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Old 03-24-2008, 07:17 PM   #1
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Unbalanced 220V output

Hey everybody,

Here is an unusual problem. After adding two new circuits to the panel my electric dryer stopped working.

I checked the outlet and found one side measuring 153V and the other side measuring 82V.

Next, I measured the breaker output in the panel and found 120V per side.

In order to eliminate the receptacle, I removed the cable and measured each side (red/white then black/white). The result was the same as with the receptacle - 153V / 82V.

The cable was inspected next. The parts that could be seen or touched did not reveal any damage.

Is the wiring bad? Is there something I have missed? Any help will be greatly appreciated.


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Old 03-24-2008, 07:20 PM   #2
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You have an open neutral.


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Old 03-24-2008, 08:14 PM   #3
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Indeed this is almost certainly a failing neutral.

The failure has occured somewhere from where you measured the voltage imbalance and the POCO transformer.

I'd shut off the main until you find the problem, it'll only get worse. Eventually, you'll end up with 200 or more volts on about 1/2 of your lights and plugs. Things will start to burn up (if they haven't already). Electronic stuff is most vurnelable.

If you can't see anything obvious in the panel, call the POCO. Frequently it's somewhere in their system. If it is their problem, after they get it fixed, check EVERYTHING in the house. Around here, they have to replace anything burned up by their problems.

Let us know how it goes, plenty of us have seen this before, and if it's not a POCO problem, we can at least tell you what to look for.

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Old 03-24-2008, 08:29 PM   #4
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Next, I measured the breaker output in the panel and found 120V per side.
I agree that you have an open neutral. But I'm wondering if you measured the output on the breaker for the dryer or at the main. If your main is reading 120V to neutral on each leg, the open neutral isn't on the POCO side. Sometimes in the course of things cable sometimes gets damaged, and this may be the case here as well.

If you can get a reading on the main breaker and that is 120V to neutral then your problem will be with the branch circuits. If it is similar to the readings you got with the dryer then absolutely, unplug any appliance you have love for and call the POCO.
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