outlet help

The GB Circuit Tester lights up when hot to ground and when neutral to ground. It DOES NOT light up when hot to neutral. Same for all plugs on circuit. Wiring was new 20 + years ago. Problem noticed when plugging in iron caused power to go out, but didn't trip circuit breaker. New circuit breaker and outlet haven't solved problem. Suggestions appreciated.
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JK wrote:

It looks like a floating neutral. That means the white is not making contact somewhere.
You may want to check all the circuit breakers to make sure one has not gone. They don't always look like they have tripped even when they have.
It is also possible that the the neutral and ground have been miss-wired. That is also bad. It is hard from here to determine exactly what is going on.
If you are unsure at any time working on this, please stop and call in a professional. Mistakes can cost your home or even your life.
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Open neutral. Hire a QUALIFIED Licensed electrical contractor, because this is way over your head.
JK wrote:

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chuckster wrote:

check all other outlets on this circuit, turn breaker off, put masking tape by all dead outlets, see how many are effected.
who did the original wiring 20 years ago?
if your moderately handy and patient this can be fixed.
how many outlets are having trouble?
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All 5 outlets in room have live neutral and hot wires as described in original post. Wiring was done professionally when house was new.
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JK wrote:

Those two statements are mutually exclusive.
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

inconsistency?
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CJT wrote:

You know I had to read that three times before it hit me in the face that I was totally wrong.
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On Sun, 25 Jun 2006 22:55:57 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

That's what would happen with a good ground and a live (same voltage/phase as hot) neutral.
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Mark Lloyd
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Try a different type of testor - sometimes the simpler the better. this will help to determine the problem. They are cheap and easy to read. see link. http://www.inspectortools.com/gfciouttesbu.html
then decide what to do next.
When I move into a house I change all outlets and switches. (both were over 40yo and both places I found potential fire hazards)
Also when you changed the breaker did you (re)tighten all the nuetrals I have found them loose in the pannel before?
Jeff
JK wrote:

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does the gizmo show ok elsewhere? at the neighbor's house? if so, to be safe, turn off all your individual circuits which display the problem. if this problem is throughout the house TURN OFF THE MAIN. with your right hand safely in your pocket and your left hand holding the telephone calling the power company, just explain to them your problem, and they will come right over and check their power at their meter for free. my daughter is an electrical engineer at a power utility and always insists that you call on these dangerous open neutrals or open grounds. then you'll have two sources of information and ability to phone an electrician for a service call.
he may need to with all the power off inspect and replace all of the circuit's outlets with the burnt-open neutral wire. maybe some wire too. your description suggests the problem is somewhere between the iron and another one or more of the connections at the five outlets or a connection box on the way to the panel.
also maybe explore upgrading to new type of breakers http://www.handymanwire.com/articles/AFCI.html
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