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Old 06-15-2008, 03:22 AM   #1
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Older home -- Open Ground issues, please help

I will try to make my long story short! Thanks in advance for any help.

I went to replace an old "front porch" light for my folks. As i was unscrewing the old light, i noticed "tiny" sparks when the light fixture rubbed against the siding of the house (Light switch turned off).

Existing light was extremely old (from the late 70's) and apparently did not have a ground on it (ground cable from the light switch was coiled up behind light fixture, but not attached.)

I noticed that the light tester lit up (showing constant current) when i touched the ground with it.

The circuit in question appears to have 5 outlets, 2 overhead lights (bedrooms), a switch to (and) light on front porch and another switch to a single outlet (making a total of 6 outlets.)

2 outlets on the circuit show that they are wired correctly and the ground wires to those 2 outlets show no power. But for every other switch/outlet they are showing current on the ground wire and an open ground when i plug my little tester into the outlet.

The ground leaving the Panel box for that circuit, shows no current like the grounds for the overhead lighting fixtures, some of the outlets and the switches.

I replaced (4) outlets (not the ones that tested correctly) and (3) of the (4) switches.

In the one room there is a florescent overhead lamp that was previously installed. I noticed that it does not appear to be grounded, didn't even see a ground cable on the fixture. Could this be my problem? All the other grounds in that junction box are all wire nutted together.

What could possibly be the issue?

Why would 2 of the 6 outlets work correctly?

Why am i getting a constant current on my ground wires, except for the (2) correctly working receptacles?

I spent a few hours chasing this gremlin down, but it just got to late to continue tonight. The circuit is turned off until it is corrected. Bad thing about it, is i am sure it has been like this for years!

Any leads to a resolution would greatly be appreciated!
Thank you,
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:41 AM   #2
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Look for an open ground connection in one of the boxes. It sounds like your grounding wire stops at some point.
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