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cwlorentz 01-25-2011 01:51 AM

Underground wire break?
The flourescent lights in my garage have started flipping on and off. I checked voltage and I am only getting between 80-95 volts while this is happening. At other times I am getting 105-118. We installed a new deck and I am concerned that the underground wire to the garage was damaged. Our electric bill has gone up 75% in the last year. Can the power be bleeding into the ground and how can I tell. We have one 40 amp 220 line running to the garage that is connected to a small breaker box.

How can I test the integrity of the 100' underground cable without digging it up.


JoeD 01-25-2011 07:27 AM

I would say a break is likely. Yes you can be bleeding power to ground.

Speedbump 01-25-2011 08:57 AM

You could turn off all breakers in the garage, then put an amp meter on the line feeding the garage as close to the 40 amp breaker as possible. If you get a reading, it's leaking.

You can also take the wires off the breakers at both ends and test both wires to ground with an ohm meter. Your reading should be infinity.

cwlorentz 01-25-2011 05:56 PM

Thanks for the ohm meter idea. I am not an electrician and would not have thought of such an easy way to test the wire on my own. I will disconnect breakers tomorrow and test.

Thanks again

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