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samiller1980 12-02-2008 04:33 PM

diminishing voltage
 
I have 5 outlets on a circuit, the first one on the circuit is a GFCI in the garage. This one and the next read at about 124 volts. when i get to the third on the circuit it drops to about 108 volts and when i try to plug in an appliance it doesn't work. I put in a new receptacle to see if maybe that was the problem but there was no change. what should I do now.

jerryh3 12-02-2008 05:13 PM

Check all the connections at each oulet. There should not be that much drop. Are the four outlets connected to the load screws of the GFCI?

samiller1980 12-02-2008 05:54 PM

i am not sure what you mean about being connected to the load screws

jerryh3 12-02-2008 07:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samiller1980 (Post 192864)
i am not sure what you mean about being connected to the load screws

There are two ways to connect a gfci receptacle. #1 provide single point protection. The incoming and outgoing wires are both connected to "line" screw terminals. #2 provides protection at the gfci and all outlets "downstream" of it. The incoming wires are connected to the "line" screws and the outgoing wires are connected to the "load" terminals. Does the voltage drop right at the second outlet?

KE2KB 12-02-2008 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samiller1980 (Post 192864)
i am not sure what you mean about being connected to the load screws

A GFCI receptacle has two sets of terminals plus the green screw for the ground.
Two of the terminals are labeled "Line" and the other two are labeled "Load".
usually, a new receptacle has a label over the Load terminals warning not to connect power to these terminals.

Power must come in to the LINE terminals, and downstream receptacles must be wired to the LOAD terminals if they are to be protected by the GFCI. But as Jerryh3 said, downstream receptacles may be wired to the GFCI's LINE terminals if only single point protection is required. In this case, the downstream receptacles are not GFCI protected. Only the GFCI receptacle itself is.

The most likely cause of your problem is a bad connection, which would present as a high resistance. If your measuring device draws some current, then it will cause a drop across that resistance, thus the lower voltage. When you plug something in, it will present a much lower resistance, thus all of the voltage is lost across the bad connection (high resistance).

samiller1980 12-02-2008 08:23 PM

ok thank you i understand now and have learned something about gfci receptacles. i will check all of my receptacles on that line tomorrow for a bad connection


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