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
[ad#block]Electrical Question: 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.
- 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.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
|More articles about Electrical, Electrical Repair, Electrical Wiring and Home Electrical Wiring:|
|« Previous||Next »|
|Replacing 2 Wire and 3 Wire Receptacle Outlets||Circuit Breakers Used for Electrical Wiring|