install-electrical-outlet-pic4Outlet polarity issues, what on earth is that? What it means in layman's terms is that many devices are wired to have the power go through them in a certain direction. The larger and smaller prongs on the plugs keep them oriented correctly.

This works great as long as the outlets are wired correctly. Sometimes the white and the black wire are hooked up to a device backwards, thus an outlet polarity issue. This can cause switches to not work correctly and may damage motors. You can purchase a polarity tester for between $5 and $10. Check the outlets in your home to see if they are all wired correctly.

Find one that is backwards? Shut the power off and remove the switch plate. Double check with a tester to make sure the power is off . Unscrew the outlet from the box and pull it out to expose the wires. The black wire should be hooked to the brass side of the outlet. The white wire should go on the side of the silver screws.

Use a screwdriver and switch the wires. Turn the power back on and check the polarity again with the tester. Got it? Great! Turn the power back off and put the outlet back together. Time to move on to other things. No need to install electrical outlets this time.