Problem with neutral (I think)

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  #1  
Old 10-03-05, 05:00 PM
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Problem with neutral (I think)

I was wiring up my new wall (inside outlet and 2 outside lights) that replaced my basement garage door. I used an existing 12-2 run that was connected exclusively to an outside outlet on a 20 amp breaker (going to move the outside outlet to this new wall eventually). Got everything connected but nothing works. I checked with a test light, hot to ground gets a good light, but hot to neutral the light is dimmer, am I correct in guessing the neutral is broken somewhere between the panel and where it connects to the new outlet or is it something else? I checked the panel and all looks ok.
 
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Old 10-03-05, 05:48 PM
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Yes, you are correct. You have an open neutral.
 
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Old 10-03-05, 06:08 PM
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And I was all happy because I didn't have to run a new circuit across the basement
Any way to solve this without replacing the entire run? I'm thinking no.
 
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Old 10-03-05, 06:19 PM
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Unless you have been messing with the vcable, it is probably disconnected at one or more of the junction boxes. Check each one.
 
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Old 10-04-05, 05:30 AM
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I checked each connection in the panel, even removed each one and re-installed, and followed the entire run, no junction boxes and couldn't see any obvious damage.
 
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Old 10-04-05, 06:38 AM
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Don't rely on a visual inspection. Remake all connections whatever they look like visually.
 
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Old 10-04-05, 06:52 AM
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After you have checked for power at each junction box and remade each connection, you should know where the problem is. If it is really between two junction boxes, then you will have to replace that piece of cable. Perhaps a nail punctured the cable, although that usually causes a short, not a break.
 
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Old 10-09-05, 04:38 PM
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I went back and carefully checked the entire run as you guys suggested and found a junction box I didn't see in my rushed, upset cause the circuit wasn't working initial check. So I figure great, bad connection here, no such luck, but there were 4 runs coming into this box. After taking a look, one went to the the panel obviously, one went to the front outside outlet (that I'm trying to use at my new wall), one went to the rear outside outlet (which didn't work either), and one went... up above a heating duct. Climbed up my ladder and had a look, on the end of this wire was a junction box with a rotary timer, seems the previous owner had installed the timer but not taken the time to mount it in an accessible location, just decided to shove it on top of the ductwork, and for some reason had the timer circuit on the neutral instead of the hot where I would think it should be. Anyway, I rewired so the timer is on the hot for the rear outside outlet, and the run to my new wall has constant power. Lesson learned: Never underestimate the previous owners handy-work.
 
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Old 10-09-05, 04:53 PM
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You're correct, the neutral should not be switched. The hot wire(s) should be switched.
 
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