A 127 volt electrical receptacle in my kitchen in Brazil appears to have a problem. Could be a coincidence, but after moving the frig to clean behind it (it was never tilted) and plugging it back in, almost immediately a relay popped with a burning smell. The frig was repaired but before plugging it in again, I checked the voltage and the amperage in the receptacle using an old fan I could afford to lose if the receptacle was defective. The voltage looks perfect: 127 volts with hot (black) to neutral (blue); 127 volts with hot to earth ground (green) and 0 volts neutral to earth ground. The amperage reading appears to suggest a problem. 3.7 amps on the hot wire and 5.3 amps on the neutral. It’s my understanding that the neutral should be 0 amps no matter what the hot is reading. What am I missing ? Thanks, Tom
Well, it isn't unusual for neutral current flow to differ from hot current flow, when the circuit is a multi-wire branch circuit.
Brazil uses a compromise voltage of 127V hot-neutral and 220V hot-hot. This lets them be compatible with USA's 120V hot-neutral and 240V hot-hot (within 8% anyway, which is fine). This allows them to deliver 3-phase power to the house. (127 x sqrt(3) = 220).
So on a Brazilian multi-wire branch circuit, there may be up to 3 hots sharing the neutral. Activity on the other hots would account for the differing current.