My understanding of the way that power distribution worked in the US was that the pole pig or distribution transformer dropped down from the higher voltage to a 240 volt secondary winding, but that this winding had a center tap which was connected to and used as 'ground'. So if you ignore the center tap and just connect to each end you should always get 240 VAC (or 220 depending on local conditions). There are 3 wires entering my house that go to my breaker box. An uncovered aluminum ground wire that connects to the ground bus and two black insulated wires that connect to my 100 amp main breaker which then connects to the two hot buses. If I connect my multimeter across the two hot wires connected to the main breaker I get a reading of 0 volts. There doesn't seem to be any voltage across them at all. But the reason I am able to type on this computer right now is that there is a voltage (109 volts) between each of those insulated 'hot' wires and the aluminum ground wire. main breaker wire 1 to ground wire = 109 volts main breaker wire 2 to ground wire = 109 volts main breaker wire 1 to main breaker wire 2 = 0 volts. I don't understand how this is possible if my understanding of power distribution is correct. How could you have a transformer secondary winding where you had voltage between the center tap and each end but not from end to end? I have had this problem since the summer. So it can't be a problem with the distribution transformer itself or the electric company would have fixed it by now because other people would have complained when their stoves and electric dryers stopped working. Actually I only noticed the problem when my instantaneous hot water heater stopped working. Oh, and the electric meter doesn't seem to work. I'm wondering if the broken meter is somehow causing this. Although I don't see how. Any ideas?