dead outlet

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Old 02-05-10, 01:57 PM
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dead outlet

I have a dead outlet. All other outlets nearby are working fine. I pulled the outlet and put the probes of my digital meter on it. I read 48 volts. The connections are all tight. How do I find the problem?

I don't know if it is relevant or not and I am not an expert with the digital meter but the meter read the same even when I switched the probes - which I would have thought would indicate a negative voltage.

- Peter
 
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Old 02-05-10, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by pjaffe View Post
I have a dead outlet.
The problem is probably loose or burned connections at the previous outlet in the circuit. The 48V reading is most likely a phantom voltage read by the digital meter.

which I would have thought would indicate a negative voltage.
There is no such thing in AC circuits.
 
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Old 02-05-10, 02:14 PM
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Digital meters aren't fully reliable on AC circuits due to their high impedance.. Any thing below a 100v may be ghost voltage. Phantom voltage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Any back stabs need to be moved to the screws. The problem may be in the last good receptacle in the daisy chain. Start with the last good receptacle in the circuit nearest the bad ones after checking all bad ones.

In some cases the problem can be a wire nut in a light fixture or switch. Don't just look at the wire nuts remove and replace.

Edited to corect mistake identified by ibpooks in post #4.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-05-10 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 02-05-10, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Digital meters aren't fully reliable on AC circuits due to their low impedance.
extremely high impedance

I think you know that Ray, just pointing it out for others following along.
 
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Old 02-05-10, 10:21 PM
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"Any back stabs need to be moved to the screws. The problem may be in the last good receptacle in the daisy chain. Start with the last good receptacle in the circuit nearest the bad ones after checking all bad ones."

Good advice. The 48 volt reading could also be a loose neutral connection at one of the back stabs.
 
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