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Old 06-06-2012, 09:31 PM   #1
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hot/ground reversed


I have an outlet that shows "correct" on a 3 prong tester, but goes to "hot/grd reverse" as soon as I plug anything in. Other lamps on the same circuit are working. I replaced the breaker and checked for loose wires in the box, but no change. Do I have to start rewiring?

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Old 06-06-2012, 09:40 PM   #2
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hot/ground reversed


Is thr ground attached to the box as well as the outlet? Are the side "posts" brass and silver screws ,screwed down to the outlet?

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Old 06-06-2012, 09:46 PM   #3
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hot/ground reversed


Ground to box....no. The outlet is new, brass(hot) and silver(neut) screws are tight. (wires attached via push-in)
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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hot/ground reversed


This is a classic open or compromised neutral somewhere on the circuit. Logic tells us it is after or at the last working receptacle. Finding that receptacle is the trick.

Are the wires stuck in the back holes of the receptacles? This is a well known failure point.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:53 PM   #5
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hot/ground reversed


Thanks Speedy, I'll start checking all outlets on this circuit. yes, outlets are all push-in from '85. Compromised neutral means loose or touching a hot? Also, does it matter that my breaker box uses the same grounding bar for neutrals?
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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hot/ground reversed


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Thanks Speedy, I'll start checking all outlets on this circuit. yes, outlets are all push-in from '85.
Yup, that itself is a dead giveaway.


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Compromised neutral means loose or touching a hot?
No, as in loose or not making contact, as in open.



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Also, does it matter that my breaker box uses the same grounding bar for neutrals?
Nope, perfectly normal.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:41 PM   #7
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hot/ground reversed


Great info, thanks again! I'll follow-up when I find the solution.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:59 PM   #8
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hot/ground reversed


It hasn't been said so I will say it, move the wires to the screws. If there are no screws then replace the receptacles with ones that have screws.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:56 AM   #9
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hot/ground reversed


Make sure you unplug all the electrionics on this circuit and they tend to let some smoke out in these situation. (Although I suppose its probably too late at this point)
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:12 PM   #10
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hot/ground reversed


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Make sure you unplug all the electrionics on this circuit and they tend to let some smoke out in these situation. (Although I suppose its probably too late at this point)

Yes, I did. Three light fixtures were wired on this circuit so I disconnected them. When wired to another line, all were ok.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:01 PM   #11
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hot/ground reversed


Finally a follow-up. Speedy Petey said it at the beginning of this thread....
a compromised neutral. One note on the 3 prong tester, it fooled me at first.
It showed correct on the tester until I flipped on a ceiling light that was
hardwired on this circuit.
Many thanks for everyone's input.
Attached Thumbnails
hot/ground reversed-bad_outlet.jpg  

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Old 08-18-2012, 05:52 PM   #12
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hot/ground reversed


Feels good when you find the problem doesn't it?
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:32 PM   #13
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hot/ground reversed


Yes it does!
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:54 PM   #14
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hot/ground reversed


Hope you didn't back-stab the replacement receptacle!
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:04 PM   #15
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hot/ground reversed


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Hope you didn't back-stab the replacement receptacle!
Eh, i feel differently about this, but whatever...

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