So much for saying that I was having a good month. I thought I’d finish off the electrical work today and hook up the last outlets. All was going well until I turned the power back on. I’ve set things up so that in each box, the outlets on the left were on one circuit and the outlets on the right were in another. I have gcfi outlets in the first box where the power comes up through the basement. So it’s easy for me to turn off one circuit or another.

After hooking everything up, I turned the outlets on and all seemed good. However, then, I turned off one of the gcfi outlets. When I went to check the power, both outlets were on. Not good. I then switched the outlets that were on and off and had the same problem. Then, I turned off both outlets and found that I still read a little over a volt in each outlet. That seemed really strange to me. So then, I turned off all the breakers that I put in and didn’t read any voltage anywhere. So, I screwed something up. Now I just need to find out what. Since it’s somewhat late, I’ve decided to turn off all my breakers and relax for tonight. I’ll try attacking the problem again tomorrow.

Update: This is apparently a common issue when using a multimeter to take readings. They’re far too sensitive and detect phantom voltage. If you plug a load into these outlets that supposedly have no power, the voltage drops to zero. I still don’t quite understand why this happens, but it’s apparently quite common and not something I need to worry about.