AC measures 27volts

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"current draw", then I have no disagreement with you.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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My shop teacher used to have a sign "Danger, 100,000 ohms".
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Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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Finding the keyboard operational Stormin Mormon entered:

said "Danger high impedance". Bob
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Precisely backwards...a _high_ impedance meter can't load a circuit and read "phantom" voltages.
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On Tue, 24 Oct 2006 17:10:17 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

Ambiguous language.
Can't load a circuit, and can't read "phantom" voltages.
OR
Can't load a circuit, and CAN read "phantom" voltages.
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62 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Some replies are making this too complicated. Forget the volts and amps and impedance stuff.
Your question has been asked frequently here; it's sensible one but usually asked by someone without much electrical experience and training and almost always involves voltage read with one of those digital display meters.
Non technical reply:
Digital meters are so sensitive (even the cheapest ones) that they can pick up voltages induced into even dead/disconnected wires from adjacent working/activated wires.
In some circumstances they can pick up the faint voltages of the multitude of radio and wireless-device waves that surround us these days! Even if a wire is grounded at the far end it can still act as an antenna at many frequencies and thus pick up enough electrical energy to read 'something' on a meter. Depends on the location, radio field strengths the meter etc.
Heck; I have one meter sensitive enough that, if I touch the leads with my fingers it will pick up enough energy for a reading even if I'm standing in my basement. Hook it up to a spare coil of wire hung up and not connected to anything and one gets a higher reading again.
For house AC work a spare bulb screwed in a lamp socket with a couple of leads is often the best way to test whether a wire is permanently 'live' from the AC breaker/fuse panel, is (switch on/off) switched live, a neutral or a ground.
The mention of two 20 amp circuits 'connected together' is confusing. It also might be confusing/unsafe for anyone working on that/those circuits; my understanding is that once the breaker/fuse for a circuit is off/removed there should be no other power (from another connection circuit etc.) to anything on that circuit or in the same AC boxes. That's a little worrying and possibly not up to code? Possibly an insurance concern?
Maybe you mean two 'separate' 20 amp circuits; or is the breaker a 'double 20 amp' with the handles connected together so that both breakers will trip at same time?????????
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terry wrote:

Thanks to all who replied. I will check the wire using a light because I did use a digital multimeter. I may very well be explaining the two 20amp circuits wong. I do think both breakers will trip at the same time. The handles are connected together.
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terry wrote:

Were the lights functioning before and where/what are you measuring?
One light was and on wasn't, I thought that may be it was because they were old crappy florescent lights.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

my first thought is that you have your meter set at DC.
my second thought is that you are not using it correctly. one probe on black, the other to the ground, then the first probe on the white. (white should be zero, black 100-140V, unless i got em reversed in my head)
another thought is that you are measuring voltage on a dead line (to see if it is live before you work on it), and you are reading DC off of other devices on the circuit. or you are reading 27 millivolts and are picking up stray radio signals.
yet another thought is that you are reading oddball stuff off the ballast, which does not equal yer usual voltages, thats why the ballast is there. not sure though.
STILL yet another thought is your battery in your meter is dead.
does anyone notice I dont say any rubbish about meter loading? if the meter is designed to read line voltage, it was designed to work at the proper loads, maybe not perfect, but i'd point at the first few thoughts before I'd even think of loading.
lets try to keep the common sense handy people
hope the OP replies, I betting my money on dead battery
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Tater wrote:

Tater thanks for your reply.
I have used this meter a lot over the years and it has always worked when checking circuits. It works on other circuits in my home however I tried as you suggested on a few different outlets. All but the line in question reads as follows. Black wire about 122. White wire .694. I am reading volts not mV and I do have my tester set to AC. The battery indicator is not showing low but I haven't changed it in a long time.
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Tater wrote:

Tater thanks for your reply.
I have used this meter a lot over the years and it has always worked when checking circuits. It works on other circuits in my home however I tried as you suggested on a few different outlets. All but the line in question reads as follows. Black wire about 122. White wire .694. I am reading volts not mV and I do have my tester set to AC. The battery indicator is not showing low but I haven't changed it in a long time.
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wrote:

Well Tater, I'm never shy about admitting "...but I was wroooooong" :-)
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