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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

First to understand what had happened. We just moved to a new apartment and I ordered dimmable led lamps and wifi dimmable switches that I was going to install in each of the rooms. I wanted to test the install before drilling so I attached the ceiling light using extension wires (dumb idea) and I replaced the switch with a wifi dimmer one. The light turned on, but the dimming function didn't seem to work, there was some flickering and on and off while I was touching the buttons on the dimmer and then the light went out. I turned the breaker off (it didn't trip) and disassembled everything and put back the original switch and lamp. There are 2 rooms on this breaker switch and none of them have light or power in the outlet.
I took out a multimeter and strangely enough while I get around 227 volts in all other rooms in the outlet (Germany, EU), I only get about 165 volts in the two rooms when testing hot to neutral with the light switch in the off position. With it in the on position I only get around 110 volts. Hot to ground is a healthy 227, so I'm thinking I probably messed up something with the wiring on the switch I was working on. The readings are the same for both of the rooms and to be clear, I have not touched the outlets, only the lightswitch.
Do you have any idea on what this might mean, or what other troubleshooting steps I could take to pinpoint the issue? I really appreciate any and all comments.
 

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I suspect you have an open neutral due to a poor connection somewhere. The 165 volts are stray induced voltages due to your high-impedence meter and just indicating a disconnected wire. A connected neutral should show near 0 to ground and ~230 to hot. Work backward for every place there might be a connection until you find a change. You can start at either the panel (where things should be good) and move forward, or start near where you have your failure and work backward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suspect you have an open neutral due to a poor connection somewhere. The 165 volts are stray induced voltages due to your high-impedence meter and just indicating a disconnected wire. A connected neutral should show near 0 to ground and ~230 to hot. Work backward for every place there might be a connection until you find a change. You can start at either the panel (where things should be good) and move forward, or start near where you have your failure and work backward.
Great stuff, thank you for the insight, there was a group of neutral wires behind the switch all connected to each other. I'll check if that has come loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I suspect you have an open neutral due to a poor connection somewhere. The 165 volts are stray induced voltages due to your high-impedence meter and just indicating a disconnected wire. A connected neutral should show near 0 to ground and ~230 to hot. Work backward for every place there might be a connection until you find a change. You can start at either the panel (where things should be good) and move forward, or start near where you have your failure and work backward.
Indeed one of the neutral wires came loose behind the switch, reconnected it and everything works great! Thank you so much!
 

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getting_started - you said
We just moved to a new apartment
If you are renting this apartment you
have absolutely no right/authorization
to alter any electrical in this apartment.

Only replace light bulbs. This is not your property if you are renting it. Doing any kind of electrical work such as changing switches, receptacles etc puts the liability on you if something were to happen. This more than likely is written into the lease. If it is not it is understood to be not allowed.

Anything electrical for your apartment must be done by an licensed electrician hired or approved by your landlord. Even if you were a licensed and insured electrician renting this apartment you would still not have any right to do any electrical work in the apartment without the written approval of the landlord. Even if you were willing to pay for the electrician I would have the landlord select the electrician.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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getting_started - you said


If you are renting this apartment you
have absolutely no right/authorization
to alter any electrical in this apartment.

Only replace light bulbs. This is not your property if you are renting it. Doing any kind of electrical work such as changing switches, receptacles etc puts the liability on you if something were to happen. This more than likely is written into the lease. If it is not it is understood to be not allowed.

Anything electrical for your apartment must be done by an licensed electrician hired or approved by your landlord. Even if you were a licensed and insured electrician renting this apartment you would still not have any right to do any electrical work in the apartment without the written approval of the landlord. Even if you were willing to pay for the electrician I would have the landlord select the electrician.

.
Thank you, it is understood that we will be installing the lights. There are currently none in the apartment, and no fixtures for any lightbulbs, just the bare wires. As is the case usually in Germany we're renting the apartment completely empty (no lights, no kitchen, only the bathroom has the toilet and shower installed.
 

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getting_started - my apologies. I totally missed the fact that you are located in Germany and it is the electrical system in Germany we are discussing in this thread. Normally when someone from a foreign country asks a question it is usually noted by someone that this is a US forum and the electrical systems are different. That is only said so there is no confusion on anyone's end. Answers can be totally different when working with US and out of US power systems.

Since I did not know you were in Germany and installing/changing electrical things in a rented apartment is the "norm" there I did not know. I just hope there is no liability issues if something does occur.
 
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