I have a switched outside outlet (the switch is inside and the conduit runs underground to the outlet). When I flip the switch, my voltage reader reads power at the switch. However, when I test the wires at the outlet (as opposed to the outlet itself, which is a gfi) I get no power reading. If there were a break in the line I thought I would have a breaker trip when I flip the switch.

My question is why I am unable to detect power on the electrical line at the outlet. I'm using a Klein NCVT-2 dual range volt tester. I have checked all other gfi and outdoor outlets, and they are working. It's hard to imagine that the conduit was compromised, so I don't understand why I'm not picking up some power. The outlet worked once upon a time but the protective cover was destroyed and the outlet was exposed to weather.

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    what is your question? – jsotola Apr 6 '19 at 22:20
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    A break in the line won’t trip the breaker, a short across the circuit or to the grounding conductor will trip the breaker. A short to earth itself may trip the breaker but probably will just leak a little voltage, not enough to trip a standard breaker. – Tyson Apr 6 '19 at 23:49
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    Any chance there is a second upstream GFCI at the house that’s also part of that switched circuit? – Tyson Apr 6 '19 at 23:55
  • How are you testing for voltage? – ThreePhaseEel Apr 7 '19 at 2:15
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    Disconnect the wires from the circuit ( at the switch and the outlet) and test for continuity on each wire. Also, look for signs of surface corrosion. I fixed an electrical issue last week (doorbell) where the wires were simply corroded. A light sanding fixed the issue. ( Obviously, with the breaker off! ) – Jason Apr 8 '19 at 3:18

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