Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Subject: Changing out plug receptacles

Name: Krista

Question: Hi, I have recently painted my home and wanted to update my plugs and switches from beige to white. I started with my kitchen and turned off all power to my entire condo (just being overly cautious). I replaced 5 plugs and reattached them as they were on the old plugs. When I went to turn my power back on there was no power in the entire condo. Some of the breakers I got to stay on but some of the ones for the kitchen stayed in a neutral position. And, when I did try to flip the switch there was a green spark that came out of those particular kitchen breakers.

I did notice that most of the plugs seemed to be wired different. One had one black, one white; one had two black, two white; and two had two white, one red and a black capped off. But again, I hooked everything back up exactly as it was on the old plugs.

Finally, I ended up putting the old plugs back on and the power came back on, no problem.

I would still like to update the look of my plug and switch receptacles. Can you please give me some idea of where I went wrong.

Thank you.

Answer: Hi Krista,

Something do take professional to do correctly. I would not recommend you to replace all the outlets in your home unless you had some experience doing electric work in the past. You could treat it as a bunch of small jobs. Only change one outlet at a time. Then test each one as you go along. I do think you would be better off hiring a pro for this. There are too many little thing that could go wrong when you are doing your whole house. If you were only changing one outlet it would be easy to find any problem you cause. If you do the whole condo then any unnoticed problems will be harder to find and could cost you more to repair then calling a pro to start.

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