Hot wire loses voltage when neutral connected

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Old 02-17-20, 06:28 AM
J
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Hot wire loses voltage when neutral connected

My ceiling box in the kitchen stopped working a few days ago. I took the fixture down and before disconnecting any wires tested with a fluke voltage tester and it did not register/no voltage. I disconnected the neutral and dimmer and before disconnecting the hot I tested again. Surprisingly, now registered solid red. Then I shut the breaker off and reconnected everything. After turning the breaker back on and testing again, no voltage. Disconnected the neutral and dimmer once again, tested the hot and it registered solid red again. Now I'm confused and called my dad and he didnt know. With the tester against the black wire and neutral disconnected it is solid red. When I touch the neutral wire from the fixture to the neutral from the box it goes away. What is going on? The fixture is a rail with pendants hanging from it over the island. Because it stops working when I connect the fixture should I assume that has gone bad? Is there a way I can test that?

Thanks,

Jeremy

Connecting an outlet to test the box now

Connected GFCI outlet, with breaker and switch on, no voltage. Once I disconnect the ground and neutral wires from the switch it registers voltage on the black wire and all the way down the cord to the lamp I plugged into it. Anyone know what's happening??? Thanks
 

Last edited by jeremy phillips; 02-17-20 at 06:55 AM. Reason: Updating thead
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  #2  
Old 02-17-20, 07:08 AM
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Hi, sounds like you are using a non contact tester, get rid of it, post some pics of the box and conductors , is this a light fixture you have concerns about, have you checked the bulbs?
Geo
 
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Old 02-17-20, 07:32 AM
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Hot wire loses voltage when neutral connected

Here's the box. It is a non contact tester. So I need a multimeter? Yes, a light fixture, a rail system, there are 3 pendants and all were working. The fixture is controlled by a switch with a dimmer with an outlet, the outlet there is working. Nothing else I can find is not working, just this box as far as i know.
 
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Old 02-17-20, 08:04 AM
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Seems like a loose connection somewhere in the hot path back to the panel. The hot path might go through one or more other junction boxes or outlet boxes. (A loose connection if any, would be at or after the last live location and at or before the first afflicted box or location.)

Was the light switched on at the time you observed the loss of voltage at the hot wire end in question?
 
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Old 02-17-20, 08:24 AM
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Pretty sure the light was switched off. I'll start trying to map out the circuit and check lights/boxes once I get that straight. Any other advice? Thanks
 
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Old 02-17-20, 11:50 AM
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Although I'm not sure how they connect I've figured out what's on the circuit, 5 ceiling lights and a bathroom fan, plus another box in the ceiling not being used and is capped off. All connections are tight but still have the same issue.
 
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Old 02-17-20, 11:56 AM
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Are you saying all the ceiling lights and the bathroom fan are dead ?
If yes...... you need to go to the location that is closest to the panel and check there.
 
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Old 02-18-20, 08:25 AM
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Hi, thanks. No, everything works fine except for the box the kitchen ceiling light was connected to. When I connect the light fixture the hot wire goes dead as soon as I connect the neutral. Allan said it sounds like a loose connection so I checked them all and everything is secure. This malfunctioning box only has 1 wire coming into it so it doesnt feed another box to check along the circuit. Called a local electrician, was hoping this issue would be an obvious problem, but thanks for helping all.
 
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Old 02-18-20, 09:04 AM
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I disconnected the neutral and dimmer and before disconnecting the hot I tested again. Surprisingly, now registered solid red.
If the dimming control has been removed, how is it that power is still getting to the ceiling box? It sounds to me like the dimming control was wired into the neutral and that power is continually traveling through the fixture with the circuit being completed when the dimming control is turned on.
 
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