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Old 05-08-2013, 08:26   #1
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Ac Outlet Help

I am getting 110 volts out of this outlet but it when I put a load on it nothing happens. Any suggestions. All connections are clean and correct.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:02   #2
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Re: Ac outlet help

Suggestions
- there still is a connection that isn't clean/correct
- bad outlet
- bad breaker

I'm really loath to suggest more detailed steps, because your questions so far suggest you really don't have a handle on electricity, and AC can kill.

Do you have a friend who's an electrician or so inclined? Someone at your club/marina with electrical experience who could have a look? It's so hard to diagnose something from just few short questions on a forum.

Other suggestions:

Shorewest
Toronto Yacht Services
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:03   #3
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Re: Ac outlet help

Ah, I'm thinking bad breaker because it went out when we had a heater plugged into it last fall. The breaker still clicks in but it may just be bad. Can I test either side of the breaker and could I find it then. Just trying to learn. Getting help is the easy way out.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:01   #4
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

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I am getting 110 volts out of this outlet but it when I put a load on it nothing happens. Any suggestions. All connections are clean and correct.

Either a breaker puts out 110V or it does not. If it were a bad breaker it would easily trip when a load is applied. If you are getting 110V on your meter before, and still getting 110V on your meter after you have plugged in your appliance load then most likely you have a loose or bad neutral somewhere on the circuit. Re-check your connections and follow the neutral back to the panel.
PS, turn off your AC power to the panel first before poking around.
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Old 05-08-2013, 13:06   #5
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

What kind of load are you putting on it? Perhaps the appliance isn't working.
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Old 05-08-2013, 13:25   #6
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

I am with Lake Effect here. Be very careful playing with 125V AC.

Here's what I would do in your situation.

First, it is quite possible, especially on boats to see voltage on a wire or plug but not able to drive a load. Most common causes are bad/loose/corroded connection or bad ground.

A quick, easy and portable test of 125V is to use a work light on an extension cord. Another option is any old lamp.

Plug into a known working outlet and see light. Take it to the outlet you're working on and see if you get light. No light then you have no power, regardless of whether you see voltage or not. Then go back and recheck connections and ground BUT as noted, turn off power first. Better yet, disconnect the shore power cord or turn off the generator, whatever is supplying the power.
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Old 05-08-2013, 15:28   #7
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

I'd sugest one of the ~$5 three-LED test gizmos. About two inches long, plugs in, lights up to tell you if there are any electrical faults and specifically which ones. From any hardware store or amazon and the usual web stores.

AC can be real nasty. If the system is old and alien to you, it might be worthwhile to have an electrician come in and check out the whole system versus DIY.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:13   #8
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

Please don't play with the AC and don't think because you have turned the breaker to "off" that the conductors are no longer live. Once or twice a week I come across boats with reversed polarity at outlets and neutral to ground bonds at the panel.
This stuff can be lethal. Lake-effect has given you links to a couple of very good guys in Toronto, Peter Briffa at Shore West and Jon Moles at Toronto Yacht Services, please call one of them.

Let me know what harbour you are in and may be able to check it for in the next few days (no charge).
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Old 07-08-2013, 13:53   #9
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

If you have 120vac on the meter when nothing is plugged in & then it drops way down when a load is applied, then you probably have a bad connection someplace. The bad connection could be inside a breaker, it could be where the breaker is attached to the box, it could be at the outlet, it could be anywhere that 2 wires are joined together.

Wherever the bad connection is, it will get hot when the load is applied. It can get hot enough to start a fire.
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Old 07-08-2013, 13:59   #10
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

I guess you got it solved since I have not heard anything on the local news.
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Old 08-08-2013, 21:11   #11
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

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I guess you got it solved since I have not heard anything on the local news.


Yeah it would be nice to know the outcome. I got $5 riding on a bad neutral.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:49   #12
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

I have relatives visiting right now. I will get back later.
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Old 11-08-2013, 17:02   #13
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Re: Ac Outlet Help



I think I found the culprit. A corroded live wire coming out of the breaker.
It is going to be tricky because there is not much wire to work with. Can I brush off the corrosion and put on a new connecter? Or would I need to take other measures.
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Old 11-08-2013, 18:24   #14
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

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Originally Posted by edbulmer View Post


I think I found the culprit. A corroded live wire coming out of the breaker.
It is going to be tricky because there is not much wire to work with. Can I brush off the corrosion and put on a new connecter? Or would I need to take other measures.
How do you know it is corroded? You said that there was a heater plugged in to this circuit during the winter. A possibility is that the wire overheated and it just looks like corrosion. They often look the same. Please do as others suggested and have an electrician look at this for you. You can quite literally burn down the boat with problems like this.
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Old 11-08-2013, 18:25   #15
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Re: Ac Outlet Help

My first time reading this thread.
I thought high resistance connection from the start which is what you have.
Clean up the connection, reattach (with power off of course) and Bob's yer uncle.
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