I recently had a problem with my internet going out (cable). I went a few hours later to check if anything was loose on the box on top of the breaker panel. I opened it up and noticed cable coming from the street pole had melted at the point where it connects to the splitter, and it was really hot to the touch. I called my cable company and they were going to come out the next day so I disconnected the cable from the splitter and it seemed to cool down.

I decided to do some research online to see what was going on. I ended up finding problems with open neutral and decided to check the readings with a multi meter. I ended up seeing that from neutral to ground (used the metal fence pole next to circuit breaker) and it measured around 1.6 volts. Is that normal?

Also the ground on the splitter, which connects to the circuit breaker pole to the fence pole measured the same (1.6 volts). The cable tech came the next day and checked on the wire from the pole and said it had shocked him when he disconnected it and believed that it was probably hit from lightening a few days back during a storm. He changed out the splitter and fixed the melted part of the wire and it hasn't warmed up at all since, but it still measured the 1.6 volts.

I'm honestly just trying to make sure that 1.6 volts is nothing I should worry about.

UPDATE: So i went through the house checking all the receptacles and i found one that is hardly ever used that had 110 volts going from neutral to hot and around 8 volts from neutral to ground so i removed the receptacle and tested the volts afterwards and had 0.3 volts from neutral to ground and around 120 from neutral to hot so ended up putting wire nuts on the neutral and hot and put a blank plate i had laying around over it. the coax cable and neutrals at the breaker panel are now only showing 0.1 or 0.0 volts when tested i will check again tomorrow after i get home from work just to be safe :)

  • 1
    Glad it hasn't melted. Lightning sounds like a plausible explanation. I would think the cable tech probably used their specialized signal-testing gear and if it was too much it would have been noticed. Have you called their tech-support to ask this question?
    – SDsolar
    Jun 18, 2017 at 22:10
  • I'm unclear what two points your measuring 1.6 between? Please better describe exactly where you probes are probing. Also is the "splitter" a standard multiport splitter or is it a powered multiport amplifier?
    – Tyson
    Jun 18, 2017 at 23:06
  • i did not call tech support since it what was working fine once he left. the two points i was measuring was from coax cable connection where it connects to the splitter and the black probe was on a fence pole that is next to the main circuit breaker. I also was connecting it from the neutral/ground busbar to the fence pole and both were measuring the same voltage. the splitter is just a regular splitter without any power
    – Moii
    Jun 19, 2017 at 0:00
  • That's likely a floating or phantom voltage that is not significant. It sounds like a transient or surge voltage came in via the cable and was successfully grounded off by the ground block.
    – Tyson
    Jun 19, 2017 at 14:05

2 Answers 2


Likely source of the problem is a bad cable box. Transient voltages or surges from indirect lightning can damage electronics.

You could test the coax shield to neutral or metal pipe that is properly bonded and see what the voltage reads. Disconnect everything from the box as to isolate the box.

I troubleshot one the other day that had 50v on an isolated shield.

Further advice: make sure your home is properly grounded to earth w/ ground rods and/or water pipe per NEC Code.


Yep it’s induction from the over head power lines it makes it a pain in the butt to locate underground cables sometimes because of it

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