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kbrigham 03-10-2008 11:51 PM

Problem with Neutral Connection
I am new here and have not had much time to look around. So I apologize if this issue has been covered before.

Problem: 120v 20amp circuit stopped working out of the blue.
Receptical: Hot to ground = 120volts
Hot to Neutral = 99volts
Ground to Neutral = 50Mohms

Question: Is this an indication that the neutral is floating or comprimised? It is my understanding that the readings should be as follows:
Hot to Ground = 120volts
Hot to Neutral = 120volts
Ground to Neutral = 0Ohms.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am planning on opening the panel tomorrow. However, seems unlikely that there is a problem seems everything has been working for 5+ years.

Thank you in advance for suggestions or comments.


frenchelectrican 03-11-2008 12:46 AM

did you test with the digtail voltmeter ??

If so you may end up reading ghost voltage and the way you descrbing i am more leaning you have bad netural connection somehwere.

a very simple test is take a table lamp just plug it in and you should see it lit up or not a very simple go / no go test.

before you start working on the connection i really strongly advise ya to turn off the breaker for that circuit [ if mapped out or marked ]

it can be bad back stabbed repectale or bad wirenut connection [ backstabbed repectales are most common for netural conntion dropped out ]

Merci, Marc

220/221 03-11-2008 01:05 AM


However, seems unlikely that there is a problem seems everything has been working for 5+ years
I don't use a digital meter for this type of troubleshooting. There is no load placed on the circuit. It can be hanging by a thread and still read voltage.

Always start at the source. I had one today that was installed in 2001. The neutral connection at the bus had never been sufficiently tightened and it chose Friday to stp working.

At least 1/2 the time it is at a feed thru receptical that has been backstabbed. Use logic and trace the circuit path.

SOME of your circuit may still be working so I dentify the breaker, turn it off and check all outlets/lights. If some are working you know where it stopped.

kbrigham 03-11-2008 06:30 PM

Thanks for the responses. Turns out the Netural wire had arc'd within the SP compromising the connection. Now, I guess the question is how did this happen.

Loose to begin with??
Brother messing with the GFCI outlet?? (His history indicates he should not mess with electricity)

However it happened I was able to reterminate and verify its operation. Thanks again for the suggestions.


Speedy Petey 03-11-2008 07:00 PM


Originally Posted by kbrigham (Post 106756)
Loose to begin with??

More than likely.

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