04:15AM | 02/07/08
Member Since: 02/06/08
8 lifetime posts
Hi I am trying to trace back an old line that was a dedicated line that powered my old oil fired hot water heater. I had a new elctric hot water heater installed by a professional who added a new 30amp breaker and box. The kill switch to the old hot water heater is still intact in the hallway. I checked to see if it was live AND YES IT IS. BUT MY VOLTMETYER ONLY READS 62VOLTS. WHATS UP WITH THAT ? - HALF OF 220 I KNOW. I C AN'T TRACE IT BACK TO ANY OF THE BRERAKERS IN THE PANEL. ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW I CAN LOCATE WHERE THE POWER IS COMING FROM? WHAT DOES THE 62 VOLT READING TELL US. THANKS


04:52AM | 02/07/08
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
You have a very, very high resistance digital voltmeter.

What you are see is capacitive coupling between the wires that you are meausring and active wires in other circuits. At least one of the wires is not connected to anything.

To verify that both wires are open then run an extension cord from a good grounded socket. Then measure from each hot to the extension cord ground.

If it measures anyplace from 10 volts to 100 volts then it is open and you are seeing phantom voltage.

There is no power behind it. If you connect anykind of load it will measure zero.

Electricans often use a "wiggy" or solenoid tester for checking voltages. It not a precision measurement, but it draws enough power that it won't be affected by phantom voltage.
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