Electrical Wiring in the Home/Circuit in home


There is a problem w/ a circuit in my home.  The home was built in about 1974,  It has copper wire.  Power is out in 2 rooms and a hallway outlet.  The breaker was not tripped.  I found an outlet w/ 2 hot and 2 white wires right above the breaker box. One black hot wire wasn't connected and there were some scorch marks.  I replaced the outlet w/ a new P&S outlet.  I tested it after replacement and it read 120v by inserting multimeter prongs into receptacle. I walked across the room and flipped the light switch, there was a dim flicker and that was it.  I checked the outlet again and it showed 60v.  I checked hot to ground and it was 120v, I checked all other outlets in the affected area, all read the same. 3 of the 4 remaining outlets have only 2 wires. One has 4.  I replaced 3 of the 4 remaining outlets as well,2 with P&S - including the 4 wire outlets, 1 with a cheaper brand. I have checked the box and all circuit breakers read good.  There is a junction box in a tight spot on the basement ceiling near the breaker box and the affected rooms.  I got the cover off but it's hard to see and get to. The wires in it look clean and good but some are connected with wire nuts and wrapped in black plastic tape. Before I start trying to mess with that I'd appreciate your thoughts and input. Thank you.

If hot to ground is 120 volts, and hot to neutral is less, then the white neutral is disconnected somewhere.  If the wire is pushed in the back of the outlet rather than screwed to the sides, it may not be making contact. Remember to check anything that is working on the circuit too, because it could be the wire leaving a working device. The reading you are getting is feedback.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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