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Old 05-07-2011, 07:17 PM   #1
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Receptacle with 50 volts


I lost power in two receptacles. I replaced them, but still have no power, however, my voltmeter shows 50 volts. I can't locate any other receptacles or switches that are not working, and all breakers are on. Any thoughts on possible causes/remedies are appreciated.

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Old 05-07-2011, 07:36 PM   #2
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Receptacle with 50 volts


The problem will be in one of the outlets that is working. Sounds like you may have a bad neutral somewhere. You will have to open each box to see if you can find the problem. Try to think how they would have wired it and follow it back.

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Old 05-07-2011, 07:54 PM   #3
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Receptacle with 50 volts


Quote:
Originally Posted by darren View Post
The problem will be in one of the outlets that is working. Sounds like you may have a bad neutral somewhere. You will have to open each box to see if you can find the problem. Try to think how they would have wired it and follow it back.
Completely agree.

Just a note to future readers with this problem. 99% of the time the problem is NOT a "bad" receptacle. It is a connection.
Replacing a non-working receptacle is good only in that you get a new tighter receptacles, it almost never fixes the problem.
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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Receptacle with 50 volts


Try plugging an incadescent bulb (lamp, socket etc) in there to see if it lights up. If not, it may be phantom voltage (I'm not that familiar with the cause of it, but it's... interesting lol) or somewhere something is misswired and it's in serries with something else. Could also be a bad neutral as mentioned if it's a MWBC or branched off of one.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:30 AM   #5
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Receptacle with 50 volts


Thanks darren. I located the circuit, which has 8 receptacles and 3 switches on it. All work except the 2 mentioned. I'm learning, so...are you saying then I need to open the remaining good receptacles and look for a loose or disconnected white neutral?

Thanks...
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:45 AM   #6
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Receptacle with 50 volts


If you can figure out the path that the circuit follows, the problem is likely in the next outlet upstream, towards the breaker panel, from the outlets that aren't working.

If any of your outlets are wired using the push-in "backstab" holes on the back of the outlets, that could be the source of the problem. You should re-wire them with the wires looped around the side screw terminals for a better, longer-lasting connection.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:14 AM   #7
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Receptacle with 50 volts


I solved the exact same problem two days ago in my basement wiring project. It was indeed a loose neutral in the wiring nut on the receptacle one upstream from the one reading 50 volts. Wish I had read this thread before

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