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Dead Electrical Circuit

I have a dead circuit but the ground is hot. Black to ground and white to ground is hot but white to black is dead. What could be the problem?

Vernon from Meadview, AZ

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February 3, 20070 found this helpful

DH says the white should be equal to your ground. The ground should NOT be hot. You should be able to put an ohm meter between the white and ground and read 0 ohms. It is extremely dangerous for your ground to be hot. A1 important that you find out why your ground wire is hot.

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February 3, 20070 found this helpful

Assuming that no drunk did any creative cable splicing in the dark, the most likely cause is a nail or screw through the cable. Somewhere between the breaker box and where you checked, the white wire got cut and, after the cut, is touching the back wire.


Just removing the screw, that did the dirty deed, won't miraculously heal the problem. You will have to cut a hole into the wall, put a proper junction box or outlet box in there, and splice the cable, so that the White is unbroken and well insulated. Unless you can pull some slack from the cable, just use a short jumper.

By the way, most likely the offending screw will be intermittently "hot" and could knock you off a ladder and/or cause an interesting hairdoo. Once you have identified it, turn the breaker off. Chances are that a notch got arced out of the screw, and when you try to turn it, it will make contact again.

Have FUN!


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February 3, 20070 found this helpful

My garage electrical circuit has gone dead. I've changed the circuit breaker but still no power. I've noticed there are no GFCIs on the circuit though there should be.

Carl from Ohio


Dead Electrical Circuit

If there is power coming off the breaker, then a $15 tracer from a building supply store can be run along the cable coming from the breaker. Wherever the tone stops, that's where the electricity stops.

Have FUN!
DearWebby (05/15/2005)

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