hot neutral reversed problem

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  #1  
Old 02-11-05, 06:12 PM
timfenn
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hot neutral reversed problem

I'm new to the forum, so apologies if this is a silly/simple question.

I rent a house with an odd electrical problem - when I first moved in I had issues with power supplies in computers dying and connections between A/V equipment leading to high voltage arcs that destroyed some equipment. When I checked the outlets with an outlet tester, many of the outlets reported hot neutral reverse, although the wiring at the outlet and mains seemed just fine. When I had an electrician check it out, he isolated the problem to a faulty wire between two electrical outlets - his guess was there was a nail driven through the wire that caused all the outlets sharing the junction box with that wire were messed up. Before he had the chance to check this out, the landlord just had him cap off the faulty wire.

My question is, how could this problem manifest itself as hot neutral reverse? I would have figured if there was a nail through the wiring, current would build up and blow fuses left and right or trigger a GFCI, but neither happened.

Thanks for any help,
Tim
 
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  #2  
Old 02-11-05, 06:39 PM
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Hot/neutral reverse is nothing more than what it says. I see no way a nail could cause it. You may have multiple problems.
 
  #3  
Old 02-11-05, 08:56 PM
timfenn
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All the outlets are OK now that the one wire is isolated from power, part of me wants to reconnect the faulty line and measure the voltage across it...

do standard outlet testers report hot neutral reverse just so long as the voltage flows from neutral to hot (i.e. its not dependent on the actual voltage across the two)?
 
  #4  
Old 02-12-05, 06:13 AM
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The outlet tester just sees that the power is coming in on the wrong side of the plug. Hot/neutral reversed is just telling you the outlet is wired backwards. The wire he disconnected could have been spliced someplace else or even within a box hidden in the wall (which is not allowable by code) and the wires reversed there.
 
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