelfi

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My cheap plug in tester shows everything fine, but put a load on a outlet and it quits. Noticed all use the push in instead of the screws.
 

bharvey2

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Hmm, not sure why I didn't see this in my e-mail. Anyway, as Poltergeisty suggested, a loud AC powered radio is the easiest. If that isn't an option you can try going old school with an AC powered analog clock. Plug in the clock and set it to match your watch or phone. Go to the circuit breakers and shut of the first breaker for one minute and turn it back on. Turn of the second breaker for two minutes and turn it back on. Do the same with the third breaker, etc. When your done, go check your clock and note the time discrepancy. The number of minutes off will tell you which breaker controls the clock. Not the fastest way but it'll work if your by yourself.
 

bharvey2

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Does the breaker trip, or what other type of quit are you experiencing?

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Good question. The pushing in style of connection is prone to failures and has been eliminated in 20A circuits on new receptacles by only allowing #14 wire. It could be that one of the connections is good enough to allow the light in the plug in tester to illuminate but the voltage isn't high enough to power an appliance. I'd put a meter on the receptacle (say the top half) measure the voltage and plug your appliance in to the other socket and turn it on while still measuring the voltage. The voltage drop should be minimal or non-existent and be 110VAC or higher.
 

krokus

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Good question. The pushing in style of connection is prone to failures and has been eliminated in 20A circuits on new receptacles by only allowing #14 wire. It could be that one of the connections is good enough to allow the light in the plug in tester to illuminate but the voltage isn't high enough to power an appliance. I'd put a meter on the receptacle (say the top half) measure the voltage and plug your appliance in to the other socket and turn it on while still measuring the voltage. The voltage drop should be minimal or non-existent and be 110VAC or higher.
I would not use a #14 for 20A, a #12 should be minimum. (For anything other than a short-term use.)

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bharvey2

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I would not use a #14 for 20A, a #12 should be minimum. (For anything other than a short-term use.)

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Krokus you're correct but I think you misunderstood my comment. #14 THHN building wire is only rated for 15A. The newer receptacles with push in connection had reduced openings to prevent their use in 20A circuits given the overheating failures that occurred in the past. I suppose the thought was that the failure rate would be reduced with push in connections if they were limited to 15A circuits. Personally, I think they should be eliminated completely. There are however, some duplex receptacles that while they have an opening for a stripped wire end, still rely on a screw tight connection (all internal) rather than the spring retention. Those maintain a decent connection and I rather like those ones.
 

krokus

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Krokus you're correct but I think you misunderstood my comment. #14 THHN building wire is only rated for 15A. The newer receptacles with push in connection had reduced openings to prevent their use in 20A circuits given the overheating failures that occurred in the past. I suppose the thought was that the failure rate would be reduced with push in connections if they were limited to 15A circuits. Personally, I think they should be eliminated completely. There are however, some duplex receptacles that while they have an opening for a stripped wire end, still rely on a screw tight connection (all internal) rather than the spring retention. Those maintain a decent connection and I rather like those ones.
Yup, I thought someone was using #14, and push-in connections, for 20A. That would be a bad combination.

I agree, the push-in should be eliminated from use, in household wiring.

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