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    Vizion's Avatar
    Vizion Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 23, 2005, 03:53 PM
    Neutral wire is hot(has voltage potential like the black wire)

    The problem started at midnight last week. One of my line in the basement is starting to have issue whenever I connect a water pump or appliances to the outlets. Before I plug the appliance in, the neutral is neutral(zero voltage), but when I plug the appliance in, the neutral is now hot(118v), so I can't use my appliances. The breaker box doesn't switch off. The line gets back to normal intermittently and my basement light comes back on, and until I plug the water pump or the washer machine in the outlets, the problem starts again.

    Any suggestion on how to fix this? It looks something that can be easily to fix. Thanks guys.
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Oct 23, 2005, 04:21 PM
    It sounds to me like you have a bad connection in the neutral wire. If any of outlets or lights on the circuit works, start there looking for a bad connection. It likely will be either in the box for it, or the box for the first thing that doesn't work. If nothing works, check the box for the first thing on the circuit. Also check any areas where you have done any other work. You may have accidentally damaged a hidden wire with a nail or drill.

    The problem could be in the breaker box, up a big step for DIY. Think twice about it. If you decide to go ahead, you must remove the cover, exposing the main buss and breaker. Even with the main breaker off, the connections to it still have a fat wire running straight out to the pole with no protection for you at all. My older box has all the white and bare wires connected to the same block. Look for the hot wire to the circuit with the problem. Find the white wire paired with it, and check to see it is connected OK. Try to give the screw holding it a twist.
    Vizion's Avatar
    Vizion Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 23, 2005, 05:23 PM

    This is really weird because when the line is back to normal, my 2 lights in the basement work for days without a problem, just only happen when I reconnect the appliance. And when it goes, my whole line is gone, even the 2 basement lights. I didn't touch anything in there. I will have to check the breaker box. Thanks labman.
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Oct 23, 2005, 06:19 PM
    I would leave the main box absolutely until last. Start where you connect the appliance. Sounds like you are disturbing a bad connection or broken wire there. You can have the broken ends of a wire being held together by the insulation part of the time.
    Vizion's Avatar
    Vizion Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 23, 2005, 09:16 PM
    All right. I think I fixed the problem. The neutral wire in the garage is in the same line and it was loose. I pressed it hard into the slot and now everything is back. It's weird that the neutral wire is 119v but when I connected the neutral directly a night light, it drops down the 29.5v on that neutral line. The neutral line is now zero when it touches other neutral lines. I don't know how that neutral line got its voltage from but it looks like it's free voltage from the ground. :D

    Thanks Labman.
    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 11,188, Reputation: 508
    Uber Member

    May 5, 2007, 08:18 PM
    The reason is, the hot goes through the appliance and is returning, looking for neutral.
    Will shock you. Tieing to good neutral will bring voltage back down to zero.

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