I have an APC battery backup and surge protector for my computer. It has a light, labeled "Building wiring fault." This light is on, and my computer will not start. I am unemployed and my landlord is useless, so I bought a multi-meter (Etekcity MSR-C600). Checking voltages at the outlet, I found the following:
- Hot to neutral: 117.5
- Hot to ground: 60.8
- Neutral to ground: 55.9
I then checked the voltage several other outlets. All of them have the same hot to neutral voltage, but the hot to ground and neutral to ground vary considerably. For example, another socket had:
- Hot to ground: 77.2
- Neutral to ground: 36.5
Is this sufficient to tell me the most likely cause of the problem? I'm guessing that hot and neutral are cross-wired or shorted in some outlet. Is that probably correct? This circuit is rather overloaded, but it does not seem to me like that should cause the low hot to ground voltage and the high neutral to ground voltage that I observe, unless there is a partial short in some appliance.
All the outlets in my apartment are on a single circuit. How do I go about locating and identifying the actual wiring problem?