So I bought a home built in the '70s. The circuit in question includes a couple of garage outlets, half of the spare bedroom outlets/light which shares a wall with the garage, hallway light, and an office add-on in the garage. I started replacing outlets and light switches, taking care to keep black with bronze, and white with silver posts on the outlets. I found a light switch in the spare room without the ground connected. Stupidly I reconnected it and moved on.
Next thing I know one of our lights in the living room (shares a wall with the bedroom) would turn on but dim. And if I turned the garage light on, the dim living room light would brighten.
Tried disconnected the ground to the light switch but it didn't fix anything. Figured maybe my memory was wrong and began disconnecting grounds from outlets one at a time to see if the problem went away. It didn't.
Then the next day the hall lights started flickering and I smelled burning. No breaker was thrown. I turned off the breaker, pulled apart all the outlets and light switches, turned the breaker back on and tested voltage.
I'm getting Open Neutral on many of the outlets (not all of them) and reading about 88v at many of them instead of 120v. At the outlet closest to the breaker box, I'm reading 120 on top, nothing on bottom. When I tie those wires together, I read 88v at the outlet. Light switches are reading 88v.
Not sure how to chase this down. My original thought was to dismantle all outlets/switches and start closest to the breaker box testing for 120v.
I think there was some shoddy work done with the garage add-on, as well as an added outlet in the spare room closet. Any ideas on what could be causing this and how to continue testing?