Voltage at breaker when in off position

Old 06-11-02, 03:13 PM
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Voltage at breaker when in off position

I turned off the breaker to add another receptacle to a circuit. Since I always check voltage before disconnecting wires, I was surprised to see 1.5v at the receptacle. I shut off all breakers and noticed when the furnace breaker is on there is 1.5 volts at the other breaker when it is off, When the furnace breaker is off, there are 0 v.

I have Square D "QO" breakers and there are two wires connected to the breaker: one to a light and one to a receptacle off the service panel. When I disconnected the one wire for the light from the breaker, the voltage was 0v. The furnace cable and the cable to the light off the breaker runs through the joists together. The furnace cable looks like it was previously damaged during installation because there are a few places in the cable where electrical tape is applied. I cannot see all of the cable because the cables go through the joists where a cold air retun is, so the cavity is covered with metal.

I will be removing the cable for the light as it is temporary while finishing the basement. This is the original wiring from the breaker and has not been modified at the service panel. My plan was to put the receptacle at the service panel and the receptacle for the sump pump under one circuit and to remove the light once the permanent lights are installed. Everything has been running okay but I am concerned as to why there is there is voltage with the breaker off.

What problems can this cause and can it be corrected? The breaker is currently off. Could the furnace cable be damaged? Should I take down the sheet metal for the cold air return and check for damaged wires? I would have suspected that if there was a short the breaker would trip.

Thanks in advance

Old 06-11-02, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
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