Receptacles not working--open neutral?


Old 02-05-15, 11:51 AM
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Receptacles not working--open neutral?

I have five living room receptacles that are on the same circuit. As I was trying to plug something into one of the receptacles something popped then all five went dead. I checked the circuit breaker and it was not tripped. I have:
1. Replaced the circuit breaker.
2. Replaced the receptacle that seemed to cause the problem
3. Replaced all receptacles on the circuit.
None of the actions resolved the problem.
Using a multimeter I'm seeing no voltage between neutral and hot but 120 between ground and hot for each receptacle (this is actually how I confirmed the circuit breaker all the receptacles are on).
I've searched but cannot find anything else on this circuit except the five living room receptacles. No GCFIs are involved; the two we do have have been reset and appear to be working fine.
Any ideas on what steps I might take before calling an electrician would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-05-15, 12:05 PM
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Any splice or termination in the circuit could be the culprit, not just receptacles. Also check wirenuts and/or screw terminals such as at the neutral bar in the panel.
Old 02-05-15, 12:09 PM
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Just for future reference:
1. Replaced the circuit breaker.
Unlikely a cause. Just check for voltage with a multimeter, preferably analog.
2. Replaced the receptacle that seemed to cause the problem
No parts inside a regular receptacle likely to cause a problem like yours.
3. Replaced all receptacles on the circuit.
No reason too.

The problem is most likely a bad connection either at the last working receptacle or first non working receptacle. Any back stabs should be moved to the screws and any wire nuts removed and the connection redone. Problem could also be at a switch or light on the circuit. Again wire nuts should be redone.

Last edited by ray2047; 02-05-15 at 02:48 PM.
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