Cause of the recepticle problem?


Old 01-13-08, 12:45 PM
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Cause of the recepticle problem?

I moved in this house a few months ago and the three recepticle outlets in both bathroom and front outside, which are on the same line, are not working (no power). All others in the house are good and never had any problem. Then after about a month, I tried again to plug in and found the line is live. However, this did not last long and after a few weeks they gave out again. Today I used a multimeter to test the wiring and baffled about what I found:

1. there is no voltage between the black and the white wires.
2. between black and green (ground) is 120 volts.
3. no volts between white and green.

What is the problem? And how to fix it?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-13-08, 12:58 PM
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You have an open neutral at one of the receptacles, probably the first in line. If you can determine which one is first, your work will be shorter. If not turn the breaker off and start pulling the receptacles. You will find one of the white wires loose. Let us know what you find.
Old 01-13-08, 01:00 PM
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You have not done anything and you have been living in the house for a few months? Wow.

You have an open neutral. Somewhere on the circuit the neutral wire (the white one) is loose. It is intermittently making contact.

This is a common problem, easy to fix, but it may be time consuming.

Check every location on the circuit, working or not. As you check, move any back stabbed connections to the screw terminals and replace all wire nuts with new ones. Make your tests with the power off and retest after checking each location on the circuit.
Old 01-14-08, 05:18 AM
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Thumbs up Finally I found the loose end!

I was busy with some of other more urgent projects after move in to the house, so this was not on my priority till now.

And yes as you guys pointed out, there is a loose connection in one of the outside outlets. Actually I spent almost all afternoon checking and moved all backstabs to screw terminals.

Really appreciate for your time and knowledge! This is one of the most helpful website I have come across. Thanks again.

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