voltage drop

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  #1  
Old 04-26-04, 05:59 AM
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voltage drop

Hi all,

I have two single pole switches connected by a 14-2 cable, a short run of about 4 feet through wall studs with some bends. While I get the full 120 volts at the first switch, the second one only registers about 80 when off and 60 when on. What could cause this resistance? I should add that the cable is reused (but not old), has been in a different part of the wall before and I may have damaged it (it looks OK) when I pulled it with the fish tape. But I want to be sure before I start tearing out the cable.

Thanks for all the replies.
 

Last edited by markiz37; 04-26-04 at 10:26 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-26-04, 06:30 AM
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You are reading phantom voltages. Are you using a digital meter? Digital meters should not be used with AC, as they amplify any problems are more trouble than they are worth.

You have a break somewhere. Either the cable is broken, or one of the ends is miswired, or the device(s) is (are) bad. Check the connections first. if you are using backstabs at either end then disconnect there and use the screw terminals. Check your measurements at each end at either the screw terminals where the wire is connected, or at the wire nuts where the pigtails to the devices connect. measure from hot to ground and from hot to neutral.
 
  #3  
Old 04-26-04, 04:30 PM
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I have two single pole switches connected by a 14-2 cable, a short run of about 4 feet through wall studs with some bends. Connected how? What are the connections at the switches?
While I get the full 120 volts at the first switch, the second one only registers about 80 when off and 60 when on. 120 volts to what goround or across the switch?
What could cause this resistance? I should add that the cable is reused (but not old), has been in a different part of the wall before and I may have damaged it (it looks OK) when I pulled it with the fish tape. But I want to be sure before I start tearing out the cable.

You could have wired the loads in series? Tell us all the connection at the switches.
 
  #4  
Old 04-27-04, 06:42 AM
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Thanks

I found out what the problem was. Took your advice, racraft, pulled the wire nuts off and measured voltage hot to neutral. 120v!!! So I started looking for problems with the ground wire in the connecting cable, sure enough it was clipped off at the clamp in the first box. Must have caught it with the pliers Anyway, I'm just going to leave it like that because this branch only powers light fixtures which don't have grounds to begin with. Unless you guys tell me otherwise
 
  #5  
Old 04-27-04, 06:48 AM
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I'd recommend fixing it. It's always a good idea to do it right, especially when it comes to electricity.
 
  #6  
Old 04-27-04, 12:36 PM
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Fix it now. It cost alot more to fix it later after the walls are closed in. It won't be code if don't fix it.
 
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