After Electrical panel install one 120V outlet now has 104 Volts


Electrician replaced my electrical service box Friday, no other electrical work has been done in house. Every thing seemed normal with electrical in house, until wife went to wash clothes today. Washer would not come on. Took my voltage tester to outlet, showed 104 Volts all other outlets in garage and house show 120 Volts. Suspect electrician forgot to hookup neutral wire for this outlet? Would outlet show 104 Volts if neutral wire not hooked up at panel?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you suspect a mistake, call your electrician back. Give him/her the chance to fix it. I would appeciate the phone call if I did the work.
later,
tom @ www.FreelancingProjects.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jetskifast wrote:

That wouldn't explain 104 volts but it would explain the washer not working. Does a light bulb work (i.e. do you have a curcuit).
I am confused by one thing and I'm not trying to be a troll or anything. If you have an electrical tester and can use it without electricuting yourself, why can't you tell if the recepticle is wired right?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pat wrote:

I have not pulled recepticle from wall, I just put test leads into outlet. I donot want to pull a part anything since electrician will be back Tuesday. All other outlets in house work fine except Washer 120 outlet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jetskifast wrote:

Maybe the 104 v is phantom voltage if you used a digital voltmeter. Plug in a small lamp and see if it lights. If not, maybe the the receptacle isn't really hooked up or the breaker at the panel is flipped on.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
George E. Cawthon wrote:

Yes I did use digital voltmeter. Checked breaker panel all are on. Will hook up light, see what I get when I get home Monday. If neutral wire not connected at breaker panel what sort of reading would I get on my digital volt meter at outlet?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If your main breaker box neutral wire is disconnected, the voltage that you might measure at any outlet will vary unpredictably depending on the distribution of the active 120 V. loads on the two hot wire legs coming into your service entrance. A severe fault like an open neutral means that effectively, different groups of 120 V. loads are in-series with each other.
If the loads on the two hot wires are perfectly balanced (which is seldom the case), then each appliance or light would have exactly the same (120 V. nominal) voltage across it and zero current would flow through the neutral. The purpose of the neutral is to carry the difference current between the two legs (in a split-phase system) and keep the voltage the same on both legs regardless of the load.
In the worst case, you could have up to near 240 volts across a 120 volt circuit if the load is severely imbalanced.
In any case, an open main neutral is a serious problem and you need an electrician pronto. There are risks of fires and expensive appliances burning up.
Also, a local problem with a bad connection anywhere in a circuit could be the cause of low voltage (104 V.) at just one outlet.
Beachcomber
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Beachcomber wrote:

Thats the case for an open neutral on circuits with a common neutral.
George is guessing that the neutral on a single circuit may be open (good guess). There can be capacitve currents from the open neutral to ground. The current will be very small, but with a high resistance digital meter can show phantom voltages.
Plug-in outlet testers also operate at low current and can indicate no problem when one exists. They particularly can indicate a good ground when there is none.
bud--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you are talking about the little plug in testers with neon or LED ights, I've never seen one light up falsely with an open ground, but I agree it tells nothing of the quality of the ground.
The more expensive testers check for varying amounts of current to ground to see if there is in fact a high resistance connection.
You can do basically the same thing with a 60 - 100 watt light bulb on a pigtail socket connection. At any outlet, the hot to ground lamp brightness should be about the same as the hot to neutral brightness. Put a voltmeter in parallel with the lamp if you need more accuracy. The point is that the ground is tested under load (current carrying) conditions.
Of course, if you check a GFCI circuit and the GFCI is working properly, it will trip instantly when you try the hot to ground lamp test.
Beachcomber
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jetskifast spake thus:

Instead of using a voltmeter to test, I'd suggest buying one of those handy-dandy plug-in testers that tells you immediately, using colored lights, whether an outlet is correctly wired, and identifies several common faults (missing ground, missing neutral, ground & neutral switched, etc.) if it isn't. Cheaply available everywhere. I'm sure you electrician has at least one of them.
--
Just as McDonald\'s is where you go when you\'re hungry but don\'t really
care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.