low voltage help


Old 10-01-06, 07:24 AM
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low voltage help

I have a room in my house where the TV suddenly quit working. When I
tested the outlet with my meter I found only 30-40 volts and the
voltage got lower as I went around the room. Can anyone help me
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Old 10-01-06, 07:30 AM
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My first guess is that you are using a digital VOM and that what you are seeing is a ghost voltage.

I know this should be obvious, but did you check all the breakers carefully. sometimes they will be tripped but not look tripped. I would try turning them off all the way off, one at a time, and then all the way back on.

Edit to add: unplug all the appliances before you do this and see if you can reset the circuit.

Please post back with results so we can try to help further if needed.
Old 10-01-06, 07:33 AM
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It sounds as you have simply lost a connection somewhere.

If you are using a DMM, you may simply be getting ghost voltage. If you are using a solenoid type tester adn getting this voltage, I would guess you have a very bad connection somewhere but not quite a total loss of contact.

If you know where the circuit runs, find the last good recep or outlet and check your connection from there towards the bad room.

Or since jwhite posted while I was typing, you can do what he posted too. (do that first, it's easier)
Old 10-01-06, 09:29 AM
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As had been stated, you have an open circuit. Either a hot wire or a neutral wire has become disconnected.

The bad reading is due to your using a digital meter. You should not use a digital meter for ac testing unless you know how to do so. Put a way the digital meter, and use an analog meter or use a two wire tester or plug in type tester.

You need to find the bad connection. It will be at the last working receptacle or the first non-working one. Since it is not always easy to figure out the order in which the receptacles are wired, you may have to test every receptacle or other outlet (light, etc.) on the circuit.

While you are checking, move every back stabbed connection to the screw terminals. This itself may correct your problem. Your checking will be be easy if you know whether the loose wire is a hot wire or a neutral wire. You will learn this by using a plug in type tester, or by using a two wire tester in the proper manner.
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