read 120 between hot and ground not netural

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-06-07, 05:09 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SC
Posts: 80
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Question read 120 between hot and ground not netural

I have an outlet that is not working. when I checked it, it gave me 120 between hot and ground wire but nothing between hot and netural. I guess that's why it is not working. can someone tell me what's going on? thanks
 
  #2  
Old 07-06-07, 05:20 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,970
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You have an open neutral.

Somewhere the neutral wire has become disconnected. Your task now is to find it. First, suspect back stabbed connections. They have a tendency to fail. As you are checking, move any back stabbed connections on receptacles and switches to the screw terminals. As you are checking, remake any wire nut connections with brand new wire nuts. Don't forget to check everywhere on the circuit, whether that particular location is working or not.
 
  #3  
Old 07-06-07, 05:23 PM
5
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 2,039
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It sounds like you have an open neutral wire ( white wire). It could be a bad connection on the device or box where you are working, or back upstream from that box. Usually circuits are run from the panel, to the first box, then on to the next box, etc. A bad connection at a certain point can affect all the outlets further down the line.
 
  #4  
Old 07-06-07, 05:40 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SC
Posts: 80
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thanks. Now the work begins... I'm assuming if I can't find it (behind the walls) I can run up a new netural wire to it and it would work. Right?
 
  #5  
Old 07-06-07, 06:20 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,970
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
No, you cannot run a new neutral. You must find and fix the problem, or abandon the cable where the problem is located, if you damaged a cable in the wall.
 
  #6  
Old 07-06-07, 06:54 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SC
Posts: 80
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay then. I need to be educated if you please. I thought all netural wires ended up in the same place in the box. If that's the case, why would another netural wouold be a problem? thanks for taking time to explain.
 
  #7  
Old 07-06-07, 07:43 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,970
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The current going both directions through a cable assembly or conduit must be equal.

Unless you have been driving nails or doing similar remodeling, the cable will be intact. The problem is a loose or failed connection at a junction box.

You could have found the problem by now. It's not rocket science and it's not hard to do. It does take time, and it goes faster if someone helps you, but it's not difficult.
 
  #8  
Old 07-06-07, 08:33 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Divide and conquer is the solution. Figure out every place on the circuit where the neutral is good, and every place where it isn't. Then you'll be able to narrow down where it is bad. The failure is almost certainly in a junction box where it will be very easy to fix. It would be extremely rare for the failure to be inside the wall between boxes.
 
  #9  
Old 07-07-07, 06:59 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SC
Posts: 80
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Got it and thank you a bunch. The connections were good where the problem was so I started looking at others. I found another outlet which I hardly use with the same problem. I checked it and found the problem with loose connection. Now both work. One thing that puzzles me however is, I do not get 120 volts between hot and ground elsewhere, why was it showing in this outlet with a netural problem. I'm sure it was all volts and not amps but still a mistery to me and makes me hope my house is not wired wrong.... thanks for your help. Now I can plug in my circular saw and go to work on my deck...
 
  #10  
Old 07-07-07, 08:02 AM
nap's Avatar
nap
nap is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north
Posts: 4,162
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
you should read 120 volts to ground everywhere.

the only reason you wouldn't (given that you actually have voltage at the test point) is that you do not have a ground at that point.

New problem, new solutions. Fix them for your, and safetys sake.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: