Receptacle Replacement?

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  #1  
Old 10-10-05, 06:35 PM
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Question Receptacle Replacement?

I am gonna get inspected and decided to check all electrical. This is all existing from when I bought the house and all I did was switch older receptecles with new ones.

I bought the quick tester you plug into outlet. All is fine but one. It says OPEN NUETRAL. What is that and can I fix it?? Should I just call and electrician?? Is it dangerous???

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Last edited by mexican163; 10-10-05 at 06:39 PM. Reason: wrong word
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  #2  
Old 10-10-05, 06:44 PM
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An open ground means that there is no ground connection. The third prong of the receptacle is open (not connected to anything). Were the receptacles you replaces two prong receptacles?

Years ago the wiring used for most non-kitchen work did not have a ground wire. The wiring was two wires only, because the receptacles were two wire only. Now all wiring is grounded.

One of two things has happened, both of which you need to correct.

Either you improperly connected the new receptacles you bought, skipping the ground wire; or there was no ground wire for you to connect.

If there is no ground wire then you should not have installed three prong receptacles. You should only have installed two prong receptacles. Take them out and install the two prong variety, or provide GFCI protection and use the "No Equipment Ground" stickers.

If there is a ground wire (or other grounding means) then you need to properly connect the receptacles.


Now the hard problem. The inspector will most likely make you properly ground these receptacles. That MAY mean running new wire to all of the receptacles.
 
  #3  
Old 10-10-05, 07:21 PM
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Bob apparently misread your post, or you edited it after he read it. His answer would have been excellent if you had reported an OPEN GROUND.

An open neutral is not usually dangerous, but it does mean that the receptacle won't work. I.e., you can't plug a lamp in there and have it work.

The most common cause of an open neutral is a failed backstab connection (wire poked into a hole) of a white wire. It is either at the receptacle which reports the open neutral, or at one of the receptacles nearby in the same room or sharing the same wall. Shut off the breaker and move all white wire connections from the backstab to the adjacent screw. Make most excellent connections.
 
  #4  
Old 10-10-05, 07:27 PM
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Well I know I read OPEN GROUND. So ignore my answer this time, and go with John's.

An additional note after reading your PM. If one single receptacle is showing an open neutral, then your problem isn't too bad. The problem is either at this one receptacle or at the receptacle just before this one. Look for the failed connection that John has described. Start at the receptacle showing the problem, and then try to guess what the previous receptacle is and check there. Eventually you will find it.
 
  #5  
Old 10-11-05, 03:33 AM
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Thanks

Sorry about the mixup RACRAFT, I originally put GROUND but then edited it for NUETRAL.

The outlet works fine, it has tv plugged in right now (i listen to ESPN while I work)

Thanks for all your help guys. I appreciate it greatly. Will let you know how it all turns out.
 
  #6  
Old 10-11-05, 04:50 AM
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If the receptacle works then it does not have an open neutral. It might have an open ground and work fine, but an open neutral means it won't work. It's possible it has an intermittent neutral, which should be corrected the same as an open neutral.
 
  #7  
Old 10-11-05, 06:41 AM
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Fixed It

Tester stated OPEN NUETRAL (the three light $3 tester) I went and opened it up and redid the connection to the outlet and tester says CORRECT. Musta been that intermittent nuetral. Thanx

Thanks for all your help. This place is awesome thanks to you.


 
  #8  
Old 10-11-05, 06:43 AM
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Okay, that makes sense now.
 
  #9  
Old 10-11-05, 07:32 AM
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Throw this tester away and buy a new one. This one has been dropped too many times.
 
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