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Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 5007
Experience:  Proven Professional 44 years Experience
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# Why is my outlet (and 3 or 4 in a row, to include the GFI)

### Resolved Question:

Why is my outlet (and 3 or 4 in a row, to include the GFI) reading 60 volts, vs 120 volts? I took the GFI plate off and it's wired correctly. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be glad to assist you.
1) Is the lead outlet a GFCI or is there outlets ahead of it?
2) What are you using for a tester?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

1) I'm not sure if it's the lead, but all 4 recepticles to the left of it are reading 60 volts. They are downstairs in our sunroom, which was an add-on structure. We found where the 60 volt readings stop, and 120 volts resume (on both sides of that "circuit").

2) I have a neighbor who has a volt meter - he came over to look at it, checked them, then had to go........... and was a little perplexed with the issue.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
OK, I need to have the dead outlet tested as follows to determine which wire has the bad connection.

Test for voltage
Hot to Neutral
Hot to Ground
Neutral to Ground

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Neutral / Ground = 60 volts

Ground Hot = 60 volts

Neutral / Hot - 120 volts

This all stems from an inspection that we had, because we are moving. The inspection came back to fix.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
The reading you gave me, if correct, indicate that the ground is hot (60V to neutral). There must be a ground wire touching a hot termination or a strip on a hot wire in the circuit. I suggest that you identify the outlets on that circuit. Turn off the breakers until you kill that circuit. Turn all the other circuits back on. You can now see exactly where the circuit goes and check the oulets individually. If you remove the wires on what is thought to be the middle outlet, that will enable you to eliminat the problem in half of the circuit.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To let you know where this stems from, it's an issue of an inpection that I just had, because we are trying to sell our house. The inspector cited that we have "reverse polarity", and it needed to be fixed. Does the answer change? Thanks.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Home inspectors use a cube tester for checking outlets. the reading of reversed polarity is either an actual reversal or in most cases a open neutral. With the reading you gave having a good hot to neutral and voltage on the ground, it is possibly an actual reversed but the voltage on the ground could be a bootleg ground or as I stated a ground touching a hot point. The only way to know and correct is to follow the previous directions. You'll need that voltage tester to see if when you disconnect wires that the situation changes.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 5007
Experience: Proven Professional 44 years Experience

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