Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Last night Randy had me type out an email to his friend Brian. As I was typing I began to giggle at how little I understood of the electricity world. Randy's not an electrician, but he has such a mechanical mind that he can figure these things out. His friend Brian used to work with Randy and recently moved to Canada where apparently they have outlets that work differently than ours. (I wouldn't really know because I don't know how the outlets here work.) I just like to think of electricity as magic. I like magic and I'm pretty sure I like electricity more than the average person. The AC and I are tight.
Anyway, I copied his email so I could share it with you.
In donned on me why you would have a red and a black on your outlets. If the little wing that connects the two screws on the gold side of the outlet is removed, then the top plug works independently of the bottom plug. By removing the little wing on the hot side of the outlet and adding another hot wire (the red one), the top plug of each outlet will be powered by one of the 15 amp breakers and the bottom plug will be powered by the other 15 amp breaker. The white wire carries no load or very little load so it can be your return for both 15 amp breakers. This way you could plug a toaster and a microwave into one outlet without putting too much strain on one breaker. You could also just power one complete outlet using a red wire instead of a black one to lighten the load on one 15 amp breaker. I've never seen this setup before but I'm sure if you look at your old plugs your gold screws are not connected to each other.
P.S. Sorry if anything is misspelled but I had Brandi type this for me and my email doesn't do spell check in Canadian