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Old 07-06-2013, 08:12 AM   #1
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96 Volts??


I'm hooking up power to my basement finish and I have one circuit giving me an issue. At the circuit breaker, I'm reading 122 volts. When I go to the GFCI receptacle, nothing works. So, I unhooked everything, turned the power back on and measured the voltage drop across the hot and common wire feeding the recept from the circuit breaker. It's 96 volts?! Measuring the hot from the breaker connected to the common of the load reads 122 volts. So, if I switch the commons, everything works, but the GFCI doesn't like it?

If I tie the Line and Load together everything down stream works, and has a voltage of 122 volts, but then the GFCI is out of the picture.

Is there a problem with my common wire? What's going on here?

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Old 07-06-2013, 08:13 AM   #2
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96 Volts??


Bad GFCI receptacle. Replace it.

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Old 07-06-2013, 08:35 AM   #3
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96 Volts??


Finished basements do not need GFI protection if not near a sink. But they would require AFCI protection assuming you are on the 2008 or later code cycle.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:02 AM   #4
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96 Volts??


New gfci was put in, with a small glimmer of hope, but it was dashed.

I appreciate the feedback on gfci and afci. The afci's I put in at breaker box for all "living" area recpt's are working fine. It's this one gfci in one of my bathroom's by the sink that is giving me the grief. The gfci's in the other bathroom and kitchen are working fine.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:09 AM   #5
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96 Volts??


If this is a bathroom GFI, what is downstream of the GFI?

I would double check that you have the correct line hot and neutral.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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96 Volts??


From the OP's description, it would appear that the voltage is correct when bypassing the GFCI receptacle.

New or not, that indicates to me that the GFCI outlet is BADD!

Keep in mind that GFCI receptacles interrupt both current-carrying conductors.

In other words, it switches the NEUTRAL wire off when tripped.

I have seen bad, brand-new, out of the box GFCI receptacles. Time to replace it with another one and see if that solves the problem.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:42 AM   #7
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96 Volts??


Down stream is other recpt by other bathroom sink, switch and above shower light.

I tried another gfci recpt. What's the chances I have 2 bad in a row? I think the problem stems from the power somehow. If I use the common from other wire, I get 122 volts, but gfci doesn't like.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
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96 Volts??


I pulled my head out of my butt and finally figured it out.

Problem #1 - didn't connect common wire to the neutral bar in the panel. That explains the 96 volts when measuring the voltage drop but 122v when measuring hot wire from panel to another common wire or ground.

Problem #2 - in toilet tub area, the gfci protected switch and light shares a box with a switch/light from another circuit. In a brain fart, I had connected all the common wires like I normally would. That explains why I was seeing 122v on the hot and white common from another wire.

All is well at this point, except my fan isn't working, but the light connected to it is....I guess I have to cut that out.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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96 Volts??


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Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
I pulled my head out of my butt and finally figured it out.

Problem #1 - didn't connect common wire to the neutral bar in the panel. That explains the 96 volts when measuring the voltage drop but 122v when measuring hot wire from panel to another common wire or ground.
Lesson #1: ALWAYS recheck all connections carefully.

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