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Low Voltage on 120V outlet

Posted by pianov (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 7, 09 at 20:10

I have a 120V outlet at my kitchen counter that I plug a toaster and coffee grinder in. It has worked fine for years. Today, the coffee grinder wouldn't work - plugged a fan into the outlet and it would not work either. Test the plug with an electrical tester and it reads 25V. Try the tester in several other outlets and they all read 120V. Retest problem outlet - 25V. Remove outlet from wall and test directly to the wires - 25V. Nothing else if fed off this outlet (the single three wire bundle goes to this plug). All other outlets and lights and everything else in the kitchen/house seems to work fine.

What on earth could cause the voltage at a single outlet to drop to 25 volts?

I hope someone can help!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Low Voltage on 120V outlet

Depending on what you mean by a "tester" you may be reading a phantom voltage. There may not be in fact any voltage on that circuit. Look for a tripped circuit breaker or a ground fault interupter elsewhere on the circuit.


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RE: Low Voltage on 120V outlet

I agree with ron. To further discuss his point about phantom voltage, if you plug in and turn on a lamp or appliance and measure on the wires or the other half of the duplex receptacle that I'm guessing you have there, you will undoubtedly measure 0 volts.

There's a microscopic amount of electricity floating around, coupled from other hot wires this circuit goes near. It is barely enough to tickle a sensitive meter, but not enough to register on a less sensitive tester or lamp.


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RE: Low Voltage on 120V outlet

If checking the breaker or GFCI does not help check the wires at this outlet AND the outlet just before the faulty one for loose wires.


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