Why You’re Not Getting 240 Volts (How To Fix It)

Why You’re Not Getting 240 Volts (How To Fix It)

This article will tell you why you’re not getting 240 volts. Appliances that use an unstable power supply are more likely to be burned out. If you don’t have a constant power supply, it’s necessary to get it fixed before your appliances need to be replaced or repaired. 

Have you ever plugged in an appliance and noticed that it didn’t work? You may have wondered why it wasn’t giving you the full voltage that it was supposed to. If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many people are experiencing this problem, and it can be fixed quite easily. 

There can be a problem with the supply, breakers, wiring, or anything else involved in the circuit. It’s possible that a professional electrician isn’t required for getting a fix. A faulty circuit breaker, loose connections, or dirty contacts are most likely to be the cause of not being able to get up and running. 

This will cause the connection to not be established and cause the flow of electricity to be stopped. Understanding the source of the problem can help you decide if you can fix it on your own or if you need the assistance of a professional.

In order to help you understand the probable reasons behind not getting the required 240V for your appliances, I have written this article that details most of the reasons along with a few possible ways of fixing them.

What Is A 240 Volt Socket?

Why You're Not Getting 240 Volts

A 240-volt socket is a type of power outlet that is commonly found in homes and businesses. It is used to provide power to various appliances, such as stoves, dryers, and other appliances that require a lot of power. A 240-volt socket can supply up to 240 volts of electricity.

How Does A 240 Volt Socket Work?

In order for a 240-volt socket to work properly, it must be plugged into an electrical socket. This socket is usually located in a home’s garage or kitchen. The power cord of the 240-volt socket will plug into the electrical socket and then be plugged into the appliance. When the appliance is turned on, it will draw power from the 240-volt socket.

There are two main types of 240-volt sockets: the three-pronged type and the four-pronged type. There are many different models and brands of 240-volt sockets, which makes it difficult to know which one to use.

Why You’re Not Getting 240 Volts

A bad circuit breaker, loose connections, and dirty contacts are some of the main reasons why you aren’t getting the power you need. There are a number of components involved in the electric circuit feeding your home appliance

The reason for the appliances not receiving 240V can be found in each of them. Here is a list of the most likely reasons that you won’t be getting 240V for your appliance:

Loose Connections

The voltage can go up when there is a loose connection in the appliance or the breaker circuit. The reading at the outlet may be different from the neutral reading on the ground connections. 

One spot may give a 0V reading, while the other may continue to give a 120V reading. You can easily check the power at the terminals with a non-contact voltage tester. The screws that connect the wires can show a loose connection as well.

Bad Circuit Breaker

A different reading between the two legs can be given by the main breaker. There is a chance of this happening due to a damaged bus bar in the breaker. If the main breaker doesn’t deliver the rated 240V reading between the two legs then it should be replaced immediately to avoid any serious damage to the appliances.

It is advisable to seek the assistance of a professional for getting the main breaker replaced, as it is life and held by a screw inside the circuit. The total cost, including the professional’s charges, may go as high as $300.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

When multiple loads are wired to the same circuit breaker, it can get tripped. To address this issue, you have to check the slots in which the circuit breakers are connected. 

The two legs of the supply should be connected properly by the wire that is connecting the breaker to them. If both wires are connected to one of the legs, the circuit breaker will trip and cause a difference in the rated output.

Unclean Contacts

Dust and other particles can cause the bus bar contacts of the main breaker to get stuck. There are contacts that can also be damaged by corrosive substances. 

This can lead to a loose connection, which in turn will cause the circuit to deliver a lower output. If you switch the main breaker on and off at least ten times, you can get the contacts cleaned and working as intended.

Safety Tip

There is a no-contact tester that you can use while handling the main breaker circuit. It is relatively safe to use these testers to indicate where power is located in the circuit.

Why Am I Only Getting 120 Volts On My Neutral?

The actual voltage on the neutral is determined by the electrical load on the house. It is expected that the neutral will have an ideal voltage of 120V. If the load is getting more power, the neutral won’t get 120 volts, which will result in a dip in the voltage. 

The voltage at neutral could go over 120V if all the electrical loads were turned off. It is acceptable if the range is up to a certain threshold. If you go beyond that range, the lights will get dim, and electronic appliances may not turn on at all.

Check The Connections

If the difference at neutral is significant, then the problem is often with a loose or broken wire. It could be a little difficult to check the neutral since it has connections to the entire circuit. If you discover broken wires, you can replace them immediately. The entire connections between the load and the supply unit need to be checked.

Load Test

The load’s role in determining the voltage at neutral has already been explained. You can run a load test to see if there is a problem with the voltage at neutral. 

If you don’t want to use your appliances, try to switch them off and check the voltage at neutral. Continue to increase the load and make sure the voltage is the same at each step.

120V on Each Leg but No 240V

There are a number of reasons for someone to read 120V on each of the two legs, but not the same amount on the other two legs. There are at least three probable reasons that could cause the variance.

Backfeed Voltage

The two legs can still show a 120V reading, even if the circuit is having a complete outage due to some faulty connection or component. The load back feeding a voltage to the supply unit is the reason for this.

Use of Inappropriate Breaker

It is possible to connect both legs on the same bus if you use an inappropriate breaker. It’s possible that this will cause a blow-up in the entire circuit. The breakers should be in sync with the panel for the supply to work as it is intended.

Damaged Leg

When one of the two legs is damaged, the 120V at the two legs can also be read. If there is a damaged leg, the two legs will show a 120V reading because of the other leg. It won’t be possible to get the expected 240V between the two legs.

240V Outlet Only Giving 120V

The recorded line-to-line voltage is usually 120V instead of the expected 240V. This can happen if there is an open leg, if there is a missing neutral or if there is a bad breaker. 

The line to ground voltage may not be the same but the line to line voltage may be reduced. The problem might lie with the load’s receptacle as well as the supply unit. In such a situation, the wire at the receptacle may not match the wire inside the junction box.

Troubleshooting A 240V Outlet That’s Not Working

A combined earth leakage detector and circuit breaker are usually found in the 240V outlets. The lead and plug is the only other thing that will be included in the investigation.

How To Troubleshoot A 240V Outlet

Why You're Not Getting 240 Volts

Check The Earth Leakage Safety Switch

The first thing to do is to check the Earth Leakage safety switch because it might have tripped due to an old connection. Make sure that this is not the reason by turning it on and off a couple of times.

Check The Lead And Plug

The control panel must have the outlet lead plugged into it. The 240V outlet won’t work if that is loose or unplugged.

Check The Control Panel And Outlet Connection

Sometimes the leads can get unplugged at the wrong end. If the lead is plugged incorrectly, you should be able to see it at both the control panel and outlet.

How to Test for Low Voltage on 240V Outlet

A no-touch tester for added safety can be used to test a 240V outlet. The tester needs to be adjusted with the correct setting. If the voltage is less than 220V, the load connected to this outlet may not function as it should.

Dryer Not Getting 240 Volts

The dryer might not get the correct amount of power if the bus bar connections are used. There are a few steps that can be used to identify and fix an issue.

Check the Load Receptacles

Make sure that the power is turned off before you start the test. If you want to check the terminals, remove the receptacles.

Test both Legs Individually

The power should be turned on if there are no visible problems with the receptacle. The voltage between the legs and the ground should be tested. There is a bad connection if the voltages at one of the legs are much lower than intended. 

Check the Receptacle Cable

The cable at the receptacle should match the one at the panel. There could be a bad connection at the receptacle if there is a different cable at the two ends.

Safety Tip

The bad connection needs to be spotted and fixed before the dryer is turned on. The dryer could be completely destroyed by doing that.

AC Not Getting 240 Volts

When the supply voltage is below the rated voltage, a 240V rated AC may operate properly. Sometimes the fan will work at a slower speed when it is not getting enough power. The indicator lights can also be used if the voltage received is less than 220V. 

120V is received by the AC when the neutral is not present. The fan and indicator lights do not require a neutral as this 120V is what operates them. In such a situation, the problem is a missing neutral wire. 

If the AC is not working, the problem can be with the breaker or the supply line that doesn’t have enough power. There are a few things you can do to fix an AC that isn’t receiving 240V.

Check The Wiring

The issue may lie with a missing neutral. A complete check-up of the wiring is required to identify the problem.

Check The Breaker Circuit

There may be a chance that the main breaker has incorrect connections if your AC is receiving a supply below the rated supply. The poles should be connected to the main breaker panel in a certain manner. The voltage received by the AC can change as a result of any changes.

Check The Supply Line

This is not a common occurrence, but it is still a possibility. It is possible that the supply line may not be0-240V at times. If you try to operate a 240V rated AC on that line, you will get a voltage that is below the mark. The 240V AC can’t be operated in that situation.


If you are getting 240V then congratulations, but if not then you can contact your electrician to get the right solution. I hope you liked this post about “why you’re not getting 240 volts (how to fix it)”. 

Hope that this post is helpful and informative. If you have any questions about a 240-volt socket, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section below.

Also Read:
How To Turn Off the Buzzer On A Dryer (Complete Steps)
Why Does My Refrigerator Keep Tripping The Circuit Breaker?

Reggie Burton is a technology expert with over nine years of experience in the field. He has worked extensively with both large and small businesses to help them optimize their tech infrastructure and improve their overall efficiency. Reggie is known for his calm demeanor and his ability to quickly assess a situation and find a solution. He is an invaluable member of any team, and his clients are some of the most satisfied in the business.

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