Reply by Tennessee

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Posted on Electrical problem, or tool failure?

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2873 posts in 2511 days

#1 posted 10-23-2012 02:43 PM

Wow, I hate to belabor this, but be very careful here. Your house most likely has single phase 220VAC arriving at the breaker box, two hots and one neutral, and you should also have a ground in the box, but maybe not if the breaker box is old. The breakers in a typical box, or even fuses, usually try to load up each hot leg equally so the 220VAC is used evenly.
If you saw 80 volts AC on that readout, that means there is a reasonable chance that whatever in the house is on that single hot leg of the 220VAC would have also dropped to 80VAC. If you had something like a refridgerator on that leg, it also saw 80VAC at the same time, even though it would be on a separate breaker UNLESS, a loose wire is arking somewhere in the outlet run you are using. Then your voltage loss is due to voltage trying to fly through a poor connection, causing a voltage loss and a amperage rise. You might start a fire 20 feet away in another outlet and not realize it. Check every outlet in that run first…

There could be a lot of outlets, depending on who did the wiring, state codes, people who wrongly added outlets etc. One loose outlet anywhere along the run will simulate the readouts you got. The loose wire does not have to be at those two outlets you are using.

And now, you also have the slght possibility that both units are bad. Actually, at this point that sounds like the best option, and possibly the cheapest and safest.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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