6 wall plugs no voltage

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  #1  
Old 07-06-12, 10:06 AM
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6 wall plugs no voltage

I measure 118 volts from hot to ground 118 volts neutral to ground 0 volts hot to neutral. any thoughts. My wife was blow drying her hair when all went south. I've removed the gfci that i thought blew, but still nothing.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-06-12, 10:10 AM
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Did you turn the breaker all the way off then on? Are all of the receptacles on the load side of the GFCI? (They probably shouldn't be unless they are all in a bath, kitchen or unfinished basement.) Have you checked all of the connections and moved any back stabs to the screws?
118 volts neutral to ground
Please tell us how you measured that.
 
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Old 07-06-12, 10:35 AM
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Welcome to the forums!
I've removed the gfci that i thought blew, but still nothing.
In addition to Ray's questions, have you read Troubleshooting a dead receptacle or light + Basic Terminology? It's one of the sticky posts at the top of the forum page.
 
  #4  
Old 07-06-12, 11:27 AM
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I've check the connections all seem to be ok. i went ahead and removed and reinstalled the plugs to make sure the connections were good. I don't know what a backstab is. Could you explain please? I thought it was just a bad gfci but with it removed and a standard receptacle replacing it nothing works.
 
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Old 07-06-12, 11:30 AM
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Sounds like a loose neutral to me.
 
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Old 07-06-12, 11:32 AM
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My apologies I've just read the primer in terms and yes I did change two receptacles to the proper wiring (no backstab). now what should i check. I notice that this circuit has more plugs. I've reconnected the wires. Still reading the same.
 
  #7  
Old 07-06-12, 11:36 AM
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Typically, when some of the receptacles on a circuit work and some do not, the problem is at the last good one or the first bad one.
 
  #8  
Old 07-06-12, 11:37 AM
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Would a loose neutral cause every plug to read the same.
 
  #9  
Old 07-06-12, 11:40 AM
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I measured by touching the voltmeter lead (set at 200 VAC) to the white wire and the other lead to the ground wire. Is that correct?
 
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Old 07-06-12, 11:45 AM
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I measured by touching the voltmeter lead (set at 200 VAC) to the white wire and the other lead to the ground wire. Is that correct?


Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ne...#ixzz1zryUHIdJ
Sounds good to me.
 
  #11  
Old 07-06-12, 11:46 AM
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Would a loose neutral cause every plug to read the same.
Yes if it was the first in the "daisy chain". That is receptacle 'a' feeds receptacle 'b' feeds receptacle 'c', etc. A problem in 'a' can cause a problem in all that follow. Note that since 'a' has a line in and a line out if the line out is the problem but line in is good 'a' will work. It is just 'b', 'c', etc. that will not work.

Also please answer the questions I previously asked.
Are all of the receptacles on the load side of the GFCI? (They probably shouldn't be unless they are all in a bath, kitchen or unfinished basement.)

Have you checked all of the connections and moved any back stabs to the screws?
118 volts neutral to ground
Please tell us how you measured that.
 
  #12  
Old 07-06-12, 12:27 PM
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I've replaced the breaker, still the same. Should I be reading the 118 volts on both the hot and neutral sides when going to ground? And why do I read 0 volts from hot to neutral
 
  #13  
Old 07-06-12, 12:32 PM
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I've removed the gfci and replaced it so it is no longer in the circuit
 
  #14  
Old 07-06-12, 12:34 PM
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NO, you have incoming power that must be attached to the LINE side. You need to determine which cable is incoming, attach them to the LINE side, and the remainder to the LOAD side.
 
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Old 07-06-12, 01:00 PM
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You need to determine which cable is incoming, attach them to the LINE side, and the remainder to the LOAD side.
IF the other cable(s) feed devices that need GFCI protection. If the only place you need the GFCI protection is where the GFCI is mounted, then the wires in power in and the power out cables both (or all, with pigtails) connect to the LINE terminals on the GFCI receptacle.
 
  #16  
Old 07-06-12, 01:07 PM
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Would a loose neutral cause every plug to read the same.
From that point on, yes - as Ray said.

Should I be reading the 118 volts on both the hot and neutral sides when going to ground? And why do I read 0 volts from hot to neutral
This definitely sounds like a loose - or open - neutral, as Justin said.

And as Mitch said,
Typically, when some of the receptacles on a circuit work and some do not, the problem is at the last good one or the first bad one.
 
  #17  
Old 07-06-12, 01:13 PM
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I notice that this circuit has more plugs.
How many receptacles and other devices are on this circuit? What size is the breaker protecting it? Where are the receptacles and other loads - such as lights - located? Are there any more GFCIs, or just the one?

now what should i check.
The problem seems to be upstream of the area you've checked. Work your way toward the box where the power from the panel connects to the first load on this circuit.
 
  #18  
Old 07-06-12, 02:41 PM
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trying to answer all the questions

The GFCI is now out of the circuit. There are a total of 6 wall outlets in the circuit, 3 in the bathroom (hence the GFCI) and 3 in my living room . with all kinds of electronics hooked up. Or at least the electronics was hook up . It is now plugged into another circuit. And it seem that a light switch is also in the circuit??? I thought lights and wall plugs were supposed to be on different circuits. AS far as the first load on the circuit I don't know how to tell since the light switch and 3 receptacles are in the same room on the same wall. And the breaker is 20 amp
 
  #19  
Old 07-06-12, 03:27 PM
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Thanks, Nash, I forgot about lighting, etc. that may not need protection.
Dwind, are there ANY receptacles on that circuit that work?? If so, find one, measure it's voltage from hot to neutral. If it is normal, move right or left to the next one. Either the wiring from that last working receptacle is compromised, or the wiring to the first one that is not working is compromised. I said it in a longer fashion than the others, but basically that is the way to trouble shoot it.
 
  #20  
Old 07-06-12, 03:33 PM
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there are no plugs or the light switch working. Is it possible to test to see if the wiring from the panel breaker to the first (or at least to the first room) is ok
 
  #21  
Old 07-06-12, 03:48 PM
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The normal reading would be 120 hot to ground and hot to neutral. Neutral to ground should read zero or almost zero.

Your reading of 120 to ground but nothing from hot to neutral tells us you have a failed neutral connection.
 
  #22  
Old 07-06-12, 03:56 PM
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how do i figure out were the failed neutral is?
 
  #23  
Old 07-06-12, 04:10 PM
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how do i figure out were the failed neutral is?
Read post # 19 - Chandler answered this question there.
 
  #24  
Old 07-06-12, 04:21 PM
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Cahndler did not help. There is no outlet that has a voltage reading from hot to neutral. So if i have a failed neutral what should i look for next.
 
  #25  
Old 07-06-12, 05:03 PM
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When you changed your breaker, did you check the neutral connection on the buss bar? If absolutely NO receptacles on this circuit have any voltage, then you gotta go back to the origin, which is the breaker panel. We can help if we know all the information. You must answer the questions. Do any of your lights work that are on this circuit?
One more thought...do you have any receptacles on the outside of the house that may be serviced by this breaker?
 
  #26  
Old 07-06-12, 05:14 PM
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i just found a plug in my bedroom that ic controlled by this circuit and IT IS WORKING. Ok so if the plug is working is the problem between it and the next plug?i've put a circuit tester (3prong ) in the first outlet . It reads open neutral and hot/grnd reverse. Here is the catch when i flip the light switch the hot/ground reverse light goes out. What the heck? The switch controls 2 can lights
 
  #27  
Old 07-06-12, 05:37 PM
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when i flip the light switch the hot/ground reverse light goes out.
Are there any wire nuts in the switch box? If so remove and replace with new ones and test again.

i've put a circuit tester (3prong ) in the first outlet .
Best to use a multimeter for trouble shooting. So you get reliable information. The 3-prong tester can sometimes give incorrect results.
 
  #28  
Old 07-06-12, 06:06 PM
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i just found a plug in my bedroom that ic controlled by this circuit and IT IS WORKING. Ok so if the plug is working is the problem between it and the next plug?
Maybe. Or it could be at this receptacle (I'm guessing that you mean a receptacle when you say "a plug").

I'm also guessing that you may have just found the box where the power feed from the panel first connects to the outlets it is supplying. For that reason alone, I would kill the power, pull the working receptacle, and make sure everything there is as it should be.

Note: Now you have a starting point to follow the process Chandler described in post #19.

Note 2: The suggestions Ray and Chandler have just posted are also excellent advice.
 
  #29  
Old 07-07-12, 10:14 AM
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Because I found this problem and saw that the wiring coming into the two different items(switch and receptacle) I figured there must be a hidden junction. I opened the wall and low an behold a j box with the hot neutral and ground. I took them apart and found a scorched wire. I was able to cut out the bad area and reattached one set of wires at a time and checked them with the circuit tester. All is well. Now I've got a jbox cover on the wall instead of in the wall. Hopefully this is the end of my problems. I've instructed the wife to use a different receptacle(diff Circuit) for her hair dryer. Now I need to figure out how to divide up all the electronics to different circuits. Since I just took apart and put the joints back together, do you think it was just a loose neutral?

Thanks to all of you.

P.S. Is there anything I forgot?
 
  #30  
Old 07-07-12, 10:33 AM
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Excellent detective work and good code compliant repair. Now you know why the code says all J-boxes must remain accessible. I think you should be fine now.
 
  #31  
Old 07-07-12, 10:47 AM
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Cahndler did not help.
I tried.
and IT IS WORKING
Ta Daaah! Post 19 did work.

As Ray said, that's a great repair and detective work you did. Glad you got it fixed. Sometimes we have to badger for information. Sorry it took so long.
 
  #32  
Old 07-07-12, 01:31 PM
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Thanks again guys, couldn't have figured it out without your advice
 
  #33  
Old 07-07-12, 04:29 PM
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Because I found this problem and saw that the wiring coming into the two different items(switch and receptacle) I figured there must be a hidden junction.
Good deduction! And, as Ray said, "good code compliant repair." Thanks for letting us know how it turned out.
 
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