Split fuse, 3-wire, red makes wht. Hot?

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Old 03-13-09, 11:40 AM
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Split fuse, 3-wire, red makes wht. Hot?

Hello gentlemen ladies:
please forgive typing this is voice dictation because I cannot type due to head injury due to carjacking.
I turned on the television and suddenly, it went dead along with several outlets.
I traced the outlet to one circuit checked the fuse the fuse was okay check the hot the neutral was tight.

I pulled out all of the receptacles and switches on this circuit and starting with the first bad outlet the television the findings were

Black to ground 120 V
White to ground 120 V
Black to white across the plugs plus or -23 V and this was consistent with the other 10 outlets on this circuit

sounds like an open neutral, until I go back to the main panel and track the wires and find

three wire romex, spelling RED, BLACK, WHITE going into a split use top to and bottom both 15 amps with the arrangement of top one equals red wire bottom one equals black wire and white posted neutral.

The problem receptacles are on the black 15 amp fuse and when this is turned off the black to ground reads 0 V but the white ground reads 120 V.!

Now all one eye shut off the top views the red wire which shares which it shares the same white common wire the voltage from white to ground is zero at all receptacles on the black wire circuit and then the red wire circuit which are the lights are dead

incidentally the red wire circuit I cannot find any problems with any of the in any other switch boxes as this supplies the lights only; therefore, an open neutral is ruled out, correct? Since the red circuit works.

It seems to me like I have a red touching a white wire after the black circuit but connection is not enough to short out and trip the breaker.

I'm lost, I've tried everything that I could do.
What's worst is if I have no crawl space inl the attic due to vaulted ceilings and firewalls firebreaks.
This house was wired pretty haphazardly as I found seven white 12 gauge wires in one red nut, which I corrected, in addition to wire leads from the romex to receptacles is very very short, and the fuse box is a rats nest.


slumped in Southern California
thank you in advance drtok
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Old 03-13-09, 12:26 PM
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What kind of tester are you using? If it's a digital multimeter, I think you'll find that a number of your readings are actually phantom voltage which is a classic symptom of an open connection (could be hot or neutral).

If you have access to a simple neon bulb tester, it would be helpful to recheck some of those measurements with a neon or analog tester. The digital can introduce false readings when there's a broken wire in the circuit.

This type of tester helps a lot -- one bulb for 120V, one for 240V:



Your multiwire circuit should measure 240V black to red; 120V black to white or ground; 120V red to white or ground; and close to zero white to ground.

incidentally the red wire circuit I cannot find any problems with any of the in any other switch boxes as this supplies the lights only; therefore, an open neutral is ruled out, correct? Since the red circuit works.
Not necessarily. The current can backfeed through the black wire circumventing the broken neutral; or the neutral might spilt at a point before the bad connection. Multiwire circuits can be very troublesome to diagnose correctly, especially in an older house where untold connections are made in hidden places.

It seems to me like I have a red touching a white wire after the black circuit but connection is not enough to short out and trip the breaker.
I think that's unlikely. A short from hot to neutral would trip the breaker right away or create an arc welder in your wall -- either would be noticed ASAP.
 
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Old 03-14-09, 08:34 AM
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Thank you ipbrooks

your answers got me thinking further however number one I did start with a neon tester and it did light up as 110 V from white to ground and I tested it with my vibrating chirping tester and the bar also rose to 120 and after your post, I wanted to make sure I wasn't really reading the Phantom 120 voltage, so I went to the main panel, traced out the white wire, disconnected it. I then shut off the top breaker, red wire, left the black breaker on check voltage on the neutral it was zero on my meter and no flash on a neon checker.
I then turn off the black breaker turned on the red breaker, red wire, then I tested it with first the neon bulb tester, test showed 120 V light. I then tested it with the digital meter, it also showed 120 V.


What you said about the red touching the black make sense, THE HOUSE WOULD HAVE BURNED DOWN!!!.

BUT I ALSO BELIEVE IT IS TRUE THAT WHAT YOU SAID, THAT I NEED TO PURSUE A BROKEN OR SHORTED OUT WHITE OR BLACK WHITE WIRE.


I ACTUALLY BELIEVE WHAT I'M CHASING IS AN OPEN NEUTRAL AND AND MY BLACK WIRE IS COMPLETING THE CIRCUIT AS A NEUTRAL TO ALLOW THE RED WIRE CIRCUIT TO FUNCTION NORMALLY AS THE LIGHT'S WORK CORRECTLY IN THE HOUSE, AND THAT'S THE 120 VOLTAGE IS TRULY IS TRULY 120 V OF FEEDBACK.

I HOPE I WANT A RIGHT TRACK.

ANY IDEAS ANYBODY?????


BACK TO TRACING WIRES AGAIN.

DRTOK
 
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