Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-13-2012, 08:00 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


1 outlet in my sons room burned out by an A/C unit plugged in. When I took it apart, the side with the neutral wire was burned up and part of the sleeve of the neutral wire was black. Now my oldest sons room is next door and a few days later his entire room has no power. The circuit breaker did not pop. I replaced the outlets in his room and then replaced the one with the burned neutral. Still no current. However, with the multimeter hooked up I get current from a single hot and the ground wire, but not from the neutrals. I've plugged items in and still no current. The outlet will work if I take the bare ground and connect it to the silver side of the outlet but, I'm sure that would be a bad idea. Any suggestions or ideas from out there? I am no where near an electrician and do not like the idea of being shocked. Simple terms are best for me. Thank you in advance for the tips.

tmiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2012, 08:02 PM   #2
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,690
Rewards Points: 2,178
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


You still have a failed neutral connection somewhere.

Do not connect the bare to the silver screw in an attempt to get this to work. You would be creating a serious shock hazard.

__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Port For This Useful Post:
Code05 (06-13-2012), gregzoll (06-14-2012)
Old 06-13-2012, 08:06 PM   #3
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,132
Rewards Points: 2,056
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiller View Post
1 outlet in my sons room burned out by an A/C unit plugged in. When I took it apart, the side with the neutral wire was burned up and part of the sleeve of the neutral wire was black. Now my oldest sons room is next door and a few days later his entire room has no power. The circuit breaker did not pop. I replaced the outlets in his room and then replaced the one with the burned neutral. Still no current. However, with the multimeter hooked up I get current from a single hot and the ground wire, but not from the neutrals. I've plugged items in and still no current. The outlet will work if I take the bare ground and connect it to the silver side of the outlet but, I'm sure that would be a bad idea. Any suggestions or ideas from out there? I am no where near an electrician and do not like the idea of being shocked. Simple terms are best for me. Thank you in advance for the tips.


Turn off the circuit breaker to that circuit, open up every box that is on that circuit and check every connection, this could be easy or time consuming, but at least with that one circuit off, you know exactly what boxes to open up and check.
stickboy1375 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to stickboy1375 For This Useful Post:
Code05 (06-13-2012)
Old 06-13-2012, 08:10 PM   #4
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,690
Rewards Points: 2,178
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


The problem could be at the last working or first non-working device.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Jim Port For This Useful Post:
stickboy1375 (06-13-2012)
Old 06-13-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


The first non-working outlet is the one that the A/C unit was plugged in and the neutral wire was burned. The last outlet to stop working is on the same wall two outlets over in the next room. When changing the the outlet of the last one to stop working, I got a friendly jolt a few times. When that happened I checked it with the multimeter and it showed no current. The first outlet that went bad had 2 blks, 1 wht, and a ground. The next one over has 2 blks, 2 whts, and a ground. The last one had 1 blk, 1 wht, and a ground. I am not sure how old the wiring is, the house was built in 1968 and it is 12 guage wire.
tmiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2012, 08:21 PM   #6
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,132
Rewards Points: 2,056
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiller View Post
The first non-working outlet is the one that the A/C unit was plugged in and the neutral wire was burned. The last outlet to stop working is on the same wall two outlets over in the next room. When changing the the outlet of the last one to stop working, I got a friendly jolt a few times. When that happened I checked it with the multimeter and it showed no current. The first outlet that went bad had 2 blks, 1 wht, and a ground. The next one over has 2 blks, 2 whts, and a ground. The last one had 1 blk, 1 wht, and a ground. I am not sure how old the wiring is, the house was built in 1968 and it is 12 guage wire.
Take a picture of the receptacle that burned up, I want to see this splice. I mean the box, I don't want to see the actual receptacle that burned.
stickboy1375 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,690
Rewards Points: 2,178
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


Normally conductors are in pairs with 1 black and 1 white. The box you described had 2 black and 1 white. I think that is where your problem is. Check to see if the other white is stuck in the box.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Jim Port For This Useful Post:
Code05 (06-13-2012)
Old 06-14-2012, 12:09 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 513
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


Or broken off where the cable enters the box.
Evstarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2012, 07:42 AM   #9
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 7,842
Rewards Points: 2,478
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


If any of the receptacles are using the pushin back stab connections, move the wires to the screw terminals. Back stabs are a very common cause of this exact problem.
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.

Last edited by joed; 06-14-2012 at 01:40 PM.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2012, 08:08 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,964
Rewards Points: 2,024
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


When an individual switch or receptacle or duplex receptacle melts or burns or chars, usually it is because of a loose connection right there.

Using a lot of electricity through a loose connection generates a lot of heat at that spot. It is even possible that the problem started because the loose connection was inside the air conditioner's plug. Then when everything got hot, other nearby connections became loose or bad.

Although not that likely, it is possible that a wire broke inside the sleeve (insulation) causing something to not work even though everything looks okay.
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2012, 02:19 AM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


The outlet that burned, I replaced with a new one and connected with the side screws. The old ones I replaced all used the back stab. Checking with a meter, I can complete the circuit with the 2 blk wires, the neutral and the ground. When I go to the next room over, I can only complete the circuit with the ground. I am not getting any current through the neutrals. I am thinking I might have to go under the house and try and trace the wire to see if there is a break somewhere.
tmiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2012, 07:34 AM   #12
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 7,842
Rewards Points: 2,478
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Confused with the neutral wire.....


The missing white wire sounds like it is the feed to the receptacle that is not working.

__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Neutral wire size? daythunder Electrical 5 06-04-2012 03:32 PM
breakers with multi wire branch circuit (shared neutral) corman Electrical 0 09-10-2011 11:52 PM
ceiling fan wicked97 Electrical 4 08-21-2011 08:12 AM
Ground vs. Neutral wire - bathroom fixture Narwal Electrical 4 08-14-2011 08:27 PM
use neutral wire from another circuit? justinm001 Electrical 9 07-27-2010 05:52 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.