Wiring problem

Old 01-31-04, 10:28 AM
M Horne
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Question Wiring problem

Recently one curcuit in my house went dead (lights and wall rec). I have identified the curcuit breaker, which reads 123v and burns a test light. The wire from the breaker runs about 10' into a wall rec. The reading at this point is 93v and will not burn the test light. I can not see the entire wire as it passes through the header from the 1st to 2nd floor. Do I still need to look at the breaker or is the wire the problem. Thanks.
Old 01-31-04, 10:47 AM
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When you looked at the outlet, did you test voltage from hot to ground, or hot to neutral, or both? Did you remove the outlet and look for a failed connection?
Old 01-31-04, 10:47 AM
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If the receptacle won't light the test light between hot and ground, then you have an open hot between the panel and the receptacle.

If the receptacle will light the test light between hot and ground, but not between hot and neutral, then you have an open neutral between the panel and the receptacle.

The best place to look for an open wire is in the panel, and in the receptacle box. It is unusual for a cable to be breached inside the walls (unless somebody made an illegal connection). But you might consider whether anybody put a nail into this wall section recently.

The test light is a better diagnostic tool than your digital multimeter which is misleading you with phantom voltage.
Old 01-31-04, 12:01 PM
M Horne
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Thumbs up Wiring problem

Thanks guys, old DC habits are hard to break. I did find a break (actually burned in two) nuteral in the panel box. Someone in the past has connected two more wires to this curcuit. It appears to be for an attic room that was finished after the house was built. I have shut off the breaker, un-wraped and seperated the wires in the wall rec and will now call an electrican. Why the nuteral shorted when it did is still a puzzle, Thanks again, this could have been a real "hot" problem.

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