Troubleshoot

That doesn't make any sense to me ? Does it make sense to any body else ? If the center cover plate screw is the culprit, wouldn't the screw be hot w/120 V ?
If it was a grounded receptacle that mounting screw is attached to the yoke which is grounded, if that was somehow making a connection between the switched and constant hot that should have been a direct short. Only reasonable explanation is gremlins.
 

Dennis Alwon

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Chapel Hill, NC
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Retired Electrical Contractor
I may try to cut a receptacle in half to see if a too long screw could somehow cause the two halves to make contact while still being insulated from them.

If you have the old receptacle I would test it with a continuity tester. It sounds bogus to me also. The yoke is grounded a screw thru it would have caused a direct short as mentioned. Perhaps a defective receptacle.
 
If you have the old receptacle I would test it with a continuity tester. It sounds bogus to me also. The yoke is grounded a screw thru it would have caused a direct short as mentioned. Perhaps a defective receptacle.
I cannot explain it. When the cover plates (with the long screws) were on any of the 3 old receptacles or any of the 3 new receptacles the problem existed.

I did accidentally short the circuit in the midst of my troubleshoot and the breaker did trip.....so it's not a bad breaker.

I did test hot to ground and read 120v
I did test hot to neutral and read 120v
I tested neutral to ground thinking perhaps either the neutral or the ground was hot but I read no voltage.
 

Little Bill

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Tennessee NEC:2017
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Electrician
I just happened to have an old receptacle laying here on my bench. I didn't bother to try and cut it but I did pry it apart!;)

I see nothing in there that the screw (cover plate) would bridge the 2 halves.
However, there is a copper/brass piece that bridges the grounding pin from one half to the other. I'm assuming it is just to assure a tight ground connection as the ends are turned up at each ground hole, and would make a "spring" type clamp on the grounding pin.

This couldn't bridge the halves as it isn't long enough. It looks like it could cause a short though if it wasn't just right.
 

ActionDave

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Durango, CO, 10 h 20 min without traffic from wing
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wire pulling grunt
I cannot explain it. When the cover plates (with the long screws) were on any of the 3 old receptacles or any of the 3 new receptacles the problem existed.

I did accidentally short the circuit in the midst of my troubleshoot and the breaker did trip.....so it's not a bad breaker.

I did test hot to ground and read 120v
I did test hot to neutral and read 120v
I tested neutral to ground thinking perhaps either the neutral or the ground was hot but I read no voltage.
Was there any load on the circuit while you were troubleshooting?
 

Little Bill

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Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
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Electrician
I just happened to have an old receptacle laying here on my bench. I didn't bother to try and cut it but I did pry it apart!;)

I see nothing in there that the screw (cover plate) would bridge the 2 halves.
However, there is a copper/brass piece that bridges the grounding pin from one half to the other. I'm assuming it is just to assure a tight ground connection as the ends are turned up at each ground hole, and would make a "spring" type clamp on the grounding pin.

This couldn't bridge the halves as it isn't long enough. It looks like it could cause a short though if it wasn't just right.
To clarify to the OP:
I wasn't doubting what you said about resolving the problem by removing the cover plate screw. I opened the receptacle for my own curiosity. With what I found with this one, there is nothing the screw could do to bridge the gap.
Also it should be noted that the recep I have looks like an Eagle brand. Hard to tell for sure since it has paint on it. Your recep may be made different.

Also noted: the cover plate screw runs through the yoke. So if it was in contact with a hot prong it would be a dead short. That's if the EGC was connected and ran properly.

Maybe the tab didn't break all the way on any of what you have. Then the plate put enough pressure on it for the part that didn't break good to make contact between the two halves.
JAWAG!
 
Last edited:

jxofaltrds

Senior Member
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
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ESI
first thing I removed was the switch. still had continuity between both conductors (Red + Black) so I started taking receptacles apart.
Wait - new facts!

My assumption. Single circuit using a 3-wire to 'feed' 1/2 of the receptacles (black) and the other (red) to 'feed' the switched 1/2. Correct?
 
Nothing plugged into the circuit.

Yes, power originated in the switchbox and a 3 wire (correctly wired) runs from the switch to rec #1 to rec #2 to rec #3.

Pigtails (where applicable) for all neutrals, so, no neutral tabs were broken.
Wait - new facts!

My assumption. Single circuit using a 3-wire to 'feed' 1/2 of the receptacles (black) and the other (red) to 'feed' the switched 1/2. Correct?
scroll to beginning
Didn't say 3-wire - said switched.

Big dif!

HUH?:?
 
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