240 V Outlet
A standard 15-amp 120 volt socket (NEMA 5-15) will have two vertical parallel slots like this (| |) and also have a third round hole for the ground.
The wider slot connects to the white neutral conductor (grounded conductor) and the narrow slot connects to the black live (or hot) conductor.
You must make sure to preserve polarity when replacing these.
A 15-amp 240 volt socket (NEMA 6-15) will have two slots in tandem like this: - - plus a third round hole for the equipment ground conductor.
The 20 amp version (NEMA 6-20) will have one vertical and one horizontal (| -).
The colors of these wires (in the ones I've opened) are usually black and red. The green is always supposed to be used for GROUND.
Now here is where it gets confusing: The 120 volt/20 amp socket (NEMA 5-20) looks like this: (- |) - a mirror image of the 240 volt 20-amp socket.
A 120 volt socket must NEVER be used on a 240 volt circuit for just that reason - CONFUSION by an end user.
You might want to test all the outlets in your house and have an electrician replace whatever looks bogus (if you don't know how to do it).
Joe, feel free to correct me.
- 15 Old House Features We Shouldn't Abandon
- 17 Tiny Bathrooms We Love
- 20 Insanely Easy 60-Minute Home Improvements
- 9 Expert Furniture Arranging Tips
- 16 Inventive Beds You Can Make Yourself
- World's Most Amazing Slip 'N Slide
- 15 Once-Popular Items Now Vanishing
- 133 Smart Storage Ideas for the Whole House
- 30 Things Every Adult Should Know How to Do
- 16 New Ways to Store Kitchen Necessities
- 12 Garden Sheds You Could Live (or Work) In
- 11 Big Ideas for Small Kitchens
- 47 Industrial Kitchens
- 283 Great DIY Project Ideas
- The Right Path: 15 Wonderful Walkway Designs
- Laundry Room Ideas to Knock Your Socks Off
- 17 Backsplashes for a Unique Kitchen
- Assembly Required: 15 DIY Kit Homes
- 18 Bathroom Updates You Can Do in a Day
- Easy DIY Fixes for 11 Annoying House Problems
- Capitalize on Your Attic: 10 Inspirations
- 14 Room Dividers to Organize Your Space
- 10 Creative New Ways to Use Old Bottles
- Make Good Use of Old Junk: 14 Creative Ideas
- 22 Tiny Houses We Love
- 10 Smart Solutions for Small Bedrooms
- 5 DIY Porch Swings Perfect for Summer
- 1 Dozen Ways to Maximize a Small Yard
- 20 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Big
- 5 Easy and Creative DIY Lamps