Possible incorrect receptacle wiring

red_cat2April 28, 2014

I recently completed a basement renovation. During the renovation, my bathroom and outside outlets stopped working. The electricians checked out the issue before leaving and found loose wires in one of my bathroom electrical outlets, which they fixed. They also told my general contractor that all the outlets on my top floor were faulty, due to poor DIY installation by the previous owner (I just moved into this house). They offered to fix the outlets, plus install GFCIs in my bathrooms for $800. I opened up one of the outlets, to see what was wrong. The wires seemed to be connected correctly (I googled...). I didn't want to open up every outlet, so I bought a tester and tested the rest. They all tested fine. I don't want to conclude that I was mis-lead. Are there any other issues with wiring that are within the realm of DIY that could be wrong with the wiring that the receptacle tester wouldn't pick up? Should I have a different electrician look at it?

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hexus

Why didn't you ask the electricians what exactly was the issue they found?
You have a right to know what you're $800 is going to be paying for.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:46PM
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red_cat2

I haven't had any direct contract with the electricians, only my general contractor. My general contractor said the wires were reversed in the outlets and that all the upstairs outlets had to be taken out and fixed and GFCIs installed. Can wires be reversed and the receptacle tester still indicate all is correct? Could my general contactor have misunderstood the problem? I had issues with the electrician's work during my basement renovation, So, I am more suspicious than I would typically be.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:10AM
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jreagan_gw

What does "fixed" mean I wonder... And does the GC know that a single GFCI receptacle (or breaker) can protect many things downstream?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 2:17PM
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btharmy

Is there a bare or green ground wire in each box connected to the receptacle ground screw?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:55PM
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jakethewonderdog

if you purchased a common tester that can detect reversed hot and neutral, as well as missing ground, you have covered most of your bases.

There are still things that can be wrong: Wrong size wire, poor workmanship, etc... but you should expect an explanation letting them know you tested for reversed wiring and missing ground.

Here is a link that might be useful: Simple tester

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:35AM
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ionized_gw

Asking your contact to put the nature of the faults and details of the remedies in writing would be a big step forward. It forces them to be organized. They will think again about putting fraud in writing rather than just speaking it.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 2:09PM
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btharmy

Stanard "plug testers" can be fooled by a "bootleg ground".

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 5:29PM
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