Question about APC MasterSwitch Power Receptacle - Power distribution strip- 4 Output (ap95103202) UPS System

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Receptacles wired backwards

How do I fix a receptacles that was wired backwards?

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"Reverse polarity" is the term used to describe the condition where electrical wires are connected to the wrong terminals of a receptacle; it's a common condition that can be hazardous if the "hot" side of your electrical system gets connected to certain types of lamps or equipment. It's common because it's an easy mistake to make when hooking up wires and because receptacles work fine even when the polarity is reversed. You generally don't know the condition exists unless you look for it. If you think you're home's wiring is a bit haphazard or may contain some conditions of reverse polarity, it's a good idea to check for it. You can buy a simple circuit tester for less than $20. Just plug it into all duplex receptacles; test both the top and bottom. If you discover reverse polarity: 1) Shut off the circuit breaker that serves that receptacle (the tester's lights will go out). 2) Unscrew the cover plate from the receptacle, and use a voltage tester to be sure none of the wires in the electrical box are still "hot." 3) Unscrew or release the wires from the receptacle and re-fasten them to the proper terminals--white to the silver (neutral terminal and black to the brass hot terminal. The bare or green wire should connect to the green screw. 4) Put the cover plate back on, turn the circuit back on, and test the receptacle again. Note: If the tester indicates reverse polarity but the wires are hooked up to the proper terminals, call an electrician.

Posted on Jan 18, 2006

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The one feeding the last one has loose wire. Are you using the push in instead of the screw? The push are bad for losing contact as they only touch a very small part of the wire. I always use the screw to hook up switches and receptacles.

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No power to the receptacles on a circuit, the breaker isn't tripped. there are no GFI's


No breakers are tripped and a circuit is dead.

There is a loose wire.

Let me explain how it works. Each 120V breaker has a black wire that leaves breaker box. The black wire is accompanied by a white neutral wire and a bare ground wire. These wires are sheathed in plastic, and altogether they make up a romex cable.

The cable leaves the circuit breaker box and travels to the first junction box. The junction box is a ceiling box that holds light or fan -or- a wall box containing switch or plug. As a general rule, the romex leaves the breaker box and travels all the way to a junction box located right in the area where lights and plugs are located. The romex does not stop at a junction boxes located in other room.

Inside the junction box, the romex splits and goes to the next junction box, and then to the next box, and the next.

So the plugs in one room are all connected together by a single romex cable that started back at the breaker box. And a single romex wire from the breaker box arrived at one of the junction boxes located in immediate vicinity of dead receptacle.

Here's what happened. A wire came loose somewhere between the breaker and the dead receptacles.

The loose wire is probably in a receptacle.

Here's what to do.
1) Breaker first: You can isolate the suspect breaker by identifying all other breakers. Then tighten screw on suspect breaker. Look for white wire and ground wire associated with the romex cable that connects to breaker >> tighten those screws on neutral busbar. Look for burning around suspect breaker. Is there a burning smell indicating breaker is bad?

2) Receptacles Next. Use ordinary tester. Test each receptacle. Receptacle has two rectangular prong holes and one round hole located below other two. The round hole is the ground. Breaker is turned on. Test each rectangular hole to ground. You have to test both prongs to ground.

The loose wire is right there in the vicinity of dead receptacles.

Test one receptacle and then move to next receptacle. At some point the tester will light up. Now click suspect circuit breaker to see if that receptacle is on breaker. Test receptacle with breaker off and breaker on. If that receptacle is on the suspect breaker, then a loose wire is inside that receptacle box >> or inside the next box. Many times, the wires are pushed into 'quick-connects' located on back of receptacle ... wires get loose ... you need a small screwdrive to release quick-connect, and then wrap wire around screw -or- replace receptacle

If none of receptacles show electricity, then loose wire is inside a switch box, or it is inside a ceiling box located in same general area. Check your switches first. Look for quick-connects, or signs of burning. Look for loose wire nut. Plug light into dead receptacle. Pull switch out with wires attaches. Power is on. Move switch around to see if dead receptacles shows electricity. Move to next switch. The loose wire is there somewhere.

Finally the ceiling box. Take down light and see if there is a loose wire inside. Look for signs of heat or burning.

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