Is 150v a problem on home outlets?


Old 02-03-07, 06:01 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: USA
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Is 150v a problem on home outlets?

I was replacing a faulty outlet in the house this week and my meter was reading 150v at the outlet. I will be checking it tomorrow with a higher quality fluke meter to verify that this reading is correct. But if it is 150v what is the down side to this? What kind of problems could I see from this. If this is what show to be there when I check it with my fluke I plan on calling the utility company and I didn't want to get fed a line of BS from them. Thanks for you input.
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Old 02-03-07, 06:39 PM
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Location: Central New York State
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How did you measure and what sort of meter were you using?
Old 02-03-07, 07:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
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You should never see a reading of 150 volts. You can get some "funny" readings depeding on exactly what points in a circuit you are measuring.

Things that could cause such a reading are loose neutral connections in that circuit, or open or bad neutral from the pole. You should probably have an electrician or the power company check it out. It MAY be a dangerous situation. Not necessarily, but we just don't know right now.

If you would want to so some further tests yourself, I would turn off all the breakers to that area and make some resistance measurements on grounds and neutrals. First make sure that nothing is hot. This may be a multi-wire circuit where 2 breakers are involved.
Old 02-03-07, 08:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Werre you using a digital meter?
Old 02-03-07, 10:20 PM
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My first thought would be a bad meter. I'd suggest taking it to the house of a friend who does not live near you and doing a voltage check there. If it still reads around 150V then most likely a bad meter.
Old 02-03-07, 11:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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What should you get?
115V or 230V or what?
Old 02-04-07, 12:19 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
You should get anything from 110 to 127.

Plug a lamp into the receptacle. If it turns on and doesn't burn out the bulb, then you probably have a bad meter.

If the lamp doesn't even come on (and the bulb is still good), the you are reading "phantom voltage" (google it), and you need to solve your open neutral problem.

If the lamp works (at least briefly), then you have a very serious problem, probably a loose neutral in the circuit or in the service. Call your power company immediately.

Most of the time we hear this, it's phantom voltage, especially when somebody says the outlet if "faulty".
Old 02-04-07, 08:01 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 571
problem gone with recepticle replacement

Sorry for maybe jumping the gun on this problem. Thanks for all of you input though. I found loose wires on the back of bathroom recepticle and burnt spots where it looked like it had been arcing. The wires were connected to the recepticle using the push-in connections and not the screws on the sides. This is exactly why I don't use those kind of connections myself.

Anyway thanks for the help. Voltage reading is back to normal. 122.6v on Fluke digital meter.

Until next time.

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