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reverse polarity outlet

Anytime an amateur does electrical work, there’s a good chance you’ll find outlets with reversed polarity.

This happens when the hot and neutral wires get flipped around at an outlet or upstream from an outlet. Reversed polarity creates a potential unseen hazard, but it’s usually an easy repair.

 

Any outlet has the capability to have reverse polarity

In most cases, you won’t even know it’s reversed because electronic equipment will still function fine. Yet, it can be dangerous because it creates the risk of shock, shortage, and electrical fire.

 

How to test an electrical outlet for reversed polarity

Although reverse polarity within a receptacle may not be bad in some cases, it’s only a matter of detection. You can test for reversed polarity at your outlets with an inexpensive outlet tester – they cost about $5 at any home improvement store.

 

How to fix reversed polarity:

Hire a professional electrician. The electrician will check the color of the wires feeding to the outlet, and if the white wire is connected to the smaller slot on the outlet, then the outlet was wired backwards. The fix is as simple as swapping the wires around on the outlet.

However, if the wiring appears correct at the outlet, this means the white wire is now the hot and that the problem exists somewhere upstream from the outlet. Then, the repair will take more investigation for the electrician to determine exactly where the wiring went wrong. Simply swapping the wires at the outlet would not be an acceptable and safe electrical fix as that “fix” would be flagged as a code violation by an inspector. 

Leinbach Services’ electrical work:

Make home ownership and property management easier with Leinbach Services, Inc. We will send a qualified and trained electrician in Johnson City TN to solve your electrical problems. Experiencing a power outage? Our local electrician will fix your light fixtures, distribution board, circuit breaker, fuses, and wires. Thanks for using Leinbach Services for all of your electrical needs. 

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