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Old 08-27-2009, 04:11 PM   #16
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Yep, worth logging in and reading today for sure. I done learned something here: Update my old yeller one with the new fangled red one with the button. Thanks Dave for posting the picture and info. David
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Old 08-27-2009, 04:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
Yep, worth logging in and reading today for sure. I done learned something here: Update my old yeller one with the new fangled red one with the button. Thanks Dave for posting the picture and info. David
Don't get hung up on the color. There are yellow ones with the GFCI test button on them also, depends on the manufacturer.

Just sayin'
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:57 PM   #18
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Me too


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Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
Yep, worth logging in and reading today for sure. I done learned something here: Update my old yeller one with the new fangled red one with the button. Thanks Dave for posting the picture and info. David
I have the yellow one guess it's time to update.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
I have one & according to the lights it checks for:
open ground
open neutral
open hot
hot/ground reversed
hot/neutral reversed
But the OP is looking for neutral and ground reversed and it's not gonna happen.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:11 PM   #20
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I think even inside a receptacle the ground and neutral are bonded, so yeah can't check for reversal other then visually and technically I don't think it would even do a difference if it was reversed - I'd still want to fix it though, I'm anal like that. But from a technical point of view it would not do anything. I may be wrong on this though, but I'm pretty sure I remember seeing a broken receptacle once and it was bonded inside. I have some old ones I should break them to check. But even if it's not the case, they are bonded at the panel.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:16 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I think even inside a receptacle the ground and neutral are bonded, so yeah can't check for reversal other then visually and technically I don't think it would even do a difference if it was reversed - I'd still want to fix it though, I'm anal like that. But from a technical point of view it would not do anything. I may be wrong on this though, but I'm pretty sure I remember seeing a broken receptacle once and it was bonded inside. I have some old ones I should break them to check. But even if it's not the case, they are bonded at the panel.
No, that is incorrect

Also, even though they are bonded at the panel, having the ground and neutral reversed at a receptacle could potentially be dangerous. The ground is (or at least should be) bonded to all metal enclosures and equipment connected to that circuit. If the ground is acting as a neutral then any bonded metal surface between that receptacle and the panel could be carrying current, when it shouldn't be. Not a good situation.

Last edited by EBFD6; 08-27-2009 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:23 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by RudyWong View Post
However, he stated that some of my outlets have the neutral and ground wire reversed. I don't know if he is telling the truth. I don't want to get ripped off.
well, back to the OP...

unless the electrician opened them and LOOKED, he has no other way of telling, right? or is there more info we're not getting?

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Last edited by DangerMouse; 08-27-2009 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:28 PM   #23
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Brass is black
Silver is Neutral
Green is ground

I'm thinking that should be universal ?



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Old 08-27-2009, 07:39 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by EBFD6 View Post
No, that is incorrect

Also, even though they are bonded at the panel, having the ground and neutral reversed at a receptacle could potentially be dangerous. The ground is (or at least should be) bonded to all metal enclosures and equipment connected to that circuit. If the ground is acting as a neutral then any bonded metal surface between that receptacle and the panel could be carrying current, when it shouldn't be. Not a good situation.
Ah kinda figured it was not that way though I could have sworn I've seen it, was it maybe this way before?

And yeah I'd definably not leave a ground being used as neutral anywhere. I've seen this, but with the hot. Not pretty. A little surprise when your finger swipes by the switch plate screws.

But yeah for the OP, I'd simply unscrew it and check or get the tester. It's fairly trivial to wire if it is in fact reversed. Make the wire "curl" in same direction the screw turns when you tighten it, put wire in, screw it until it's tight. Just turn off the power! I've seen pros do it when it's live and it's safe if you really really know what you're doing and are agile, but to make things easier and guarantee safety just shut it off.

Last edited by Red Squirrel; 08-27-2009 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:17 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
But the OP is looking for neutral and ground reversed and it's not gonna happen.
When measured with respect to any other known good outlet ground terminal,
the ground of the outlet under test will read zero volts if there is no ground fault on the circuit under test and
the neutral of the outlet under test will read a few dozen mV if there are appliances on that circuit that are drawing current. If they are drawing 10A you could see 1 vac.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 08-28-2009 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:27 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post

33 years in this trade and never owned one of these. I guess it could be of use once every 15 or so years.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:59 AM   #27
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I used it when looking at houses to buy
Then after we moved in I did a quick check of each outlet
It's been in my toolbox ever since
It was worth it on some of the older houses that had a 3 prong outlet - but did not have a ground



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Old 08-28-2009, 02:33 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
33 years in this trade and never owned one of these. I guess it could be of use once every 15 or so years.
So you don't use one when doing a walk-through before leaving a job?
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:40 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
So you don't use one when doing a walk-through before leaving a job?
He's just that good
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:51 PM   #30
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"Ientifying" Neutral & Ground with tester???


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I've never really thought about until just now, but how could an outlet tester possibly know if the ground and neutral were reversed?
You're right. To my knowledge the only DEVICE that could REALLY distinguish between GROUND and NEUTRAL is a GFCI (receptacle or breaker)! Those standard (supposedly) testers do not have all the internal parts of GFCIs. So I don't have confidence in them and don't rely on them. (They're nice gadgets, though.) I've owned one such tester that came along as a bonus with a "Circuit Identifier". Which wasn't worth much, either! (Now more than ever)Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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