Low Voltage on circuit.

Users who are viewing this thread

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,225
Reaction score
4,526
Points
113
Location
IL
Anyone know how I can test for continuity on just the neutral.
Here is an idea. Plug a turned-on high-current load (tungsten lamp, or electric heater, or an iron into the dead outlet. Use a non-contact tester such as the Klein NCVT-2. https://www.kleintools.com/catalog/electrical-testers/dual-range-non-contact-voltage-tester . Those detect voltage through insulation I think. I suspect that the neutral closer to the outlet than the the break will show voltage. I expect the neutrals closer to the breaker panel than the break to not show the high voltage. You would want to check that I am correct on that before continuing.

My idea is not based on experience. I have not used one of those testers.

This presumes that the outlet passes the hot and neutral lines through. If there is some GFCI outlet that will not pass the hot in there, this is not going to work.

The purpose of the load is to almost short the hot and neutral together at the outlet, but to limit the current if the break is intermittent.
 
Last edited:

Jadnashua

Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx
Messages
32,770
Reaction score
1,191
Points
113
Location
New England
Back to basics...humor me so I don't have to reread all of this.

1. A GFCI won't hold its reset button in unless it has a proper input, and nothing protected by it will get power. So, the problem would be either in that box, or prior to it. It will also reset if there's a ground fault either at it, or downstream.

2. Check hot to neutral and hot to ground along your path. You should get 120vac (give or take) on each of those pairs. If you only get 120vac on hot to ground, it's missing the neutral connection either in that box, or prior to it. Forget about low voltages, as a DMM will pick up induced voltages that have no current capacity with the mega-ohms of input impedance.

A quick check would be to take a small 120vac appliance or lamp and plug it in along the daisy chain of that circuit and see where it works, and where it doesn't.

I had a problem with a GFCI not being able to be reset, and after isolating it to one portion of the daisy chain, I ended up just running a new wire since it was easier than trying to find where the problem was.

If you've removed any of the GFCI devices, make sure that you didn't cross the line/load pairs or the hot or neutral connections individually.

There are some fairly inexpensive line tracer devices...one gets attached at the panel, and it injects a signal you can then look for along the way. If nothing else works, that might be my next step unless I broke down and called in a pro.

One way to confirm you have a good run of wire is to first remove the hot and neutral at the panel, then wire nut them together. You should then be able to see if those two leads are a direct short at the first location. If they are, move downstream. you won't be able to go 'through' a GFCI, but you can take the load pair of wires off (assuming you're using them) and work towards the next path. Don't be trying to test continuity while the cable is attached to the main panel, though!
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks