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120v when touching across the top of the switches in a box

120v when touching across the top of the switches in a box

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  #1  
Old 05-28-20, 10:29 AM
J
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120v when touching across the top of the switches in a box

I have 3 boxes in 3 different parts of the room. I come into box one with 12/2 wire from the breaker. Split that into 2 3way switches (3 way dimmer for the recessed LED can lights wired in series and paddle 3way for ceiling fan). Then I send my travelers with 12/3 wire from each switch over to 2 4 way paddle switches, then 2 more 14/3 over to two more 3 way paddle switches, then 1 14/3 up to the lights and fan( carried current to lights in black and fan in red wire). Everything works like it's supposed to, EXCEPT, when you touch across the top of the switches in the last box, you get 120v even though only the ground is touching??? I have another switch in that last box to some porch lights on a separate circuit and it will get the same 120v, but ONLY from the fan switch, not the light. Touching across the switches in the other boxes gets nothing like it should. I'm using BRAND new switches because I thought it had to be a switch issue, but issue persists. As soon as I figure how to post pics and videos, I will.
 
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Old 05-28-20, 10:38 AM
J
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Why am I getting 109.8v across the top of my switches in 1 box

I have 3 boxes in 3 different parts of the room. I come into box one with 12/2 wire from the breaker. Split that into 2 3way switches (3 way dimmer for the recessed LED can lights wired in series and paddle 3way for ceiling fan). Then I send my travelers with 12/3 wire from each switch over to 2 4 way paddle switches, then 2 more 14/3 over to two more 3 way paddle switches, then 1 14/3 up to the lights and fan( carried current to lights in black and fan in red wire). Everything works like it's supposed to, EXCEPT, when you touch across the top of the switches in the last box, you get 109.8v even though only the ground is touching??? I have another switch in that last box to some porch lights on a separate circuit and it will get the same 109.8v, but ONLY from the fan switch, not the light. Touching across the switches in the other boxes gets nothing like it should. I'm using BRAND new switches because I thought it had to be a switch issue, but issue persists. Picture 1 is touching across the light (middle switch) and fan (switch on the right). Picture 2 is touching light and porch light switch (no voltage). Picture 3 is the porch light and the fan. Help please!!
 
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  #3  
Old 05-28-20, 10:40 AM
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There are "how to post pictures" instructions at the top of this forum section.

I hope this is a 15 amp circuit since you have two different gauge wires.

"...when you touch across the top of the switches..."
What does this mean? Are you touching the top two screw/wire connections or are you seeing voltage if you touch the housing of multiple switches?
 
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Old 05-28-20, 10:55 AM
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Old 05-28-20, 11:49 AM
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Yes, 15amp breaker. It's the top aluminum case that you screw the faceplate into. I was using my tape measure to cut my drywall when I found out it was hot on top.
 
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Old 05-28-20, 12:56 PM
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All the ground wires in the box should be connected together and to the switch ground screws. It looks like your ground wires are not all connected together in the box.
 
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Old 05-28-20, 02:15 PM
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Yeah, I went back and did that in every box so I have a common ground. That is done now, which has seemed to fix the voltage across the top, but now my lights won't work. Every switch is showing 120v, but I wonder my dimmer crapped out or something.
 
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Old 05-28-20, 04:53 PM
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Since your grounds were live...... it sounds like somewhere ground and neutral got connected or reversed. You'll still show hot..... which you've confirmed..... but you are missing the neutral.

I'm guessing you'll find 120v between your neutral wires and a "known good" ground now.
 
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Old 05-28-20, 05:58 PM
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I wonder if someone used a ground for a current carrying conductor either do to fault with a neutral wire or not enough wires in a cable. I would disconnect and separate all the ground wires and see any part of the circuit goes dead.
 
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