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 Post subject: Electrical oddity....
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 9:25 pm 
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Taking a break from shop clean-up, have a perplexing kitchen electrical weirdness want to toss out there: A duplex outlet, coffee grinder plugged in the top one. This morning, I plugged a small hand mixer in the bottom outlet, and when I turn the mixer on, the coffee grinder goes too! Not full speed, but grinding away for sure. What gives? Too weird....


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 9:32 pm 
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sounds like a loose neutral

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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 10:28 pm 
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Is that the white wire? I can check that!


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 10:40 am 
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Yes, the white wire is the neutral. But ... before you pull the device out of the wall to check the wiring, please turn off the breaker. I know, I know ... common sense which you certainly have but can't help stating the obvious.

My suggestion or diagnosis is that there's something remiss with the receptacle. They're not that expensive - I'd simply replace it with a new one to be sure. What you describe is wierdness beyond understanding!

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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 11:39 am 
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Yep, I thought it was pretty bizarre -- Twilight Zone almost.


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 12:59 pm 
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Hey Jamie,

Sounds like a polarity problem to me. In older houses and on most older appliances, both prongs of the plug and holes in the socket are the same; they don't have a grounding lug and they don't distinguish between line power (black, red or blue) and neutral (white). So when you plug one of these older items into an older socket, and turn it on, you can actually power up the nearest neutral, which in this case is the adjacent socket with the coffee grinder. The best solution, as Dennis suggested is to install a new receptacle and ground it properly. If it's in the kitchen, buy a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) receptacle. You can even slave adjacent receptacles to one GFCI to protect other outlets in your kitchen.

Cheers,
Tom

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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 6:17 pm 
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tms wrote:
Hey Jamie,
.... If it's in the kitchen, buy a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) receptacle. ...


Especially if it's near the sink kinda thing.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 11:00 pm 
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tms wrote:
Hey Jamie,

Sounds like a polarity problem to me. In older houses and on most older appliances, both prongs of the plug and holes in the socket are the same; they don't have a grounding lug and they don't distinguish between line power (black, red or blue) and neutral (white). So when you plug one of these older items into an older socket, and turn it on, you can actually power up the nearest neutral, which in this case is the adjacent socket with the coffee grinder. The best solution, as Dennis suggested is to install a new receptacle and ground it properly. If it's in the kitchen, buy a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) receptacle. You can even slave adjacent receptacles to one GFCI to protect other outlets in your kitchen.

Cheers,
Tom


These are all new outlets, so perhaps the outlet is faulty or something's loose. I think the first outlet in the circuit is GFCI, but I'll check to make sure. Thanks!!


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