Ground Indicator Light

Old 01-16-05, 02:18 PM
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Ground Indicator Light

I just got a new surge supressor that has a ground indictor light.

The indicator light is not lit when I plug it into many outlets in my house (it's on in some outlets though).

Is this a major problem? Do I have to have it fixed? What does an electrician need to do to fix it?

Old 01-16-05, 02:51 PM
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Location: Central New York State
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What this is indicating is that those receptacles are not properly grounded. This could be for several reasons.

Someone could have put in three prong receptacles and not hooked up the ground. (Easily corrected, incorrect installation job.)

There may be no ground for those circuits ( Not easily corrected, illegal installation.)

The ground may have become disconnected somewhere along the way. (Hard to find, may be easy or not so easy to fix).

Do not use your surge suppressor on the ungrounded circuits, as it probably won't work. Also, do not use sensitive electronic equipment that needs a ground (basically any electronic equipment that comes with a three prong plug) on the ungrounded circuits.

Your task is to determine why those particular receptacles are not grounded. Do this by turning the breaker off and by removing the cover plate and then removing the two screws holding the receptacle in place and then gently pulling the receptacles away from the box. If there is no bare or green ground wire, and if the cables in your house are not encased in conduit, then you have no ground. Post back with the results.

I have another concern, which should be investigated. My concern is that some of the receptacles that show as grounded may not be properly grounded.

How old is the house? Where do you see the ground light lit, and where is it out (what rooms). have any of the rooms been remodeled/refinished? Has any of the electrical been updated? Answers to those questions will help us to know what sort of problems you are looking at.

Finally, please keep this in mind. An incorrect method of grounding a receptacle is usually more dangerous than no ground at all.

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