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Electrical Wiring in the Home/Strange happenings when removing outlet



I will try to explain this clearly. Today I decided to open up an outlet that is below a double light switch with one switch that doesn't seem to have a function. I thought the outlet might have a red wire that should be connected to the light switch so that the outlet can be turned on/off with the switch (we have a lot of these switches in our house).

I turned off the power at the breaker, then tested the outlet to make sure the power was off. It was. However, when I went to take the outlet out of the junction box a wire was nudged and the dining room light flickered on. The light is controlled by the other switch next to the one that isn't functioning. The power was also off to the light so by my understanding this shouldn't have happened. I moved the outlet again to make sure I wasn't crazy and the same thing happened...the light flickered.

Since I don't have electrical skills beyond changing outlets and light fixtures, I immediately replaced the outlet cover and came here to ask for advice. Is this normal? Is it safe to pull out the outlet and look at wires when there is some kind of activity going on? Thank you for your help!


It is good you know when to ask for help. I think you may want to call an electrician. You may have a shared neutral circuit. The feed to your box could be off but there could be Another breaker sharing that neutral. I don't like these types of circuits And don't let my technicians wire with them. If the neutral wire goes bed you could have high-voltage going through your outlets. It's safer to call in a pro for this
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This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bill Lutz


Any questions about being an electrician or doing electrical work. I can help advise people on their wiring needs, what kind of outlets and switcher to use, explain what an electrical service is and how their breakers work. I can also help them with their lighting needs. . I CAN HELP YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR LOOKING AT.


My Father apprenticed to his Father-and I apprenticed to mine, repeating an invaluable tradition of child labor and a great place to learn a trade. Beginning at the age of 13, I worked with my dad every weekend and summer vacation in homes throughout Philadelphia repairing and rewiring all levels of residential electrical systems. Studying electrical engineering and earning a degree in architecture has given me a solid advantage in solving the myriad of residential electrical problems. Generation 3 Electrical, Inc. takes pride in every job - building confidence by how we do things - by being prompt, thorough and leaving every job site finished and clean.

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