Dead Outlet And Lights On Live Circuit - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-30-2007, 05:13 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Dead outlet and lights on live circuit


Hey there, I have two ceiling lights and an outlet that aren't working. Everything else on the same circuit are working fine. There's a GFCI outlet and a switch with a light and ceiling fan, also the light in hallway. I replaced the GFCI outlet, thinking that was just faulty, but no change. With the outlet removed, I turned the circuit back on and tested the voltage, here's what I got:
Both light switches off:
white to gnd: 10V
black to gnd: 119.5V
white to black: 106.5V

bathroom and/or hallway switch on (no light though):
white to gnd: 119.5V
black to gnd: 119.5V white to black: 0V

I took out all the bulbs and only noticed a difference when the hall switch was on, but not the bathroom (probably because there's only the 1 bulb on the hall switch, but the fan is on the bathroom light switch.)
white to gnd: 15V
black to gnd: 119.5V
white to black: 101.6V

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Jimmy

Advertisement


Last edited by jimmycolorado; 10-30-2007 at 05:15 PM. Reason: formatting
jimmycolorado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 05:16 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Downeast Maine
Posts: 999
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Dead outlet and lights on live circuit


I think you have an open neutral. If the neutral were properly wired back to the panel, hot-neutral would always be ~120, and grd-neutral would always be zero. If the neutral is disconnected, you'll get "phantom" voltage readings on that white wire. If you know the order that the boxes are connected in that circuit, check the neutral connections in the last working box, and the first not-working box.

Advertisement

NateHanson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 06:29 PM   #3
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Dead outlet and lights on live circuit


First, unplug everything from this circuit. Now it's time to start hunting. With the circuit off, pull everything out of the wall and check connections. The problem could be in a recp., Faulty backstab maybe??? The problem could be in a switch, Loose neutral wire under a wire nut. Patience is the key. Something is wrong, now you just have to find it. Let us know if you have more questions or if you fix it, what the problem is.
Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 07:41 PM   #4
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 8,347
Rewards Points: 3,488
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Dead outlet and lights on live circuit


Faulty neutral. Check all devices on the circuit, even the working ones. If you have receptacles with the wires pushed into the holes in the back then move them to the screws. Back stab pushin connections are a common source of this problem.

If you know the routing of the circuit the problem is in the last working device or the first not working device.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 06:47 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Dead outlet and lights on live circuit


Thanks guys. I found the culprit. The outlet behind a book shelf in the room next door had a blown neutral wire. All the insullation was burnt off, and the neutral wire connected to the outlet was all black, and curled up at the end. A bit scary. The cable running from there into the bathroom barely reaches the outlet box. That whole wire will probably need to be replaced. My question now is should I try to replace the wire, or just let the landlord come with an electrician? Probably safest for them to do it, especially since I'm not paying for it anyways.

Thanks again!

Jimmy
jimmycolorado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 06:55 PM   #6
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 8,347
Rewards Points: 3,488
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Dead outlet and lights on live circuit


Let the landlord come with an electrician. You do do not want this to come back at you if something goes wrong in the future.

Last edited by joed; 11-12-2007 at 10:52 PM.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 07:02 PM   #7
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Dead outlet and lights on live circuit


Well golly JimmyColorado, Congrats!

If you had stated you were renting in the first post, we'd of said bring in the pro. As Joed said, it is never wise to do electrical work in a rental. Bet it felt good when you found the problem, though, didn't it?

Advertisement

Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
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
Wiring a switch, power from outlet Big Bill Electrical 4 09-15-2007 04:59 PM
Outlet in bathroom for lights.... TerryL Electrical 5 10-28-2006 09:46 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts