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Old 11-29-2008, 09:37 PM   #1
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Bathroom circuit: 60V between line and load?


Hello, we were trying to install a GFI in the bathroom power outlet today, the bathroom is on its own circuit, and the GFI kept resetting. Checked some voltages:
  • Line to white: 120 VAC
  • Line to ground: 120 VAC
  • Line to load: 60 VAC
60 Volts?! We repeated all the checks several times. When the was fuse pulled, there was no voltage on any of the lines. There are three other loads in the bathroom:
  • overhead light (compact fluorescent)
  • Heat lamp with blower (converted to compact fluorescent)
  • Exhaust fan
But they were all off when I took the measurements. Any ideas? Specifically, how do you get 60 volts?!

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Old 11-29-2008, 09:59 PM   #2
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Bathroom circuit: 60V between line and load?


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Originally Posted by Niels View Post
Hello, we were trying to install a GFI in the bathroom power outlet today, the bathroom is on its own circuit, and the GFI kept resetting. Checked some voltages:
  • Line to white: 120 VAC
  • Line to ground: 120 VAC
  • Line to load: 60 VAC
60 Volts?! We repeated all the checks several times. When the was fuse pulled, there was no voltage on any of the lines. There are three other loads in the bathroom:
  • overhead light (compact fluorescent)
  • Heat lamp with blower (converted to compact fluorescent)
  • Exhaust fan
But they were all off when I took the measurements. Any ideas? Specifically, how do you get 60 volts?!
What is the load? If you are reading the voltage through the CFL, that may be the reason why it's 60 V. Don't wire the lights on the load side of the GFCI. Wire everything down stream of the receptacle together, then pigtail to the GFCI. Also, it may be tripping because you have the wrong black and white on the line and load. Make sure the black from the line comes from the same cable as the white you use, otherwise it will never reset.

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Old 11-29-2008, 11:37 PM   #3
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Bathroom circuit: 60V between line and load?


Can you give us a picture of the wiring?

Or at least draw a diagram.

You can get odd readings when testing hot to a dead line.

Try to test each wire to ground or neutral.

Last edited by rgsgww; 11-29-2008 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:37 PM   #4
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Bathroom circuit: 60V between line and load?


Hey, thanks. The measurements were on bare wires sticking out of the wall, no socket wired in. All the switches were off, the only thing we varied was plugging the fuse in and then unplugging it. Which we did several times.
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Old 11-30-2008, 04:00 AM   #5
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Bathroom circuit: 60V between line and load?


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Originally Posted by Niels View Post
Hey, thanks. The measurements were on bare wires sticking out of the wall, no socket wired in. All the switches were off, the only thing we varied was plugging the fuse in and then unplugging it. Which we did several times.
Well, if the switches were off, then there was no complete circuit for the meter to use, so what you were seeing is most likely phantom voltage. This happens when using a digital volt meter. An analog meter or test light wouldn't light.
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