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  1. #1
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    Default Electrical Problem in old garage/shed

    We live in rural Iowa. We have an old garage (built 1924) that we use as a shed for equipment and as a winter home for our chickens. Our power comes into our two acres to a transformer on top of one pole, and then another pole has our meter and a box at the top from which two lines run, one to the house and one to the old garage. the line to the old garage has a 30A fuse wired into it as it comes through the wall. We have had a couple bulbs on this line for some heat for the chickens. The line went dead. The fuse is OK. I put a tester on it for ACV and am getting readings of 30V. The house electric is fine. Can anyone help me get oriented? We can't afford to hire an electrician. thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problem in old garage/shed

    Put your probes on each side of the fuse while still in its slot, If you read voltage your fuse is blown.
    Murph ------------

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Electrical Problem in old garage/shed

    Thanks. I'll replace it and see what happens. I am getting the 30V reading on the line with the fuse in place.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problem in old garage/shed

    Your very welcome.
    Should be 120 volts your reading.
    Murph
    Murph ------------

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Electrical Problem in old garage/shed

    That's what threw me off, Murph. I don't know much but some basics, but I expected to see zero voltage and instead I am seeing 30v? Couldn't figure that out. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member CobyRupert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problem in old garage/shed

    Hmm, one would expect to see either 120V or 0 volts. Sometimes when one sees these odd results it means a bad neutral-ground. Is this just a 120V volt (single phase) service with just one fuse or are there 2 fuses? Where did you test across to get the 30V? Across the fuse? From the load or line side of the fuse to a grounded neutral conductor? Or from the load or line side to a grounded object?
    JD5075E, Frontier RC2084 Rotary Cutter, Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch

  7. #7
    Platinum Member KennyG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problem in old garage/shed

    Low voltage in a branch line is often a poor connection, often in the common side (white wire). I had a problem with 220 service to a building which confused me originally because my 220 volt equipment ran fine but my 120 tools had no power. A damaged common wire left me with only 50 or 60 volts on the 120 circuits.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Electrical Problem in old garage/shed

    Yes, it's a single phase service with one fuse. Couldn't be more primitive. Definitely jerry-rigged by someone in the past. But it's been working fine for the five years we've been here. I put the tester across the fuse itself as it comes through the wall from the pole and also put it across the switch on the wall farther down the line. I guess that's the load side. I get 30v. the wires are ancient. no color differences. We likely overloaded this line with several bulbs on extension cords running from the one and only outlet on this line.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member CobyRupert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problem in old garage/shed

    Yes, having 50 or 60 volts on one normally 120V leg would be typical on a 220 volt service when the neutral is broken, but then of course the voltage in the other (normally 120v) leg would be 160 or 170 volts. That's why if the service to the OP's garage is just a 120v service, getting 30 volts is odd, but still could be caused by a loose connection rather than a complete open break.
    JD5075E, Frontier RC2084 Rotary Cutter, Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch

  10. #10
    Elite Member Mace Canute's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problem in old garage/shed

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeugitai View Post
    Yes, it's a single phase service with one fuse. Couldn't be more primitive. Definitely jerry-rigged by someone in the past. But it's been working fine for the five years we've been here. I put the tester across the fuse itself as it comes through the wall from the pole and also put it across the switch on the wall farther down the line. I guess that's the load side. I get 30v. the wires are ancient. no color differences. We likely overloaded this line with several bulbs on extension cords running from the one and only outlet on this line.
    Try testing the voltage before the fuse. You have to put one lead on the hot leg and the other lead on the neutral. Let us know what you have.

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