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  • blown out outlet (?)

    hey Guys, hopefully this is an easy one, heres the deal. the home owner plugged in a fixture into the outlet. popped the breaker and had the typical "spark" shoot out. this caused a few other outlets to trip also (on the same circut of course) when the breaker was re set all the other outlets effected worked again except for this one. plus I took off the "damaged" outlet and when I checked to make sure the wires were hot, none were. thats where Im stumped. any advice? Im a typical handy man of electric and can do all the typical home improvement deals but this ones aggrivating me. hope to hear from someone. thanks, GLenn

  • #2
    Re: blown out outlet (?)

    Is this the last receptacle on that circuit, (only 3 wires coming in, hot, neutral and ground)? If so, go to the next operating receptacle downstream and pull it (with the breaker off). Check for voltage on both sides of the receptacle, after switching the breaker back on.

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    • #3
      Re: blown out outlet (?)

      no, thats the weird thing. it has 2 whites on 1 side. a black on top and a red below it. so it is daisy chained. well I think its a red one underneath. wire is old and Im not real good with the color red, it might also be black. Glenn

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      • #4
        Re: blown out outlet (?)

        ok, heres an update. the outlet has the typical 2 whites on the left and 2 blacks on the right. there are 2 reds nutted together in the box also. the outlet itself when I use my reader shows only 30 AC going thru it. when I test the ground it has the whole amount. they also have a light switch (not joined to this in any respect) that does the same deal. (only reads 30 AC when its in the off position. hopefully now someone can let me in on the secret of what I need to do for both issues. thanks, Glenn

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        • #5
          Re: blown out outlet (?)

          Is the light switch a 3 way?

          Does the light switch illuminate when it's in the off position?

          ...not an electrician just curious cuz it sounds like something that happened in my kitchen had me scratching my head

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          • #6
            Re: blown out outlet (?)

            it is a switch to a fan. 1 switch controls the fan and this switch controls the light so I guess it is connected to the "fan" switch via a red wire. (?) actually I dont know that as a fact but typically they are. I dont know what you mean by "illuminate"? Glenn

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            • #7
              Re: blown out outlet (?)

              Originally posted by all work & no play Glenn View Post
              it is a switch to a fan. 1 switch controls the fan and this switch controls the light so I guess it is connected to the "fan" switch via a red wire. (?) actually I dont know that as a fact but typically they are. I dont know what you mean by "illuminate"? Glenn
              My 3 way switch has a built-in night light so I can find it in the dark.

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              • #8
                Re: blown out outlet (?)

                oh, no this does not. Glenn

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                • #9
                  Re: blown out outlet (?)

                  If you have 120 volts from hot to ground (green wire) and only 30 volts from hot to neutral(white wire) you have lost the neutral some where. That would enplane the voltage drop on the switch also, both the red and black well use the same neutral because they are on separate lags at the panel.

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                  • #10
                    Re: blown out outlet (?)

                    thanks Redford. I will check that out. Glenn

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                    • #11
                      Re: blown out outlet (?)

                      ok, still having problems. light switch is good. but the outlet is still bad. heres the update. the original outlet is still the same. (30 volts on top/bottom) I traced back to the outlet closest on both sides. 1 is fine. (might not even be daisy chained to this group) but the other outlet is weird. the top plug in works fine, the lower half is doing the same deal. so I went to the outlet nearest that one and that outlet works perfect. so I am assuming the issue is at the 1/2 good, 1/2 bad outlet. (?) what next. Glenn

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                      • #12
                        Re: blown out outlet (?)

                        Turn the breaker off for that circuit. then go to each outlet, switch, and even light fixture on that circuit,and check all the neutral connections in every receptacle,switch, and light fixture. From what you describe it almost has to be a lost neutral connection some where in that circuit.And while your at it tighten all hot and ground connections as well.
                        Hope this helps, Huck

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                        • #13
                          Re: blown out outlet (?)

                          definitely will try that next. thanks, Glenn

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                          • #14
                            Re: blown out outlet (?)

                            IS The red wire on the lower side of the outlet, if so look for the connecting copper lug that joins the upper to the lower screw terminal on the side has it been broken. If so the lower is a switched outlet possibly via the light switch and you have voltage maybe on the top outlet????? most outlets that were hooked up as you described involved a switched outlet for a lamp or something so when you walked in the room flip the switch and viola light.......

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                            • #15
                              Re: blown out outlet (?)

                              I will definitely check that also. thanks for the tip. Glenn

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