What in the world is going on with these outlets?!?!?!?

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Old 12-22-10, 12:59 PM
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What in the world is going on with these outlets?!?!?!?

Ok, this has been going one for some time, but my main floorhalf bath and the right side of my Jack and Jill bathroom upstairs; those outlets donít work. I took my volt meter to the one on the main floor and I get a very small current. That makes sense, because I have a light sensative nightlight plugged in there and when it's dark, the light is barely glowing. Almost like it's on a dimmer switch at the lowest setting.

When I took the outlet off and then turned the power back on, I took the volt meter to the wires and got a full current. I replaced the sockets and I still get the same problem. The one upstairs I get a very low current and the one downstairs, before I replaced the outlet, I put the volt meter on the raw wires and no longer got the strong current, I got the very weak one. So, I have no clue whatís going on with that. Anyone have any ideas? Your input would be greatly appreciated.

thanks in advance

Thom
 
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Old 12-22-10, 01:13 PM
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Are these GFCI receptacles; they would have a TEST and RESET button on them? If so, check to make sure they are not tripped. You may also have GFCIs in you kitchen, basement, and any outdoor receptacles. Depending on whether or not they're on the same circuit, any of them may be tripped. check the whole house for these types of receptacles.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 01:16 PM
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No offense here Thom...but lets be clear on terms. If you are measuring with a voltmeter...you are measuring voltage...not current. Current measurement requires an ammeter (or amp meter) to be placed in line with a load (kinda like a fuse is in line with something).

If you are using a digital meter...small numbers usually mean "phantom voltage". I won't try to explain that...since I don't really know why it occurs...lol.

You need to use an analog meter (with a needle) to be accurate.
Please post the actual numbers you read...full, small, large...they don't really mean anything.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 01:21 PM
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Ok, Ill go post the numbers. Im an idiot when it comes to electricity.... I'll admit that, so I apologize about using the wrong terminology. I cringe too when people use the wrong terminology when dealing with IT networks. Be back in a second with that info. Oh, and to answer the other post, yer they are on a GFCI circuit and I know which switches control the circuit they are on and none they are not tripped and the other outlets work just fine.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 01:31 PM
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It sounds to me like a broken or loose wire.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 01:43 PM
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ok, a picture is worth a 1000 words... Again, Im just guessing at even what setting to put this meter at so let me know if I need to put it at a different setting.

The first pic called Full power is plugged into another outlet on this same circuit. The second pic where the needle is barely showing any power is attached to the actual raw wires coming out of the wall.

Well.... I see that I can't insert images, it's asking for a url. Ill get one up in the form of an elearning course in about 10 minutes
 
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Old 12-22-10, 01:45 PM
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Must be something to do with the receptacle because he said when he removed it, and checked for voltage across the individual wires, there was "full current" (meaning full voltage: I assume 110V).
 
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Old 12-22-10, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by thom71gt View Post
Again, Im just guessing at even what setting to put this meter at so let me know if I need to put it at a different setting.
What type of volmeter are you using (analog, digital, test light, etc.)? It should be set to read AC voltage.

Can you describe the voltmeter, or show a pic of it, or a link to the model?
 
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Old 12-22-10, 01:54 PM
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Here is a link to see the pics of the volt meter. it is analog with a needle

Compatibility test
 
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Old 12-22-10, 02:33 PM
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That seems to be a wrong link. It seems to be a link to a browser incompatibility page not the actual link. I suggest you use Photobucket or Imageshack.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 08:56 PM
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No, it's a correct link, you must not be using Internet Explorer or you dont have Active X. No worries though.... I'd forgotten about Photobucket. Thanks

This is where I have the volt meter attached directly to the bare wires where the bad outlet was.

low power picture by thom71gt - Photobucket

This is the same volt meter stuck into an outlet on the same circut.

full power picture by thom71gt - Photobucket
 
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Old 12-23-10, 09:37 AM
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I hope you can view the pictures now.
 
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Old 12-23-10, 09:53 AM
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Wiring

As has been suggested above, look for a loose connection.
 
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Old 12-23-10, 10:27 AM
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Am I reading this on the correct scale right? It looks like either 150v or 350v if reading the red scale

 
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Old 12-23-10, 10:46 AM
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I don't know.... If you look at the picture you can see what i have the meter set to measure. As I said, i am a complete moron when it comes to electrical. It's a 100% guessing game. Im hiring an electrician to come out. All this is something that I am not qualified to deal with.
 
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Old 12-23-10, 11:40 AM
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Thanks for the help. Have a great Holiday
 

Last edited by thom71gt; 12-23-10 at 01:31 PM.
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