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Forum topic by wseand posted 11-14-2015 06:08 PM 823 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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wseand

2754 posts in 2508 days


11-14-2015 06:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question electrical outlets

I have finally got the power addition to the shop closer to the top of my to do list and I ran into a problem while looking into to what I needed to do before running lines.
My question is, I have a outlet in the house that is currently attached to the shop and when I test the wire for power all three test positive for power but I can’t get it to test for 110 between them. Meaning that when I put the test leads across the ground to hot I get nothing and same with hot to neutral. Hope that makes sense. Any ideas. I disconnected the outlet and capped the wires for now.

It appears to me they all are attached to a hot lead somewhere and it causes a drop in voltage in the rest of the line. I.e. The same line is attached to a gfci outside and a few light in a bedroom. As well it goes to my shop where it was causing my fluorescents not to fiction properly. Exp. all the lights didn’t come on. Basically, I was hoping to keep that line going to the shop for just a couple of light but since I found this problem I will most likely get rid of it. Of course, I want to fix the line either way.

I just took my power as being good but you just never know unless you ran the power yourself or a pro did it. Any ideas of where to start, maybe without tearing my entire wiring apart? What would cause this? Maybe, double checking your power in your house and in your shop every once in awhile isn’t a bad idea.

I haven’t posted for awhile I have a new to me house and it came with other issues unknown to me. Hope I didn’t screw this post up too bad.

Thanks in advanced.
Bill

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy


29 replies so far

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 463 days


#1 posted 11-14-2015 08:15 PM

What do you mean by “all three test positive for power”? How did you test them?

-- Clin

View Jimbo4's profile

Jimbo4

1432 posts in 2229 days


#2 posted 11-14-2015 10:26 PM

Bill, this sounds like a job for a big buck pro, as someone previously believed they were the pro – “I can fix anything, here, hold my beer and watchis”.

-- BOVILEXIA: The urge to moo at cows from a moving vehicle.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#3 posted 11-14-2015 11:09 PM

My question is, I have a outlet in the house that is currently attached to the shop and when I test the wire for power all three test positive for power but I can’t get it to test for 110 between them. Meaning that when I put the test leads across the ground to hot I get nothing and same with hot to neutral. Hope that makes sense.

????

Is this 3 conductor wire?

So far you’ve done the right thing by capping them off.

Now—don’t let the LJ’s try to fix it, call an electrician. ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View REO's profile

REO

889 posts in 1540 days


#4 posted 11-15-2015 12:07 AM

does the gfci “set”? turn off the breaker if it is known and check for continuity between the leads. non contact detectors should never be used to “confirm” presence or absence of electricity. An old NE2 tester is a good way to test for presence on each conductor individually. You can hold directly on to the one test lead and touch the other to the wire to be tested. it will light wen there is voltage present when you are not sure of a good ground or neutral. something misswired to connect all leads together at some point and a ground and neutral that is not landed otherwise you would take out the breaker/ fuse. your diagnosis is pretty sketchy.

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wseand

2754 posts in 2508 days


#5 posted 11-15-2015 12:57 AM

It’s a three wire 14/2 Romex with ground . I tested for power with a non contact volt meter. If you split the wires apart you can normally test each wire for power.

I am capable of running electricity, not really a worry for me and I have a electrician coming to help out. He never heard of it before. I just don’t want to have to tear out all the wiring to find the problem. Thought maybe someone have heard of this before.

A short in the wires would cause the breaker to trip, short to ground should cause the gfci to trip.

I have remolded houses and never come across anything like this before. Just thought it was a interesting predicament. The only other thing is that the meter is giving me a false reading. I was just looking for some ideas so I don’t have to pay a electrician to spend my money investigating.

Thanks all.
Bill

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#6 posted 11-15-2015 01:08 AM

first thing I would do is use a high impedance tester such as a wiggins to see if you really have any voltage present which it sounds like you do not.

The trouble with wireless and and digital is you really do not know if you really have power or ghost voltages .

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Pezking7p's profile

Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1118 days


#7 posted 11-15-2015 01:20 AM

Not sure I would trust a non contact voltage “meter”. Those lines may very well all be dead, hence no voltage.

I would recommend you let an electrician handle it.

-- -Dan

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wseand

2754 posts in 2508 days


#8 posted 11-15-2015 01:27 AM

I turn on the breaker and the non contact meter shows power. I test with AC volt meter and it shows no voltage between any leads. I turn off the breaker and it shows no power with non contact meter or AC meter. The GFCI works properly as far as, it test good. It doesn’t trip the breaker and the is no continuity between the wires with the breaker off and disconnected from the outlet

Let me ask you this, if the non contact meter says there is power there and the volt meter says no power there, are you willing to touch it with your hands? And why would the non contact meter read voltage with the breaker on and no voltage when the breaker is off. Phantom power from somewhere?

That’s my diagnosis. Since the outlet wasn’t working I disconnected the wires from the outlet and my fluorescent lights started working properly. Somehow, this wall outlet is connected to my shop and bathroom

I’m not looking for a fix from LJs just some ideas.

I’m putting aluminum foil over my house so the voices stop.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1118 days


#9 posted 11-15-2015 01:42 AM

I think there’s more to the story. It doesn’t make sense that all the wires are hot (shorted) because they aren’t tripping the breaker. It’s not clear to me how all the other parts of the circuit are related so it’s difficult to even guess. Maybe someone screwed up a switch leg somehow?

-- -Dan

View wseand's profile

wseand

2754 posts in 2508 days


#10 posted 11-15-2015 01:44 AM

Hey Jents,
Maybe some ghost power ,Topa. Either way I am not touching the wires guys. I have a handyman here working on other things, very knowledgeable handyman, he had no idea either. He’s getting his electrician buddy to look at it.

I am capable of rewiring a house don’t let the bad grammer fool ya.

If the electrician doesn’t know the exact problem he’s going to do the same thing as me, start taking $hit apart till he figures it out.

Thanks a bunch gents
Bill

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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wseand

2754 posts in 2508 days


#11 posted 11-15-2015 01:51 AM

Dan,
That’s what in thinking, something got wired wrong and it’s just going to take some time to track it down. Since the outlet is connected to switches I am guessing the wires from the outlet might have been mistaken for a switch and both wires connected to a hot line somehow.

I will spend some time tomorrow trying to tract down the wire that’s the only way I am figuring to find the problem.

Bill

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#12 posted 11-15-2015 02:14 AM

Probably a five minute troubleshoot for an experienced electrician. Maybe some ghost power ,Topa. Yup, that is why I don’t like no contact or digital for troubleshooting power circuit issues. Reminds of an electrician I knew who claimed his new Fluke was the answer to everything electrical when they first came out. One day they sent me to help him out troubleshooting a piece of equipment at the airport. He had been there most of the day. I asked if he had checked the fuses. Of course he had; with the new Fluke. ;-) 5 minutes later we were done ;-)) Ghost voltages will get ya!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View wseand's profile

wseand

2754 posts in 2508 days


#13 posted 11-15-2015 02:29 AM

Took an extension cord plugged it into another outlet. tested between its neutral and ground to the hot of the bad outlet and got 120 volts between them. The ground and neutral are missing from the bad outlet. See this is why you use a non contact meter I could have electrocuted myself if I didn’t use it.

This is why they make these tools, for idiots like me not to kill myself. Don’t down play this tool it is an easy way test for power. I surely don’t take the non contact meter for an end all for sure but it did its job this time. There was definitely power there just needed to find it. As in most cases one tool isn’t an end all to the problem. You can’t call a pro every time you have a problem.

Thanks Jents,
Bill

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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wseand

2754 posts in 2508 days


#14 posted 11-15-2015 02:34 AM

Hey Topa,
Couldn’t agree with ya anymore, but it did tell me there was power there so it made me cautious. I have contractors all over the house right now just not one that knew a lot about troubleshooting electrical problems. Really I just think the line needs to be run down and see where someone went wrong or if a fat rat ate the wire.

Thanks Bob,
Bill

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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WhoMe

1468 posts in 2710 days


#15 posted 11-15-2015 02:40 AM

Glad you got it solved. That was going to be my suggestion. Start with the breaker to the first plug/power access point then first plug to the second plug and so on. Moonshine along the circuit from the breaker out. That would narrow down the problem to a specific leg of the circuit.
But it sounds like you got it.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

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