Only 70V Hot to Neutral


Old 02-09-08, 05:19 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1
Question Only 70V Hot to Neutral

The lights and plugs flickered and went out - then on their own they came back but then went out for good. On checking each receptacle I found the first bad one - At the one before everything seems ok (I changed it out anyway) with 110 between Hot and neutral and 110 between hot and ground - In the next receptacle in the circuit and in every one after it is hot to ground 110, hot to neutral 70V. It looks like a bad neutral somewhere, but why still 70V??

So... does the problem have to be between the good outlet and the bad outlet (in the wall?? - no work done) or can it be in a neutral connection further downstream? (3 phase testers say all plugs are wired correctly - one was hot / ground reverse till I changd it).

Should I just keep changing the remaining plugs (6)?

What about the lights?

With 2 good outlets before the bad one .. is the breaker in the clear.

Thank you all (please help before remaining strands of hair are pulled out!)... ciaran
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Old 02-09-08, 05:29 PM
Unclediezel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern PA.
Posts: 2,230
Dump the digital meter...
it registers what is called 'phantom' or Ghost voltage....Which is caused by a bunch of factors that you probably have no interest in knowing. A two wire neon tester is your best friend here.

rule of thumb...the last one that works , or the first that doesnt, You will find your problem. This may be a receptacle, a loose wire nut, a burnt connection, .......In a receptacle box, a ceiling box......
Old 02-10-08, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 2,041
Originally Posted by ciaranohare View Post
(3 phase testers say all plugs are wired correctly - one was hot / ground reverse till I changd it).

BACK THE TRUCK UP! A hot/ground reversal is very unlikely! It would be a major screw-up by anyone installing receptacles to connect the BARE GROUND to a side terminal.
BUT, on almost all of those little outlet checkers , an OPEN NEUTRAL will read as hot/ground reversed!

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