Identifying the Cause of Improper Voltage Readings
How to Identify the Cause of Wrong Voltage Readings: I installed a new breaker panel in an old house that had fuses. I rewired whole house, everything works great, replaced 10-2 wire to the barn with 3 – 1 AWG wires.
Correcting Wrong Voltage Readings
- I have them running without a breaker because the panel in barn has a main breaker.
- I am getting weird readings with the multi-meter 160 volts on one side of the buses and 110 volts on the other.
- When I put a load like a light on then the 110 volt side goes down to 70 volts.
What did I do wrong?
This electrical repair question came from a Handyman in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Thanks for your electrical repair question.
How to Identify the Cause of Wrong Voltage Readings
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools and access to the work area.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing or upgrading electrical wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.
Common Causes of Wrong or Low Voltage Readings
- Wrong Voltage
- Improper voltage readings can be caused by a number of factors, including voltage drop due to improperly sizing electrical feeder cable used in a very long span.
- Focus On New Wiring Projects
- The question is very vague and lacks a lot of details, however there is mention that a circuit breaker is not being used at a service to an out building where a distance is not provided.
- Electrical Circuit Wiring Methods
With an question such as this I have several questions of my own, most importantly:
- Were the electrical improvements installed with a permit and was all of the work inspected?
- If not then I strongly suggest that a permit be obtained, then hire a qualified electrical contractor to review all of the work, make the necessary corrections and then call for an inspection.
More about Electrical Wiring and Improper Voltage Readings
Troubleshoot and Repairing Electrical Wiring
The Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.
House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers
This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Circuit breakers and Fuses
Electrical Circuit Breakers
Electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring as a circuit protection device.