Hi, I'm trying to fix a non-functioning electrical circuit. It
started three weeks ago when our refrigerator would go out for a few
hours at a time and then come back on. It continued doing this,
intermittently going on and off- the breaker didn't flip once.
1. I identified all outlets on this circuit.
2. I unplugged all devices on this circuit.
3. Using a multi-meter, I was able to measure the voltage between the
HOT and NEUTRAL at ~65V. I measure the voltage between HOT AND GROUND
at ~65V AC. When I measure the voltage between NEUTRAL and GROUND, I
get < 1V. I think this means I have an open NEUTRAL. Yes? I tried
jiggling the outlets to see if I could find a junction box or wall
socket where the open exists. No such luck.
I'm not sure if this matters or not but when I plug in a lamp to these
(HOT good, NEUTRAL open) outlets, it doesn't work as one would
expect. However, when I plug the lamp in the voltage measured between
HOT and NEUTRAL goes down significantly. The lamp has an analog knob
that I can turn, and as I turn the knob in the brighter direction the
voltage between HOT and NEUTRAL decreases- from ~65V down to ~12V.
Not sure if that is typical of a circuit with an open NEUTRAL- i.e.
that it can't maintain a voltage under a moderate load.
4. So, I took all the wall outlet covers off and checked connections
in the back of the outlets. 4 / 5 checked out good with one left.
Is there any chance this could be an issue with the circuit breaker?
The house was built in ~1984.
Any other advice? Or troubleshooting tips?
- posted 13 years ago