The house I bought a couple years ago had a couple outlets in a small room in the basement that didn't work. Now I'm troubleshooting them. It's a finished basement so I can't tear down walls. There's a lot of troubleshooting already complete so I'll describe where I'm at now:
I'm at the first outlet in the circuit fed from my panel. With no power I have connected the hot and neutral wires at the outlet and tested for continuity: ok. I checked for resistance to ground: Infinite meaning ok. I've checked for shorts by testing the individual wires to ground: all ok. The breaker is fine. I even swapped breakers and not change. Symptoms: With open wires at the outlet (bare, not attached to anything), I read 120V between neutral and hot; I read ~60V between Hot and ground; I read ~60V between neutral and ground. I'm aware of ghost voltage and I have a Fluke meter set in LoZ mode. Measuring Hot to ground give me only a ~2.5V differential when I would expect to see ~120 Volts.
I was concerned about a borrowed neutral in the basement. The house was built in 1997. The power comes in from an underground feed from the city. The basement was finished a few years after that. I hooked my meter up to hot at the outlet location (measuring 60 volts) and proceeded to turn off and on all lights in the basement: no change. Then I had the wife systematically kill the power to EVERY breaker in the house one by one while I monitored for a change in the voltage on the goofy circuit: No change. Then I had her turn off every breaker except this one particular one. There is no power going to anything in the house except this one outlet (wires pulled off for measuring) now. No change: 60V hot to ground, 60V neutral to ground and 120Volt hot to neutral. I cannot see, or logically reason that there is anything between this outlet and the panel. No other circuits in the house are affected by this breaker, and with every single wire on the rest of the circuit disconnected, there is no power anywhere else. I'm at a loss. It's like there's something back feeding on the ground wire because I've pulled the hot and neutral wires off in the panel and I get no volts. So I pulled a outlet off a separate circuit on the main floor: Everything is normal.
My electrician friend over FaceTime suggested that I connect the ground and neutral wire at the outlet. It does make the problem go away, but I'm concerned that there is a potential that the ground wire while connected to neutral at the outlet creates a hazard if something were to short. And this is where the limit of my electrical knowledge leaves me. Thanks for reading and please help.