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darchell

03:45AM | 12/24/99
Bvelectrical
I've never been the handy type, but now that I own my first home, I'm trying to learn as much as possible. The questions that follow might sound stupid to those "in the know" but here goes ...

When we first bought our house a few months ago, I went around and replaced all of the electrical outlets. I prefer white, and the old owner had beige, and in some cases, bright red outlets (he actually painted them).

While changing these outlets, I had some people warning me to be very careful because I was a "newbie" and they didn't want me frying myself. .

Others said that, worst case scenario, you could get a nasty shock from the outlet, but there wasn't enough juice to kill yourself.

Some articles that I've read have said that if the outlet was wired wrong, you could kill yourself.

So the questions are ...

1. In a standard electical outlet in newer homes, is there enough juice to kill someone?

2. If it's true that you can seriously hurt yourself by wiring the outlet wrong, just what is "wrong"? Is it a matter of not grounding, or putting the black wire where the white wire is suppose to go?


BobF

02:40AM | 12/27/99
Member Since: 10/19/98
223 lifetime posts
darchell,

YES, there is enopugh juice to kill you! It is true many people get a nasty shock, but they are lucky. The shock was enough to force them back. Assume you will not be lucky. Look at it this way: GFCI's are required for any outlet near water - batrooms, basements, outdoors, etc. A GFCI will shut itself off at the slightest 'short circuit'. (There's more to it than this, but enough for this post). They are required because too many people died from the electricity!

2. The prolems comes when your body provides a path for the juice. This can be either to ground or thru the neutral. A miswired outlet may still work. It is dangerous because things are not where people expect.

3. ALWAYS turn the breaker/fuse off when working with electricity.

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