I have a homerun that goes directly to GFCI that is only getting 88 volts. From hot to ground is 122v, from neutral to ground is 23v. In the panel I am getting 122v also. I have 3 outlets past the GFCI and they are all reading the same.

  • Check the voltage, hot to neutral, where it connects to the GFCI, not from inside the slots.
    – JACK
    Jul 12, 2020 at 13:39
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Beware of measuring voltage with a DVM; they can pick up phantom voltages. And, props for taking our tour before posting; few newbies do. Jul 12, 2020 at 14:00
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    Put some sort of a decent load on it, like a 60 watt or so incandescent lamp and take your readings again and let us know what you see. DVMs on unloaded circuits can really mislead because they are so sensitive. If hot to neutral drops a lot, you may have an open neutral. Jul 12, 2020 at 14:30
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    Yes, put a load on this and see if the N-G voltage shoots up a bunch, that's a pretty clear telltale of a failed connection on the neutral. Jul 12, 2020 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


It sounds like the 23V is “phantom voltage” from capacitive coupling (read: picking it up like radio waves) from the adjacent hot wire. Sort of the way a crystal AM radio can make an earphone sound solely off power picked up from the airwaves, except instead of an earphone it’s a highly sensitive meter (most cheap DVMs are highly sensitive). That only happens if the neutral is disconnected at both ends.

It’s disconnected at the load end because all loads are turned off.

Go look for the reason it is disconnected at the service panel end. Either the connection at the breaker isn’t very good, or at the first receptacle, or (rather unlikely) the wire is broken enroute.

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