120V circuits testing 240V

Client commented that light bulbs didn’t last too long.

Upon arrival at inspection property, I noted that utility cable’s neutral was severed due to a fallen tree.

Receptacles inside home tested 240V, lights were burning bright…

Electric baseboard heaters appears to function properly.

A severed neutral from the utility cable should not cause a 120v receptacle to test 240v…

Question is what would cause 120v circuits to test 240v?

Thanks in advance for your response!

Little load on one leg High load on other leg .
Yes this will show high voltage on leg with little load and low voltage on leg high load .
.This high voltage will burn out light bulbs very soon.
Good catch Neutrals only carry the unbalanced current .
Most electric heaters have no neutral they are operating on 240 volts .



Marcel, look at a diagram of a 120/240 volt system. Notice the reference from either leg to the center point is 120. Now remove the center point and look at the voltage potential.

As Roy said, baseboard heating, water heaters and A/C systems would function properly as they do not need the neutral.

The branch circuit neutral connections at the electric service panel provides the second leg to create 240 volts.

This is the reason why double tapped neutrals are problematic. If they are on a different phase, and become loose or separated somehow from the neutral Buss = 240 V

Some do not think the Neutral is dangerous .WOW what an error ,
that neutral is just as dangerous as any other energised wire and can kill just as quick.

yes for sure twin taps on neutrals can cause grief if the screw is loosened .

Some do not think the Neutral is dangerous .WOW what an error ,
that neutral is just as dangerous as any other energised wire and can kill just as quick.

There was a double tap neutral at the distribution panel.

Thanks for the good information!

I know a guy here that is paralyzed from the neck down from removing a ground wire at the power plant across the river from me.

Be careful with all conductors.
You never know what or how they are hooked up to anything.

This is a good post I am sure many have learned from it… Roy
Any who have any questions please ask .
Any who are just a little bit nervous about electricity please stay away it is not for the uneducated .

A week ago, homeowner commented that his skill saw was turning very fast when plugged into the pool pump outlet.

120V receptacle tested fine with the little tester, it even tripped the GFCI in the panel.

In the panel a double pole GFCI circuit breakers with a white, black and bare copper wires going to the receptacle.

That 120V receptacle had 240V accross neutral and live…:shock:

Hello, I am having sorta the same problem. I have an old 60 fuse box in the house and now one leg of the power leaving the fuse box is testing at 240 volts and no voltage on the other leg. Causing half of the receptacles in the house to read 240 volts and no voltage on the others. The feed from the meter is showing 120 volts on each line. Can anyone shed some light on what they think the problem could be?

You have a problem in the panel. Call an electrician now.

There is an open neutral somewhere between the utility and your service. This can be a very dangerous condition. I would shut off the main and do what Jim suggested.

Please do as posted above you can cook you computer instantly and many other things to .
Shut of the power get out the emergency lights NOW!

Call an electrician NOW.