In my house there is an octagon box attaced to which is a the type of
light you pull with a string. It suddenly stopped working, so I
removed the light completely and measured the voltage coming into the
octagon box. Strange thing is that the voltage is 37 volts AC, rather
than 110. What is likely the problem?
The wire coming into the box is the 14/2 type. No wires are exiting
the box to goto another box. I have a good knowledge of AC circuts but
this baffles me. Any ideas??
Easy. You are using one of those sensitive digital meters. They are so
sensitive and have such a high internal resistance, they read the near
static voltage picked up by a dead wire passing near a life wire. Recheck
that line with an old analog meter or hook up a small load and it will read
In short, the circuit has an open. Find the loose wire, tripped breaker
or GFI or bad switch.
You have a loose wire somewhere. Turn the light on, and the voltage
readout will likely drop.
Last time I saw something like that, the voltage read 120 when the lights
were off, and dropped down to about 90 when they were on (not that they
actually lit up, of course). I eventually traced it all the way back to
the breaker box. That circuit's neutral connection to the bus bar was
loose. The wire it shared a hole with was melted a bit. Turning the main
power off before poking a screwdriver around among all those wires
wouldn't be the worst idea. And if you do end up getting to that point,
you may as well make sure all the other bus bar screws are tight (on the
ground bar, too).
You'll want to check each junction box between the breaker and the light
box, and hope there actually is a loose wire, instead of one broken inside
Remove 'spambegone.net' and reverse to send e-mail.
I agree with Mr. Meehan -- It is really 0 volts and your digital meter is
picking up a bit of electricity capacitively coupled through adjacent wires.
This capacitive coupling is not capable of delivering more than maybe 0.0001
amp. In essence, it's "stray pickup" rather than electricity.
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