Let me start off by saying, I'm lost lol seriously. Ok I'll try my best to explain my situation here.

I have 5 outlets on a 20 amp breaker with 14/2 wire

All 5 outlets read around .57 to .76 voltage.

I have pulled out each outlet and tested the wires separately and they all read the same around.57 to .76, common sense says that there's a loose wire reducing the voltage or there's a nail in the wall that hit a wire right

OK the outlets have been working fine until today then just all of a sudden I get a loss of power, no recent reconstruction no recent nails, all the wires are tight and the 20 amp breaker has an output of 120 volts

If that doesn't throw you off enough, there's 2 receptacles that only have one wire coming in and nothing coming out, these 2 receptacles are on 2 sperate wall while the other 3 are on one wall beside each other and there's no gfci in the circuit ... what in the mother of Jesus is going on here and why are there two ends in a circuit.

I thought it might be another receptacle throwing all the other off, that's what anybody in the right state of mind would think right, but the breaker only control those 5, I can't help but laugh instead of cry cause its so mind boggling, haha please help so I can have a fridge again :(

3 receptacles on one wall, one has 3 wires coming in and the other 2 receptacles have 2 wires for in and out,

I also thought, hey maybe the breaker is not throwing the current far enough so I switched it with another 20 amp

Please don't say a 12 amp breaker shouldn't be on 14/2 wire cause its against the code... I didn't install the wiring, I'm just trying to fix it

  • 1
    When you say 1 wire, do you mean one 3-conductor 14/2 cable? Can you edit some cropped, well-lit, in-focus photos into your question? Apr 8, 2018 at 9:56
  • 1
    Are the connections at the receptacles made with push-in holes in the backs of duplex receptacles? If so, these are a know failure point. Change to looping the wires around the screws and tighten firmly. Look for burned wires when you do this. (Code allows a 15-A breaker for 14 AWG wire; a 12-A breaker would be unnecessarily small.) Apr 8, 2018 at 10:56
  • It’s good that you realize you have a fire hazard and that part of the fix is to downsize the breaker to 15amp. You also also seem to think a circuit needs to have a single “end” when there can be many. @JimStewart is likely pointing you in the correct direction—failed backstab connection, it only takes one. (It’s also not going to be at one of those “ends” it’s going to be at a device that also feeds one or more other devices.) If there’s is anything else on the breaker? Your open circuit could be at a device that’s working, where the wire leaves to go to the next device.
    – Tyson
    Apr 8, 2018 at 11:42
  • All of the outlets on the breaker all read .## there's nothing near 120 volts and all the wires are pigtailed and tight, they go to the screws on a new receptacle
    – user70085
    Apr 8, 2018 at 12:22
  • Sorry that was 20 amp not 12 lol
    – user70085
    Apr 8, 2018 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


solved, I took the 3 wires off the outlet and found that 120 was going in to hot by testing ground to common, but 11.78 was being drawn from common and nuetral so the only possible explanation was that the wire from.the breaker box to the outlet which had to be the neutral wire, everything looked fine in the breaker box, everything tested 120 being pushed out, but taking a closer look the neutral wire was burnt but tight through the hole on the metal strip. taking even a closer look the neutral wire was about ready to break , it wiggled like a jelly bean. Changed it and boom power to my fridge, thank the Lord.

  • “Tight thru the hole”—which hole? Was that a backstab hole?
    – Tyson
    Apr 9, 2018 at 0:22
  • No the breaker box don't have a back stab, on the metal ground strip hole that's used for the neutral wires
    – user70085
    Apr 9, 2018 at 0:30

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