Problem with outlet

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-09-08, 05:40 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 102
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Problem with outlet

Have a really screwy problem which I am out of ideas for.

Our microwave has been acting up as of late. After bringing it to the appliance shop, they said check the current on the outlet.

Ok..

So I take out my handy multimeter and it reads about 85 volts.. Not good... The circuit the microwave is on is shared with a gas range. I measured at the range and it is at 120 volts. There is a splice at the range which leads to the microwave.

I figured ok, possibly a faulty outlet. Replaced the outlet, and the same problem. I measured at the screws of the microwave and they are also reading 85...

Pulled apart the splice and the made sure everything was tight. Still at 85.. At this point I am out of ideas. What could I be missing here..


Thanks in advance.
Tim
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-09-08, 06:07 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Eastern Georgia
Posts: 486
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Are the wires on the receptacle hooked on the screws? if not go back and do that. The only other suggestion I have is a junction box between between the 2 locations or a broken neutral wire between them.
 
  #3  
Old 08-09-08, 06:45 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,919
Received 24 Votes on 20 Posts
To help narrow the problem also check for voltage between the hot and ground.

Voltage readings can vary based on the quality of the contact with the blades of the receptacles.
 
  #4  
Old 08-09-08, 09:41 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Are you using an analog or digital meter? Where is the splice? Describe the splice. If it is in the receptacle box is it spliced because both sets of screws are in use?
 
  #5  
Old 08-10-08, 05:23 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 102
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
SO I measured between hot and ground and got 120..

Between Neutral and Hot is still mid 80's...

The splice is a pig tail, with one the incoming from breaker, one going to the range outlet, and one going to the microwave.


Guess it is starting to sound like a bad neutral right?


Or any other ideas


Thanks,
Tim
 
  #6  
Old 08-11-08, 01:19 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Yes neutral. Redo the neutral splice with a new wire nut.
 
  #7  
Old 08-11-08, 07:29 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You have the clear and obvious symptoms of a bad neutral connection.
 
  #8  
Old 08-11-08, 06:24 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 102
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the all the help.. Pulled apart the splice and reattached... Still no dice... I identified the neutral wire leading to the microwave and tested the continuity of the wire, and got nothing. At this point I guess the neutral some how got broken behind the wall. Since my fishing skills are poor, I guess its time for a pro...


Thanks for the help
-Tim
 
  #9  
Old 08-11-08, 07:04 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It is extremely unlikely that the wire is broken inside the wall, unless you've been putting long nails or screws in the wall recently.

The connection is almost certainly broken in some other box on the circuit. You should check absolutely every electrical box on this circuit (whether working or not), and then, if all that fails, have a qualified person check the neutral connection in the panel.

By the way, exactly how did you test "the continuity of the wire"?
 
  #10  
Old 08-11-08, 07:26 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 102
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
the multimeter has a continuity tester on it. Its only about a 4 foot run, and I had some extra wire laying around on it. Soooo I connected it to the neutral and tested with the multimeter.. Probably not that official, but hey it works...

Additionally I be able to check continuity by checking between Neutral and ground. I believe they should be bonded in the panel right?


As far as long nails, no I have not driven any nails which is why this is so confusing. The house is only 3 years, old and there hasnt been a problem with the electrical...

 
  #11  
Old 08-11-08, 07:34 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It's only a 4-foot run between where and where?
 
  #12  
Old 08-11-08, 07:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 102
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The 4 ft run runs from the range (gas) and the microwave.


The line comes in from the breaker box to the Range where there is a splice (pigtail). A small line runs to the range outlet (6 Inches) or so and then the other line runs to the microwave (above the range). So what I did was connect the loop on the neutral line for the line to the microwave, check with the multimeter, and find that the loop is not completed.
 
  #13  
Old 08-11-08, 08:14 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Did you check the neutral connection at the range (i.e., the other end of that 4-foot run)?
 
Reply

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
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: