AC outlet voltage at 78v.... that's just weird

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by W7UUU, Nov 13, 2017.

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  1. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is backstab the same as poke home? I specified that those shall NOT be used in my house.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  2. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did you check the work? It still may have been poked. I hate that wiring method. Takes 15 more seconds to do it right.
    My Dad specified all wrapped & screwed. I checked & had his contractor come back to replace everything.

  3. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I have NEVER used those stupid "back stabbing holes" on Edison outlets. EVER. I only use the screws.

    Alas, I'm on the road - no "hands on" until later this week.

    But thanks for all the tips and suggestions - I'll figure it out soon I'm quite sure :)

    N2EY likes this.
  4. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I wired my garage/shop outlets w/ L1+N & L2+N, I had to add pigtails + split bolts. The 4" deep boxes had no room for back-stabbed connections to the outlets.

    The only Backstabbers I like is sung by The O'Jays:
    W7UUU likes this.
  5. KW5KB

    KW5KB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My father recently set up a new workshop. Quad outlet boxes every 4 to 6 feet, every 3rd box on the same circuit, and I believe not more than 3 boxes per circuit. As the use is currently laid out, he is annoyed to find that he still did not put in enough outlets. Maybe when half the shop is no longer dedicated to storage, the use will even out and it will be right, but the trend I don't see changing is that the first outlet to either side of the primary entrance is heavily monopolized by chargers. Cordless hand tools on one side, and cordless (80V, 2AH lithium) yard tools on the other.
  6. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have single boxes about every 4 feet, each with a choice of 2 x 120V/20A or 1 x 240V/20A... up to 4800VA is available at each box. At the end of the string, my 60gl air compressor picks L1+L2. A tandem breaker ensures both circuits are dead when the breaker is OFF. To prevent being stranded in a darkened garage/shop, lights (6 x two-tube 48" fluorescent) are on a separate circuit.
  7. KA0GKT

    KA0GKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your home doesn't have three-phase service, does it? I've seen some strange things where 480 3-phase is dropped to 240 Delta 3-phase with a lighting tap. If the tap isn't centered in the winding and the primary is tapped to put one corner of the delta to the tap at 120 volts, the other corner might end up as low as 88 VAC. Because of phase relationship in the 3-phase system, what one might expect as 240 volts is actually closer to 208. Sometimes the lighting tap is placed to put the voltage at 110 to 120 VAC between one corner and the tap. If you go from the other adjacent corner to the tap, you'll have 88 to 98 volts. If a box is wired across this type of lighting tap as if it were a standard 220 circuit with the tap as neutral, every other breaker in the box will be low.
  8. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    No, just two drops of 220 - one for house, one for barn - Garage (the room in question) comes off one of the 220 panels. It's the most involved power panel situation I've ever had, and a bit daunting.

    Again, I'm out of town in a hotel typing this - but when I'm back, I'll post photos of the setup - and my first line of attack is identify the breaker feeding the "weird circuit" and move that wire to a "known good" breaker.

    Fun stuff :) Just can't do anything just now.... but I love being on the road - it's what I do and pays lots of bills so it's all good.

    More info in a few days....

    N2EY likes this.
  9. KI6HLD

    KI6HLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had one outlet in my house that acted like that. The pro electrician couldn't figure out how it would get that way either. I taped over it to keep it from being used.

    A few years ago I decided the fancy 'archway' the previous owner had put in was a problem, and I wanted a real door to that room, so a friend and I started to demo the wall. As we did the demo we discovered some alarming things. The particular wall was not the original door to the room, and the romex originally went straight across where the 'archway' was. Whoever did the work put an extra section of romex in to go over the arch, but just pushed the wires into the twist-on connectors - no twist so there was very poor contact. On top of that several nails holding the drywall in went through the extra romex, as they had been too lazy to put it far enough away from the jamb. We put in a new switch for a ceiling fan and lamp, and correctly wired the switch into the attic, also moving the romex to the old bad outlet. After the fix the bad outlet works fine.

    Had some previous experience with the other owner's lack of electrical expertise. He had wired up the mailbox post to light up. The wire inside the garage ended in a standard outlet box. But to get electric to that box, instead of a switch he had wired up a male plug to the garage romex, and pulled the plug out to turn off the light. In other words the male plug was HOT all the time!

    We also discovered that the location of the 'archway' had been the original location of the heater vent, coming from the attic. Why they didn't just leave the vent where it was I don't know, as most of the other rooms just above the door is the location of the vent. When they moved it though, they did not cap off the old one, so it just vented directly into the wall space.
  10. KA3TJI

    KA3TJI Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is definitely an open nuetral in the panel box. I suspect this circuit is fed with a 12-3 cable and there is something connected to the other let completing the circuit. I am sure you will find a loose nuetral wire not making full contact. there is absolutely nothing else it could be.
    WA4SIX likes this.

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