hot/ground reversed

Old 04-26-03, 09:39 AM
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Unhappy hot/ground reversed

Had an electrical storm yesterday, and now the M/bedroom fan/lights, some outlets, and the M/bath lights don't work. (both GFI's test "OK")
Used a circuit tester on dead outlets, result: "hot/ground reversed" Multimeter shows 121.6 volts from ground to either, white or black on all dead outlets.
Unplugged all devices (everything), retested working outlets and they still check "OK" - non-working still test "hot/ground reversed" and 121.6 v @white or black to ground.
Checked working outlets in the house again and all breakers in panel, everything is 121.6 volts, with no dead breakers.

What do I need to do now?

Old 04-26-03, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
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Hot/ground reverse is always a false indication of a open neutral.

(Aside: Is "always" too strong? Has anybody here ever actually reversed the hot and ground? Nobody is that stupid, are they?)

You have an open neutral, or a failed GFCI receptacle. You either didn't really unplug everything, or you failed to shut off all light switches too. Once you really disconnect everything (receptacles and lighting and smoke detectors), your tester will properly show open neutral. However, I do not suggest you go to all that trouble. Just trust me -- you have an open neutral.

Here's what to do:[list=1][*]Shut off the breaker.[*]Open up every receptacle and switch and lighting box on this circuit. Start with the receptacles that displayed the fault, and move on the the adjacent receptacles, and finally to all the rest of the boxes on the same circuit no matter where they are. Move all backstabbed (shoved into holes in the back) white wire connections to the adjacent screws. Check all wire nuts for good connections (pull on each wire to see if it comes out of the wire nut).[*]If that fails, replace the GFCI receptacle on the circuit, if any.[*]If that still fails, have a qualified person check the neutral connections inside the panel.[/list=1]
Old 04-26-03, 07:12 PM
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Thumbs up reversed hot/ground

Thanks so much for your help. after re-checking, found someone had left the closet light switch on.
I plugged in tester, turned the switch off, and the "reversed fault" now shows open neutral.
Now, all I need to do is trace the open neutral...

Thanks again John


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