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Old 09-24-2008, 02:57 AM   #1
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Multi-line feed issue


Hey guys, Sorry if this is the wrong forum but I am running into a "bizarre to me" issue. I am general contractor/remodeler and I have a 12-3 romex wire running straight to a wall recepticle box. At the panel, both red and black are 110v with white being common and plain wire grounded. At the panel, red and black are both fed by seperate breakers (110v each or like a 220v style feed). Multi-meter shows voltage between common and both red and black are 125v each at the panel but yet when connected at the wall receptacle with common connected via pig-tail to the wall plug with the red to the "hot", I am only getting 25v with another 25v on the black wire to common. I am still getting full voltage to ground but am trying to split off the extra circuit to an outside run.

My question is should I pig-tail common to a ground wire to achieve full voltage or am I missing something to allow full voltage on two circuits by pig-tailing all common wired and then all ground wires separately.

Will be glad to supply pics if needed. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 09-24-2008, 05:46 AM   #2
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Multi-line feed issue


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Originally Posted by Razorblade View Post
My question is should I pig-tail common to a ground wire to achieve full voltage .....
Something is weird somewhere, but this is NEVER ever ever an option!

Also, we do not use the term "common" to describe a white neutral wire.

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Old 09-24-2008, 06:37 AM   #3
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Multi-line feed issue


You need to check the wire for cuts and damage. What I want you to do sometime is check the "ohms" between the neutral and ground.

Never use a ground as a neutral. Even if you had to pull new wire, this is never an option.

The resistance should be less than an ohm...

Last edited by rgsgww; 09-24-2008 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:43 AM   #4
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Multi-line feed issue


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Originally Posted by Razorblade View Post
...I am only getting 25v with another 25v on the black wire to common. I am still getting full voltage to ground...
You've got a loose neutral connection somewhere. Power the circuit off and check the connections.

FYI, the neutral wire connection at the neutral busbar in the panel can not have another wire with it...one screw, one wire. On a MWBC, if you loose the neutral connection at the panel, the circuit instantly becomes a 240V circuit. Does amazing things to 120V appliances.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:17 PM   #5
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Multi-line feed issue


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Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
check the "ohms" between the neutral and ground.

Never use a ground as a neutral. Even if you had to pull new wire, this is never an option.

The resistance should be less than an ohm...
Thanks for that suggestion... I now know that I need to trace connections back because there is no continuity between neutral and ground in the 12-3 wire. Just wanted to be sure that I wasn't missing an "easy" answer to avoid crawling back up into the attic.
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:06 PM   #6
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Multi-line feed issue


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Originally Posted by Razorblade View Post
there is no continuity between neutral and ground.
Its either a severed neutral or most likely a loose/missing connection.
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:21 PM   #7
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Multi-line feed issue


Thanks for the help. Found that the neutral wire (notice that I didn't call it "common"?) had pulled out of the block in the breaker box but was tucked behind so many other wires it was hard to spot at first. All hooked up and working so I have already put up the rock!

Thanks again for the assist.

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Old 09-24-2008, 03:45 PM   #8
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Multi-line feed issue


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Originally Posted by Razorblade View Post
All hooked up and working


Did you put two wires under one screw for the block?...many people even electricians do that your defiantly not supposed to do that...just making sure.

Glad to hear you found the problem.

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