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Receptacle and light in shed stopped working but have good voltage. Please help!

Receptacle and light in shed stopped working but have good voltage. Please help!

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Old 11-26-16, 04:15 PM
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Receptacle and light in shed stopped working but have good voltage. Please help!

Hello!

Today I plugged in my drill in my only receptacle in my shed, and it would barely move. When I turn the 2' florescent light on, it flickered very dim.

About 2 years ago, I ran power to my shed and have had no issues until now. The power comes into the shed, straight to the receptacle, then to a single pole switch, then to the small light. A voltmeter shows 125V everywhere, from the receptacle to the light, but it's still not working. I replaced the outlet to see if that would solve the issue and it did not.

When I ran the wire underground 2 years ago, I did have to splice 2 lengths together, but I used the recommended underground connector with heat shrink tube from Lowe's. And yes, I used the grey underground wire (I think it's called UF wire).

My only thought at this point is that maybe the heatshrink wasn't sufficient for waterproofing, although it did well for a couple of years. Before I dig the line up and worry about that connection, does anyone else have any other troubleshooting ideas? I don't understand how the circuit reads 125V but nothing works. =/

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-26-16, 04:35 PM
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A voltmeter shows 125V everywhere, from the receptacle to the light, but it's still not working.
Measure the voltage with the drill and light on. (Taking bets it is a digital multimeter not analog. )
 
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Old 11-26-16, 07:35 PM
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Plug a lamp into the outlet, normal light bulb. Than measure the voltage. My guess will be the voltage will be low and light will be dim.

When you measured the voltage there was not load on the circuit, so it is drawing very little current (amps). However, if you put a load on the circuit and the wire isn't able to supply the needed amps to run the appliance you will read low voltage.

I would start with where the splice is, most likely spot for damaged wiring...
 
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Old 11-26-16, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for the quick response! Yes, I did my best to test it while holding the trigger to the drill. Although I couldn't hold it steady with only 2 hands, I saw the voltage fall down to around 40V, jumping up and down inconsistently. Without much electrical experience, I'm assuming it's a bad connection somewhere or it's grounding out into the ground/moisture where the splice is.

Is there any possibility that this could be caused by the breaker?

For obvious reasons, I'm trying to eliminate other possibilities before digging up the splice. Also, if I do redo the splice, do you have any recommendations better than heatshrink for an underground splice?
 
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Old 11-27-16, 03:29 AM
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Check the voltage at the breaker with a load applied at the shed. If good I'd replace the whole cable to the shed.
 
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Old 11-27-16, 02:58 PM
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Thanks guys, I dug up where the splice was underground, and sure enough, it was soaked underneath the heatshrink and electrical tape. I used a different method to fix it with something called Mastic that my neighbor (a Time Warner Cable Tech) gave me, and now everything is working perfectly. At least now I know exactly where the break is so if there's ever another issue, I'll be able to find it quickly. Problem solved!
 
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Old 11-28-16, 03:35 PM
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Glad to see it all worked out!
 
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