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Materials Guru 07-26-2006 03:46 PM

Hot Light Outlets
Hi all,

Thanks in advance for any reply as any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have ran some additional wiring and boxes to include two GFCIs, and three single light vanity fixtures in a bathroom renovation I am currently working On. It is a complete down to the studs redo. The bathroom feed for the existing fixtures is in circuit (I think) with the rest of the lights and outlets on my upper floor. I currently have added the outlets and lights with the ability to connect them to separate circuits as soon as I can change the main box. But for now I have them in circuit from the same feed that feed the existing lights and outlets(that are now gone).

My problem is basically this, I am getting 69-70 VAC :censored: at my light feeds when the switch that controls them is off. That is checking neutral to hot as the wires I have added have a ground but the house wiring does not. I have checked continuity on the switch and it is functioning fine. The wires runs from an existing box to the first GFCI. It then branches to the second GFCI and up to the first vanity light. At this point the hot leg runs to the switch for the lights and the power splits to a red lead to give constant power to the existing light which is in the ceiling. From the 1st light box I ran a red (to existing light), Black hot (from Switch for vanity lights), white (neutral for all) and a ground to the next box (second vanity light). From this box the red feeds the existing light, the black pigtails to second vanity light and out to the third vanity fixture and the white gets connected to all neutrals. The third vanity fixture is a black, white and ground. I think I have this all right. I have checked and rechecked all my connections and they are good, my outlets both get 123 VAC and the lights get the same when they are on, but when they are off they get 69-70 VAC. what did I do. Is it possible that I have a Neutral shorted with a Hot.

Also I dont know if this is normal or not but when checking continuity are you supposed to get a morse code like beep from the hot and neutral on outlets. Any help in either is greatly appreciated.

jwhite 07-26-2006 05:33 PM

What do you get with the breaker turned off? It is hard to follow your wiring, so I am not really sure if there is anything wrong.

Most likley cause is that you are using a bench multi meter to test the circuit and you are seeing a ghost voltage.

Materials Guru 07-27-2006 12:01 PM

I dont get anything when the power is off.

The meter that I am using is a Fluke 337 Clamp meter. I know that the description of the wiring is hard to understand but I did my best to clarify.

Any help would be appreciated.


jwhite 07-27-2006 02:30 PM

You should not see a ghost with that meter from what I can tell.

If you cannot explain the wireing better, than I cannot help more.

Maybe you need to hire a pro.

Wolf-boy 07-31-2006 06:23 PM

Do you have dimmers, or lighted switches on those light outlets that you're getting this voltage at?

Lighted switches always pass some electricity, that's what makes the light work, and some brands of dimmers also have that night light feature, and all electronic touch dimmers also run current through the light bulbs constantly to operate.

CE1 07-31-2006 07:11 PM

Try testing between neutral and the hot wires that feed the main panel with your voltmeter. Look for a ground wire(1/4" to 3/8" dia. bare or insulated)attached to the neutral bar at the main panel or a wire going into your meter socket. The ground wire will be attached at one end to a ground rod driven into the ground or attached to a water pipe.
Then post again with this information.

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