Low voltage socket.

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I replaced all or my sockets and switches in my home a couple of years ago. I now have one that has low voltage on my 'analog' votl meter. Yea I know google groups and an analog voltmeter. I get it...
Anyway. How it that possible? Is there a bad connection up the line of outlets that would cause it to read 50 volts instead of the normal 115 or 120?
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*Is it a switch or a receptacle that has low voltage? Is something not working properly or did you just go around checking voltages?
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The socket does not work at all when I plug something into it. It did in the past after I switched out all the old ones. I put in another new socket thining that one may have gone bad somehow. But the 2nd new one doesn't work and th all the wires are on correctly. There is no jump at this box, just 3 wires, black, white and bare.
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in2dadark wrote:

look at other receps on the same circuit, might have a bad connection at the one previous to it on the circuit
nate
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*Yes go to the receptacle that feeds this receptacle and check the connections.
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I had that happen, one time. Couple friends of mine, who lived in a raised ranch. One socket was intermittent. I suggested to check the wires at the other sockets. But they couldn't see how that could affect anything. Ultimately, the problem turned out to be that the builder had backstabbed instead of twist and screw the wires on. The backstab at the next outlet along the wall was bad. So, the last outlet wasn't getting power. The next to the last outlet was fine.
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On Dec 23, 8:41am, "Stormin Mormon"

Oh.. Ok.. Now I know what you mean by 'backstab'... I didn't even buy the ones that have that. Those were more I think. RECEPTaCLe..there..
YOu should go through all the grammatical errors on this forum as well. It'll give you something to live for and a reason to feel supirior...
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in2dadark wrote:

Good. Backstabs SUCK. Although I feel obligated to point out that "spec grade" receps from the real supply house near me (Dominion Electric) are $15/10 - probably about what you would pay for consumer grade at the Big Box. (no backstabs on spec grade stuff either) I use the Good Stuff exclusively once I found that Dominion was open on Saturdays.
I am quite annoyed that one of the Decora light switches that I installed only a couple years ago is already going flaky - and it's not even in a high use location. Soon as I find a double toggle vintage .040" pressed brass switchplate, it's gone for a spec grade toggle. The cheap stuff is... cheap.
Which reminds me, I need some utility knife blades. (there's a logical line of thought that led up to that... need to run some auxiliary grounds before I can use the metal switch plates, which means that I need to break the paint around my baseboards so I can pry them off)

I'm just going to assume that that was intentional humor and not failtastic irony.
nate
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I read it as a pithetic troll. Not to be confused with pith helmetic troll.
"Dr. Livingstone, the troll, I presume?"
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On Sun, 20 Dec 2009 19:52:59 -0800 (PST), in2dadark

    I can think of several possiblities. If you can follow the wire and see what it is connected to (intentionally or not intentionally) you likely will find the problem. Be sure to check out grounds. This could be related to a bad ground.
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On Dec 21, 9:58am, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Insufficient info. 50 volts with something plugged in or not plugged in etc.? Switch on or off? 50 volts in reference to what? Ground? Live to neutral? If the workmanship of replacing the outlets and switches was as vague as the enquiry ........ !!!! snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com needs to be more specific. Back stabbed outlets again?????
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Why were you checking?? as the previous poster asked, what happens when you plug in a light or something else????
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wrote:

yes, 50V could easily be phantom voltage and the recep is really completely dead
nate
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wrote:
...

    Remember the OP mentioned he had a ANALOG meter.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

There's no such thing as "phantom voltage," anyway; there are, however, bad measurement practices and poorly designed test instruments.
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On Dec 24, 10:22am, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

No matter what kind of meter if there is doubt put a load on the circuit then measure the voltage. In this case just plug something in. I'll bet the voltage reads zero then.
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You most to been smart guy and use ground wire as neutral now go back and wire it properly!

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Ha.. I did the whole house. I know how to replace a receptical... Nothing works at this outlet and it doens't have a switch. I guess I'll look up the line.
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Sounds like the trace of power your meter saw, was impedance from another line. Also sounds like you have an open circuit some where. Either the hot or the neutral.
You can replace a receptical, but you have a hard time spelling receptacle. http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=dictionary+receptical+&aq=f&aqi=&oq=&fp 6c7832dbb01be6
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It's very possible there is NO usable power on that line. But that some stray power is being absorbed from other wires. I'd try a lamp or something (which will probably not work) and then do some troubleshooting based on the socket being dead.
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