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Old 07-14-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


I just changed out two old outlets. After I changed the outlet, I tested the current. The first outlet produces 123 volts, however the 2nd outlet (which is also the last outlet on the circuit) only produces only 117 volts. These outlets are only 5 feet apart. What happened? Please help.

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Old 07-14-2011, 08:58 PM   #2
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


Turn the breaker off first, pull both outlets out and check the all the connections on both. One of the wires is probably loose.

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Old 07-14-2011, 10:45 PM   #3
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


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Turn the breaker off first, pull both outlets out and check the all the connections on both. One of the wires is probably loose.
I double and tripled checked it. I actually redid my whole connection and even changed the outlet again. Does that mean the wire is probably broken somewhere in the wall? What will happen if I run it my stuff at 117 volts?
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:02 AM   #4
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


Nothing. You have to consider voltage drop, and with this being Summer, it is not surprising to see flucuations in volt's.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:09 AM   #5
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


How important is your voltage level for your usage? Is it A/V equipment? You could try a power conditioner?

Last edited by design_lover13; 07-17-2011 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:23 AM   #6
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


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How important is your voltage level for your usage? Is it A/V equipment? You could try a power conditioner?

It's outlet is not important at all. Actually, it is barely ever used. It's just strange that all the outlets in my house test at around the same voltage with the exception of this one.
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:25 AM   #7
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


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It's outlet is not important at all. Actually, it is barely ever used. It's just strange that all the outlets in my house test at around the same voltage with the exception of this one.
Voltage drop is dependant on load. If you say the outlet less than 5 feet away is reading 123V and it is 117V with no load on the 117V outlet. There is something wrong there. If all you're connections are good, I'd try to fish in a new cable.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:05 AM   #8
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


I agree with Charlie. Something is wrong. There's no reason to drop 5-6 volts in 5 feet.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:33 AM   #9
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


There is something wrong, that type of voltage drop in 5 feet with no load is something that neeeds to be corrected.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:02 AM   #10
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


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Originally Posted by stanlam View Post
I just changed out two old outlets. After I changed the outlet, I tested the current. The first outlet produces 123 volts, however the 2nd outlet (which is also the last outlet on the circuit) only produces only 117 volts. These outlets are only 5 feet apart. What happened? Please help.
Are these two outlets physically 5' apart or electrically 5' apart (5' of wire)? Are you 100% sure there isn't another load somewhere between these two outlets?
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:05 AM   #11
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


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Are these two outlets physically 5' apart or electrically 5' apart (5' of wire)? Are you 100% sure there isn't another load somewhere between these two outlets?
I'm 100% sure these are 5' apart by wires. I can actually see the wires that connect these 2 outlets together. Also, I'm 100% sure there is not another load on these outlets. I know because when I turned off the circuit breaker, only 2 outlets turned off.

Does that mean it is dangerous to use? It would be nice to use these outlets occasionally. However, if it is dangerous, I will just turn it off from the breaker since it's so seldom used that it's not worth repairing.

Thanks a million.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:55 AM   #12
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


If you can follow the wire like you say and both receptacle have been replaced, but you are seeing a 6 volt difference with no load, something is wrong somewhere.
Try this for fun. I assume you have a toaster or a toaster over.
1) Plug it into the bottom of the first receptacle and measure the voltage on the top one with the toaster on.
2) Next, move the toaster to the second receptacle and do the same thing.
3) Next, leave the toaster plugged into the second receptacle but measure the voltage at the first receptacle while the toaster is on.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:01 AM   #13
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


What are you measuring the voltage with? and have you tried mearsuring any other outlets in the house? are any of the other outlets measuring 117 volts?
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:47 PM   #14
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


If the outlets are only 5' apart, measure the resistance of the wire with an ohmeter on its lowest scale.
The resistance, white to white should be exactly the same as the black to black resistance.
If there is any difference its likely to be a cracked conductor.
I would expect both conductors to be close to zero resistance.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:24 PM   #15
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123 volt down to 117 volts in 5 feet


There is clearly more resistance there than usual,
Check for loose connections first,
The contacts in the receptical could be dirty.
Then check the cables,
could be broken or stretched and damaged,
might have to replace them.
What were you testing the voltage with ?
Did you have a load on the line ?


Last edited by dmxtothemax; 07-15-2011 at 11:26 PM.
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