I checked the main breaker out at the meter it reads 240 coming out of the meter from leg to leg and 120 to neutral to hub on each side.

coming out of the of the disconnect breaker I read 120 on each leg to neutral but nothing leg to leg on the breaker it should read 240 leg to leg

the mystery is in my house it reads 120 to neutral on one side and 0 to neutral on the other with main off
and 120 across both legs together at the lugs supplying the main

with the main breaker on and all circuts on i get wired voltage all over with the 220 water heater off is when it shows the dead leg and normal readings on the side with power

what my question is what would cause the outside breaker to read ok on each leg separately but not 240 leg to leg

and then read nothing on one leg on my main wires and be fine on the 1other leg

if it were a neutral wire problem wouldn't I have problems on both legs inside if that were the case and if it reads ok on neutral to each leg coming out of the meter and 240 together

and 120 each side to neutral coming out of the main breaker but nothing leg to leg and inside show dead on one leg and 120 Leg to leg what could cause this it was fine before today update with all breakers and main off in house outside disconnect returns to 240 across and.house shows 120 on good and 2 across and 2 on bad side to neutral with main off and ,,120 across with main in house on with ,220 breakers off

  • 1
    Slow down, grab a beverage of choice, and try to edit this to be clear, including punctuation and that sort of thing. You are reporting some odd voltage readings, but it's a bit unclear under what exact conditions and at which exact locations you are reading them, and that sort of exactitude is needed to have any hope of getting to the root of your problem. i.e. in my house it reads 120 to neutral on one side and 0 to neutral on the other with main on or off and 120 across both legs together so you're getting voltage with the main shut off, or reading the voltage before the main?
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 23, 2022 at 21:41
  • 2
    If you are reading voltage after the main and with it in the off position, you need a new main. With main off, 0 is the only voltage reading you want on any wire/leg after it.
    – crip659
    Apr 23, 2022 at 22:05
  • Where is your meter/main relative to your house? Apr 24, 2022 at 17:14
  • the outside disconnect is about 30 ft from mobile home but there is no ground at that point the grounds and neutral are bonded and mixed inside main panel in the house I read 120 on each leg of main 0 across and have one dead leg in the house
    – John Minks
    Apr 24, 2022 at 22:24
  • See also this discussion. Apr 25, 2022 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


You have a bad phase. From what I can determine it is on your incoming. As for the 120V readings that is correct. For this to happen you need something turned on that is connected to the 220. That will act like a big heavy duty resistor connecting both phases together (it is backfeeding) . Similar problems like this happened a lot in bygone years when we had cartridge fuses as the main disconnect. The test would to check phase to phase on the incoming if it were 220 great and the output of the fuses was 0 one of the fuses was blown. The blown one could be determined by measuring from primary phase to the other phase on the output of the fuses. when we got a zero reading that was the fuse.

  • Any advice on where the problem lies? Apr 25, 2022 at 2:10
  • 1
    The disconnect breaker appears to be the problem. It has 220V in and 110V out. When closed you should get 220v out and 0 when open, phase to phase or ground..
    – Gil
    Apr 25, 2022 at 18:40
  • I have 240 now at disconnect when everything in house box is turned off I have 120 to ground going into house breaker on one side and 0 to neutral on the other and 120 across I think with breaker off and 2 , across when on and ,2 to neutral on the dead side with breaker on with house breakers on outside disconnect reads 0120 to neutral each side and 0 across
    – John Minks
    Apr 30, 2022 at 13:36
  • I think at this point your best approach is to hire an electrician and have the breaker replaced before you fry yourself.
    – Gil
    Apr 30, 2022 at 15:55

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