Open Neutral but still works


Old 07-22-07, 02:56 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Greenville
Posts: 8
Open Neutral but still works

I have a circuit for one of our bedrooms that only has 1 working outlet. However, ALL outlets say "Neutral Missing" with my little outlet tester. I'm pretty sure that the first outlet in the circuit is the one that works, as when I disconnect the other cable coming into the box, I lose power at all the other outlets. I've tried a new outlet, but this didn't fix the problem either. Do I have a short in the cable somewhere, or maybe back in the main box? I thought if an outlet had a missing neutral it wouldn't work.........

Confused in SC,

- Tyler
Sponsored Links
Old 07-22-07, 03:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
A receptacle will not work without a neutral. Are you sure your tester is working properly?

However, a multi-wire circuit, depending on how wired, may appear to work with no neutral. Do you have a multi-wire circuit

Understand that replacing the receptacle, while inexpensive, was probably wasted effort. Very rarely does a receptacle fail in such a manner that a properly connected wire will be open.

Put away your plug in tester, use a two wire tester and test the wires themselves.
Old 07-22-07, 05:46 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,439
Did you open up any of the receptacles that show an open neutral? Look at the first one past the one that works first.
Old 07-22-07, 06:29 PM
Unclediezel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern PA.
Posts: 2,230
typically in a situation like this you have two choices for a problem area, the last outlet that works , or the first one that doesnt.

I'll ask one of the other guys to chime in here, But being a bedroom, and requiring afci protection, could the ckt tester be giving false readings because of an AFC breaker?

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes