Can a bad outlet cause voltage problems on others?

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Old 05-21-05, 11:33 AM
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Can a bad outlet cause voltage problems on others?

I've been told my cable problems are due to a voltage problem. Since I also have a ceiling fan I want installed and just am not willing to try to do it myself, we're going to have an electrician over to install it and verify/dispute the voltage issue. I think my questions are these:

1. Can one bad outlet cause a voltage problem throughout the house, or is it limited to the outlet itself? If it can affect other outlets, is the only way to find the problem to check every single outlet?

2. If the house is not grounded like the cable tech thinks, what symptoms should I be seeing other than a noisy tv picture? And how could the house not be grounded?

Any tips on what else I should ask or have checked when he's here?
 
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Old 05-21-05, 02:12 PM
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"Voltage problem" is too vague to provide much help. It's like saying your car has an "engine problem".

1. A problem at an outlet can affect everything on that circuit (controlled by the same breaker), but it doesn't usually affect stuff on other circuits.

2. "Grounded" is also too vague. There are two main grounding systems in your house. The panel is grounded to the earth, primarily for lightning protection, but it also provides a reference point for the neutral. But outlets are also grounded, via grounding wires back to the power company ground wire, primarily for personal safety reasons. Noisy television pictures are not usually caused by problems with either form of grounding. The most common reason that a house is lacking one or both grounding systems is because it is old, built before such systems were common. It is also possible for grounding to be damaged or disconnected on newer homes.
 
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Old 05-21-05, 08:30 PM
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Sorry about the vagueness. With a tv plugged into an outlet and a cable connected only from the cable out connector, the tech reports something like a 35-58 volt reading from the cable. I've seen the readout on the multimeter, but have also read that digital readers can suffer from something called "ghosting" which makes me wonder if the measurement is accurate at all.

I really don't know how the house could not be grounded myself, but then, there is an awful lot that I don't know... but hopefully I'll know and learn a little when we get him out here.
 
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Old 05-22-05, 09:39 AM
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Did the cable installer ground the cable at the entry point to the electrical ground or did he drive his own ground rod? The second choice is wrong.

Since you tv probably doesn't even have a grounded plug the problem could be in the TV also.
 
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Old 05-22-05, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by joed
Did the cable installer ground the cable at the entry point to the electrical ground or did he drive his own ground rod? The second choice is wrong.
Ummmm... Things were looking good until lightening struck somewhere back behind me in October. Since then, the picture quality hasn't been good. The tech that was here the other day, has been here a number of other times since then, and he has the cable grounded to an electrical box outside. I have no idea about any rod.

The second choice is wrong?
 
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Old 05-22-05, 03:58 PM
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Problems in a receptacel can cause problems for other receptacles on the circuit ( for example in the same room). The "noise" problem is difficult to diagnose; if the TV is placing voltage out on the cable connector, I suspect a problem in the TV, and that could be a capacitor blown by the lightning.
 
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Old 05-23-05, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 594tough
The "noise" problem is difficult to diagnose; if the TV is placing voltage out on the cable connector, I suspect a problem in the TV, and that could be a capacitor blown by the lightning.
Man, I hope not because we have like 4 tv's exhibting this problem. I keep thinking I'm going to go buy an analog multi-meter and check it myself, but just don't have the time or memory to do so.
 
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Old 05-23-05, 02:20 PM
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It's possible that one of your TVs is smoked and it is leaking the voltage back onto the CATV cable. Try unplugging each TV one at a time from both the CATV and the power and watch the other three for picture quality. Do this with VCRs, satellite boxes, CATV boxes, DVD players or any other similar devices that connect to the CATV cable.
 
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