Elec-Tricks: Receptacles and Bulbs Featured Image

Recently, I’ve been receiving numerous phone calls from homeowners undergoing renovations and encountering electrical issues. As a Master Electrician with extensive experience, I can guide them on how to safely address their problems.

Kitchen Counter Receptacles

One common issue is when people replace kitchen counter receptacles wired through a method called “split duplex.” This involves a double 15 amp breaker in the panel, feeding up to 2 kitchen counter plugs. At the receptacle, there’s a red wire and a black wire connected to the same side (copper-colored) and a single or double white wire on the other side (silver-colored).

Elec-Tricks: Receptacles and Bulbs Image

When duplicating connections on the old receptacle, putting the red on one screw and the black on the other inadvertently creates a 240-volt connection. Flipping on the breaker results in a loud “BANG” and sparks due to a “dead short” across 240 volts. To fix this, when changing the receptacle, break the small metal tab between the two brass screws.

Bulbs Blowing Prematurely

Another issue involves light fixtures blowing bulbs prematurely. If a new bulb burns out quickly or the fixture stops working, it might be a simple fix. Inside the socket, there’s a small metal tab on the top that connects the light bulb to the power. Sometimes, this tab gets bent up due to pressure from the light bulb.

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To repair it, turn off the main breaker in the electrical panel, then use a plastic spoon to catch the metal tab inside the light socket and bend it down slightly. This positions the tab to make proper contact with the light bulb. Remember to turn the breakers back on. If the problem persists, consider reaching out to Robart Electrical Services for professional assistance.

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