Hot/Ground Reverse Problem

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  #1  
Old 06-11-05, 07:14 PM
rlerman
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Unhappy Hot/Ground Reverse Problem

I have 20amp circuit with a GFCI outlet on it. All the outlets on the circuit started showing hot/ground reverse. I checked all the outlets and they appear to be wired properly: Hot (black) to brass, Neutral (white) to silver and green to ground. The GFCI testing mechanism does NOT work properly and I am not sure if it is because of the reverse condition or it is a bad GFCI outlet that needs to be replaced.

Any thoughts on what the problem might be.

Also, what exactly does hot/ground reverse mean?

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 06-11-05, 07:28 PM
ampz's Avatar
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Does the GFCI shutdown all the receptacles down-line? If its an older GFCI receptacle it is possible that the wiring for it is reversed & still work {although it wont open the circuit if a fault occurs}.Newer GFCIs have an indicator light when not wired correctly & will not work.By the way hot/ground revesed means that the hot{black or red} is on the white terminal ,the white is on the hot terminal
 
  #3  
Old 06-11-05, 07:29 PM
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The problem might be that the hot and neutral are reversed. Did this just happen, or has it always been this way? Did you check the wiring at the source? Did you check EVERY receptacle, light and junction box on this circuit?
 
  #4  
Old 06-11-05, 07:32 PM
rlerman
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Blacks are all on the brass screws and whites are all on the silver screws. Are you saying to switch them so that the hot (black) is on the silver screw and the neutral is on the brass screws?
 
  #5  
Old 06-11-05, 07:34 PM
rlerman
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This just happened and all outlets down the line are affected (show same condition)
 
  #6  
Old 06-11-05, 07:34 PM
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No. Do not switch them. Check every location on this circuit where wires connect. Every light, every receptacle, every junction box. And check the circuit breaker box.
 
  #7  
Old 06-11-05, 07:35 PM
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You have a wire disconnected somewhere, or a break in a wire.
 
  #8  
Old 06-11-05, 07:36 PM
rlerman
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any chance it's a bad GFI outlet...as I mentioned in first post, testing mechanism does not work.
 
  #9  
Old 06-11-05, 07:54 PM
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When you say the test button on the gfci doesnt work do you also mean that nothing is working that is plugged into this gfci and are the down stream outlets protected by this gfci .. ie .. connected to the load terminals of the gfci?
 
  #10  
Old 06-11-05, 08:10 PM
rlerman
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yes. I just took off the GFCI outlet and replaced it with a regular 20a outlet and now the reading on the tester says "open neutral". Does this offer any more clues? seems odd that it would just stop working all of a sudden.
 
  #11  
Old 06-11-05, 08:19 PM
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This is why I asked. The hot/ground reverse is another indication of an open neutral, Somewhere on your circuit your white wire has a poor connection, has come apart or commonly if the receptacles are backstabbed one of these backstabbed connections has failed.
 
  #12  
Old 06-11-05, 09:35 PM
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Several of the posts in this thread have gone off on a tangent because they answered your questions as if you had said hot/neutral reverse, when in fact you said hot/ground reverse. The hot and ground are virtually never reversed, and has already been stated, hot/ground reverse is simply an indication of an open neutral. Search this forum for the past several months for "open neutral" and you'll see that this is a very common problem. If you read the eariler threads, you'll find out how to solve this problem. It's not hard, but it can be a bit time-consuming and you need to be thorough.

Having it stop working all of a sudden is the common failure mode. As stated before, it's almost always a failed backstab connection. They usually fail under high current, such as from a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner.
 
  #13  
Old 06-14-05, 10:54 AM
rlerman
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thought I would just follow up on this...Had an electrician in today and he could not locate the problem, nothing wrong at any of the outlets. he suggested a nail or staple had pierced the line somewhere within the wall. He ran a new circuit and switched the GFI from the first outlet to the last outlet on the circuit and disconnected the initial feed off the first outlet, essentially reversing the order of the outlets and rendering the original line in the wall dead. Took about 1.5 hours to diagnose and fix, not too bad.
 
  #14  
Old 06-14-05, 11:30 AM
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Glad you got it fixed. I would bet if you persued it further you would find a buried connection inside the wall.
 
  #15  
Old 06-14-05, 11:39 AM
rlerman
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more time consuming though and messy since I would have to cut holes in the wall. It's a home run circuit and runs up from my basement to the attic and down to the kitchen. Don't asky why they ran it that way, I don't know, but it was probably low bid electricians that helped build my Hovnanian house.
 
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