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Discussion Starter #1
In my basement i have a light switch that controls 2 florescent lights. They didn't work this morning so i tryed bulbs and even changed a ballast in one of them, still nothing. so i took the switch out(this must be it!) changed the switch. NOTHING! ARG! so i went to home depot and purchased a multimeter, this is where i get lost. on the 2 wire coming into the box, which is the feed i get 60v from black to white, and 120v from black to ground! as soon as i hook up the the black to the other black which goes to the lights, the 60v from black to white go away it reads zeros. what the hell happened:eek:
 

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Sparky
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706 Posts
reading 60V with a digital volt meter, correct?


put the switch back together the way it was, and measure voltage at the light

but it sounds to me like you have no neutral
 

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Lic Elect/Inspector/CPO
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369 Posts
You have a bad neutral connection. Your are going to have to trace the circuit. Find the breaker that controls the circuit and make sure the neutral is tigh at the panel. If that does not resolve the issue, you are going have check any out, switch, light or junction box where the neutrals could be wire nutted to gether.
If other lights and outlets on this circuit work fine, than work backwards
 

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I=E/R
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2,052 Posts
It sounds like you are measuring the voltage on a switch leg. If you only have two wires inside the switch box then it is a switch leg and power is at the light fixture connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i will do that i put the switch back in and when the switch is off i read 60v black to white but when i turn on the switch i get 0v black to white how can this happen? i will start checking the wiring in. yes it is a digital meter. if the neutral was gone wouldn't i read 0v? i'm lost! just want to understand
 

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the feed coming in you should read 120V from the black to the white or the black to ground (metal box or BX) the switch should break that black hot wire in the off position ..if your not reading 120 blk to white feed line your neutral is open.if you have a box in the ceiling for the 2 lights bring the 120V feed into it and the switch do all the tie-ins up in the ceiling
 

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I=E/R
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i will do that i put the switch back in and when the switch is off i read 60v black to white but when i turn on the switch i get 0v black to white how can this happen? i will start checking the wiring in. yes it is a digital meter. if the neutral was gone wouldn't i read 0v? i'm lost! just want to understand
If you want to understand your circuit your first have to give us a good description of how it is wired. Just saying black and white wires isn't enough because sometimes the white wire in a romex cable is part of a switch leg.
It sounds to me like you are working at the switch box so..

1) What wires do you have in the switch box?
2) What wires are directly connected to the switch?
3) Are any wires grouped together with a wire nut.
 
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