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Electrical Inspections Contains discussions about electrical systems. This includes receptacles, panels, wiring, etc.

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  #1  
Old 4/28/08, 10:04 PM
David J. Dunning David J. Dunning is offline
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Default Reverse polarity

During a recent inspection, my electrical tests revealed several electriical outlets with revese polarity. How serious is this and what kind of problems could ths cause?
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Old 4/28/08, 10:38 PM
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William Sutton William Sutton is offline
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Default Re: Reverse polarity

David, I always report this as an Issue with the electrical system and recommend a licensed electrician properly rewire these outlet(s). Under certain circumstances it could present a shock hazard, so it could be very serious !
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Old 4/29/08, 8:54 AM
David J. Dunning David J. Dunning is offline
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Default Re: Reverse polarity

William

Thanks for the info- I'll pass it along

David
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Old 4/29/08, 9:50 AM
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Marcel R. Cyr, CMI Marcel R. Cyr, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Reverse polarity

Thought I would add this;

Hot / Neutral reversal, called reverse polarity, is probably the most common error you're going to encounter. While few (if any) electrical devices care much whether the current runs left to right or right to left, almost every electrical plug made in the past few decades is polarized for safety's sake. They can only be plugged into (modern) outlets in one orientation, which is designed to ensure that if there are any electrical shorts in the device, exposed metal parts don't carry the current. Wall sockets that have reversed polarity are considered an electrical shock hazard, which is why they're noted on pre-purchase house inspections. Fortunately, the condition's fairly easy to fix: all you have to do is reverse the black and white wires.

Marcel


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Old 4/29/08, 9:57 AM
gmortensen gmortensen is offline
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Default Re: Reverse polarity

Think of a simple lamp. Instead of the button at the bottom of the socket being live the metal sides are live.
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Old 5/9/08, 8:35 PM
Wild Leg Wild Leg is offline
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Default Re: Reverse polarity

A modern gas furnace will not function with reverse polarity. I haven't seen anything else that cares, but I am sure there are some other appliances. Regardless, it is still a hazard and should be repaired.
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Old 5/9/08, 8:45 PM
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Barry Adair Barry Adair is offline
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Default Re: Reverse polarity

Most lap-top/notebook...have polarity protection but may blow an internal fuse when used on a reversed polarity receptacle

BEST to check the receptacle before plugging in your equipment on-site...you never know...



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Old 5/9/08, 8:47 PM
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ROBERT W. NEWLAND, JR. ROBERT W. NEWLAND, JR. is offline
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Default Re: Reverse polarity

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsutton
David, I always report this as an Issue with the electrical system and recommend a licensed electrician properly rewire these outlet(s). Under certain circumstances it could present a shock hazard, so it could be very serious !
Same here. I ran into this same situation with my last two inspections, one a trashed foreclosure and the 2nd a very nice home. Reported both and recommended a lic electrician.



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Old 5/9/08, 9:24 PM
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Jeffrey R. Wicklander Jeffrey R. Wicklander is offline
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Default Re: Reverse polarity

Most lap-top/notebook...have polarity protection

Didn't think this was an issue since it goes through a transformer first anyway.
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Old 5/9/08, 10:08 PM
Jae Williams Jae Williams is offline
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Default Re: Reverse polarity

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddunning
During a recent inspection, my electrical tests revealed several electriical outlets with revese polarity. How serious is this and what kind of problems could ths cause?
Reversed polarity can be dangerous because many appliances will operate properly even though the supply wires are not connected in the proper order. Traditional reversed polarity occurs when the black (ungrounded) and white (grounded) conductors are reversed. A shock hazard may not exist, but other mechanical hazards can occur. If an internal fault should occur in the wiring, the equipment would not turn off when the switch is released or would start as soon as the supply cord is plugged into the improperly wired outlet. This could result in very serious injury.



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