Electrical Wiring in the Home/Outlet loosing ground?


My wife plugged in the sweeper and turned it on, she heard a pop and the sweeper stopped.  Thought the circuit had blown, it did not. Checked the outlet with a tester, it showed power but nothing that we plugged in would work.  Started checking with voltage meter and found that we had 120 across the power wire to the ground wire, but nothing across the power wire to neutral wire.  Not sure how this could happen or what to do next.  Is it safe to have that circuit turned on and the outlet taped off so no wires including the ground are exposed?



It is safe just don't use that particular receptacle till the problem has been corrected. It is possible there are other receptacles with the same problem your not aware of or that might be the only one. The poping sound is most likely from a poor connection on the neutral (white wire) side of the receptacle. You could shut that circuit off and pull the receptacle. Check the white wires to see if they are tight under the screws. You may also have "back wired" receptacle's that are prone to this sort of problem. In this instance the screws are not used and the wires and just pushed into the back of the receptacle where a tab puts pressure on the wire to maintain the connection. The problem is that in time this type of connection can typically fail. So look for that also.

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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Licensed Master Electrician (32 years) 6165B Contractor in Closter New Jersey with 40 years total experience in Residential - Commercial - Industrial work. Emergency Service - General trouble shooting and repair work - ONAN & GENERAC generator installation - Paddle fans - Kitchen & Bath exhaust fans - AC lines - Smoke detectors - Telephone lines - Cable TV lines - Computer network cabling - Exterior lighting - Recessed lighting - Security lighting - (200 - 150 - 100 amp service up grades) - Electric Heat - New circuits - New appliance hook ups - and more ! FREE ESTIMATES 201-358-1552 Fully Insured


Licensed contractor in Closter New Jersey.

"The Frank Williams School of Electrical Construction". My dear old boss is 100 ! and still going God Bless him. I started working for "Tenafly Electric" right out of high school at 19. He was tough but I learned more working for him in 8 and half years than most guys. We did mostly industrial work while doing some commercial and residential so I was fortunate to be exposed to all 3 areas of electrical construction. The guys I worked with were all good guys and I stay in touch with some of them still. Most of us went into our own buisness's which says something about the caliber of the guys I worked with. We had some interesting clients : Wella Corp. of shampoo fame, Farah Fawcett etc, I didn't buy shampoo for 10 years. It was a great place to work. Pan Am the former airline just before they went under, another great place to work, nice clean environment. C&C Metals, the largest button manufacturer in the US at that time, a not so clean environment but a very interesting place to work, lots of machine's cranking out buttons of all kinds but you had to be on your toes, it was a potentially dangerous place to be . All kinds of action going on around you.

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