Reduced voltage on outlets - need some thoughts


Old 01-30-16, 09:41 PM
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Reduced voltage on outlets - need some thoughts

Hey everyone. I have an outlet issue that I think I know the general resolution for, but would greatly appreciate some advice from others as well.

Some of my outlets, on the same circuit, stopped working the other day. Here is what I see. One of the outlets is fine and carrying 120v. The other 4, that I'm aware of, are around 92v. What I've also noticed is that if you plug anything into one of the 4 that is at 92v, the device won't power and the other outlets, that were at 92v, now register about 5v. The one outlet working is never affected nor does using it cause any drop on the others.

From what I've gathered, this is likely an open neutral. I honestly haven't verified this but assume the working outlet is the first and the problem should be there or with the next one. I have replaced the working and another outlet. Looked at the other outlets and don't see anything loose. All outlets use screw conections.

I know some of the outlets are daisy chained.

Is it likely that this is an open neutral or am I barking up the wrong tree? I haven't checked the main panel yet, but will in the morning. I assumed the neutral is fine there since one of the outlets is functioning normal. I also haven't see anything that looks like any of the outlets have undergone excessive heat.

Oh yeah, I'm using a digital multimeter. Haven't done a continuity test yet.

Any thoughts are very much welcomed and appreciated.

Will reply to responses soon as I can.

Thank you!

Old 01-31-16, 12:09 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

We could tell you were using a voltmeter by your readings.

One of the outlets is fine and carrying 120v. The other 4, that I'm aware of, are around 92v.
If you have a good receptacle on the circuit then the problem will not be in the panel. The problem will be at the last working device or the first dead device.

Is that the whole circuit..... five receptacles ? You need to ID everything on the affected circuit so you know what to check.

If you want to know if it's the hot or neutral you've lost. Plug in any type of lamp in one of the non working receptacles. Now.... at that receptacle or one of the other dead ones..... check from the small slot to ground for 120v and the large slot to ground for 0v.
Old 01-31-16, 11:48 AM
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My guess is a poor neutral connection after the first receptacle.
Old 01-31-16, 11:56 AM
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First thought is back stabs. All back stabs on working and non working receptacles need to be moved to the screws. It is amazing how often that clears up mystery problems.

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