DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, all! I am new to this forum. “Hardcore” diy’er, but not great with electrical..after almost burning down our house at age 6 when I decided to put all kinds of things into an electrical outlet...got a “deserving” ass whooping from my father and have shunned everything electrical ever since.

Here is my scenario: 20 year old house...I flipped a 3 way light switch on upstairs, and the light went black in the hallway upstairs and for some reason the lights in two other rooms no longer worked, but 3 other rooms still works. No breakers tripped. No problems with downstairs.

I switched the breaker on and off, and lights would work, but will stop working again. I found some loose wires inside the 3 way switch and tighten the cap...everything worked, and I figured problem solved...not so. The other day stopped working again. I used an outlet tester and found two bad outlets in the hallway upstairs. The tester stated Hot/Ground reverse, but has since learned that these testers should be given to kids...all wires are hooked up right. I used a digital voltmeter and all breakers tested good. The voltmeter only reads 1.5v when testing the outlets Hot and Neutral wires...Hot and Ground reads 120v....Neutral and Ground reads 100v. I don’t think it’s the two outlets themselves, and I’m leaning towards the neutral wires...BUT I have no clue what to do next, except from calling an electrician. Long shot, but hoping someone with electrical skills/talent can tell me what the problem is. Stay healthy and safe!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
So you're reading 100 volts when testing between ground and neutral?
If so, sounds like you lost a neutral.
Open boxes and look for loose wires under wirenuts.
Check for failed backstabs too.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
23,521 Posts
Hot-ground reversed is an indication of an open neutral. Check the non working receptacles and any working ones nearby if that doesn't fix the issue.
If any of the devices use the back stab push in connections, move the wires to the screw terminals. Back stabs are a very common cause of this issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,206 Posts
So you're reading 100 volts when testing between ground and neutral?
If so, sounds like you lost a neutral.
Open boxes and look for loose wires under wirenuts.
Check for failed backstabs too.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
I certainly would agree that the problem sounds like a loose neutral. However I'm wondering about the 100 V between neutral and ground. I'm guessing when he tests the circuit there something else plugged into it that's turned on which is what's putting the voltage on the neutral. To test that should unplug everything on that circuit and test again. Since the neutrals and ground wires are connected to the same strip in the breaker box there shouldn't be any potential between them. If the other device like I mentioned above is past the from it could be transferring the voltage to the neutral and thus when he measures the voltage he's completing the circuit between the neutral and ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to Shaneyj, joed and Msradell...you guys were all spot on. I tried to respond yeasterday, but when I clicked “submit” it took me to login page again...although I was already logged in..with a message telling me I didn’t have access to that page..???

Anyway, figured in respect to you guys that responded, I figured I owed you guys an update. After I changed out a bunch of outlets to no prevail, I figured I would walk around and test all outlets ONE MORE time...this time I found an outlet in one of the rooms with working lights and I swear this outlet tested good every time I tested it before, but this time the tester showed Hot/Ground, so I probed it with the voltmeter...and voila, it showed 30v...then it gave me a zero reading, so I kept wiggling the probes and after a couple of tries it showed 120v, and now the tester showed it to be working...I was totally blown away by this. Keep in mind that I had been working on this problem all day long...Wifey calls me down for dinner, and I decided to leave it and look into it next day. As I sat down for dinner...the light in the upstairs hallway came on by it self...I turned it off, went upstairs and tried light switches upstairs, but again, non was working and now the said outlet read 1.5v also....but unlike the other once that read 1.5v this one had a burnt neutral wire...VOILA! Everything is working now, and I feel cautiously optimistic that I have fixed the problem...but still walking on eggshells whenever I turn on the lights.
PS: during troubleshooting everything was unplugged upstairs.

Stay healthy and safe, guys! And please come back to Las Vegas soon...we are missing you guys
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Thanks to Shaneyj, joed and Msradell...you guys were all spot on. I tried to respond yeasterday, but when I clicked “submit” it took me to login page again...although I was already logged in..with a message telling me I didn’t have access to that page..???

Anyway, figured in respect to you guys that responded, I figured I owed you guys an update. After I changed out a bunch of outlets to no prevail, I figured I would walk around and test all outlets ONE MORE time...this time I found an outlet in one of the rooms with working lights and I swear this outlet tested good every time I tested it before, but this time the tester showed Hot/Ground, so I probed it with the voltmeter...and voila, it showed 30v...then it gave me a zero reading, so I kept wiggling the probes and after a couple of tries it showed 120v, and now the tester showed it to be working...I was totally blown away by this. Keep in mind that I had been working on this problem all day long...Wifey calls me down for dinner, and I decided to leave it and look into it next day. As I sat down for dinner...the light in the upstairs hallway came on by it self...I turned it off, went upstairs and tried light switches upstairs, but again, non was working and now the said outlet read 1.5v also....but unlike the other once that read 1.5v this one had a burnt neutral wire...VOILA! Everything is working now, and I feel cautiously optimistic that I have fixed the problem...but still walking on eggshells whenever I turn on the lights.
PS: during troubleshooting everything was unplugged upstairs.

Stay healthy and safe, guys! And please come back to Las Vegas soon...we are missing you guys
Good news man. Thanks for the update.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top