GFCI voltage problem

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  #1  
Old 06-13-05, 11:54 AM
kjudson
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GFCI voltage problem

I have two outdoor GFCI cuircuits, one on either side of my entry staircase. I recently installed low-voltage lighting and used a seperate xfmr for each side of the staircase. The lights work on one side & not the other and after troubleshooting, the non working side worked when I used an extension cord from the "good" side & plugged the xfmr from the "bad" side into it.

I next used a digital dvm to check voltage from both GFCI circuits and found that the "good" side read 123VAC, the "bad" side read 109VAC - 110VAC. I was unable to get ANY AC device (radio, light, etc) to work on the "bad" side but they all worked on the "good" side.

Do I have a neutral that's worked it's way loose/ broken? If not, any idea what the problem could be?

Thanks,
kjudson
 
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  #2  
Old 06-13-05, 12:01 PM
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Location: Central New York State
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Certainly sounds like a loose wire of some sort. Did you measure voltage between the hot and the ground also, or just between the hot and the neutral?
 
  #3  
Old 06-13-05, 12:36 PM
kjudson
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racraft
Thanks for your reply. Between hot & neutral: ~123VAC, hot & ground: ~120.7VAC, neutral & ground: ~10VAC. I'm not all that familiar w/house wiring so I'm not sure what these numbers indicate. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
Thx,
kjudson
 
  #4  
Old 06-13-05, 12:38 PM
kjudson
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racraft
Correction: between hot & neutral: ~109VAC - 110VAC
kjudson
 
  #5  
Old 06-13-05, 12:48 PM
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If you have only 109 volts between hot and neutral, but a full 120 between hot and ground, then you have an open neutral and you are reading phantom voltage.

Put away your DVM and either buy an analog multimeter or use a simple tester or a regular receptacle tester.

Now go find and fix your open neutral.
 
  #6  
Old 06-13-05, 12:55 PM
kjudson
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racraft
Thx for the advice. I appreciate your quick response. Tough part now willbe to figure out where the neutral break is.
Thx again,
kjudson
 
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