low voltage across outlet

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  #1  
Old 07-26-05, 06:57 PM
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low voltage across outlet

The voltage in this circuit used to be normal. Then it suddenly changed. I now have 84 volts between black and white wires. 120v between black and ground and o volts between white and ground. I know the latter two voltages are normal, but what would cause the 84 volt reading. All the outlets on this circuit read the same. There is normal voltage at the circuit breaker.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-26-05, 07:08 PM
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You are reading a phantom voltage. Put away your digital meter. Use an analog meter or a neon light tester.

Now as for your problem, you have an open neutral or an open hot wire. Check this receptacle and all other receptacles, switches or other outlets on the circuit. Somewhere a wire has come loose. Most likely a failed back stab connection. While you are checking the outlets, move any back stabbed connections to screw terminals.
 
  #3  
Old 07-26-05, 07:11 PM
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You have an open neutral, as stated above.
plug a lamp into one of the not working plugs and check the voltage again.
more then likely it will go down from 84 to 0.
 
  #4  
Old 07-26-05, 07:14 PM
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Thanks

I had previously checked the outlets, but found nothing wrong. I'll go back and move the conections to the terminal screws. I will also check the lights on this circuit.

Thanks
 
  #5  
Old 07-26-05, 07:19 PM
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You were correct, the voltage drops to zero when a lamp is plugged in.
 
  #6  
Old 07-26-05, 07:27 PM
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You must check ALL the outlets on the circuit. That means receptacles, lights, switches, etc. Somewhere you have an open neutral. It could also be an open hot, but that is less likely.
 
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