having a problem with lights


Old 02-22-06, 12:21 PM
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having a problem with lights

I have a switch in kitchen feeding a light in soffet, I added another light for more lumination from same source. Switch has two blacks on one terminal and a red on the other. I added the light and everything was great. Over the stove, i removed hood and added an outlet for a space-saver micro wave. Everything worked for 6 months. No breaker trips. My microwave stopped working, as did my lights. I checked with a meter and ihave 115 v on the red, blacks, and the white at the new fixture i added. I put one side of the meter to the line, the other side to ground to get these readings. what could be my problem and how do i diagnose properly. It is hard to work inside soffet as i am working thru the hole where original fixture is
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Old 02-22-06, 12:27 PM
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And what reading do you get with the hot wires against the neutral?

All you verified is that the hot wires are hot. You haven't verified the neutral yet. I bet you will find an open neutral.

You do realize (I hope) that you should have run a dedicated circuit for the over the range microwave.
Old 02-22-06, 12:32 PM
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One more point: a digital meter will not reliably detect an open neutral. You will probably get a reading somewhere around 60V, which is called phantom voltage. An analog or neon bulb tester is much more useful for diagnosing an open circuit; I recommend spending $3 on a simple tester.
Old 02-22-06, 02:15 PM
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the neutral

help me understand.
original 1st light. Red from switch connected to black form light. Whit from light connected to other whites. I assume the whites are the neutral, correct?

2nd light. I hooked black from light to Red/Black of 1st light. White from 2nd light to other whites.
My reading of 2nd light from black to ground and from white to ground reads 120V. Should i BE GETTING 120v READING FROM THE WHITE?
I removed the outlet for Micro, Checked readings of black and white to ground and both are 120V. Should both read 120V?
I checked my switch with continuity and it is fine. I assume that the black from the switch is feeding the outlet, there fore not being controlled.
Old 02-22-06, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by aabbassi

You never get a voltage from a color.

A reading is always taken between two points.
The reading is the voltage difference between those two points.

From the black wire to the white wire you should see 120V.
From the black wire to ground you should see 120V.
From the white wire to ground you should see 0V.

But if either of the two wires is neither hot nor grounded, the result is meaningless and can theoretically be almost anything.
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