Outlet Grounded or Not Grounded

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  #1  
Old 09-24-06, 11:24 AM
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Outlet Grounded or Not Grounded

As I couldn't find my simple neon tester, I borrowed my landlord's to determine which was the hot and which was the neutral recently when repairing some of the wiring around my house.

My tester is a just a simple light with two prongs. His was fancier and had four lights indicating the voltage. His tester showed few of the outlets in the house were grounded.

Taking the cover off the breaker box, his major discovery was most wires leading out to branch circuits consisted of the hot and neutral. So, he concluded that would account for some of the outlets not being grounded.

Now, I find my tester and while his showed these outlets not grounded, mine clearly shows them as having one.

So what's going on?
 
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  #2  
Old 09-24-06, 11:35 AM
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Th terms "landlord" and "my house" do not go together. If this is truly a rental house, do no do any electrical work. It is undoubtedly illegal for you to do this. It is also very foolish for you to do so.

More explanation of your landlord's tester, his/her test method, and your tester and test method are needed for us to answer the question of what is going on. Either a ground is present, or one is not present. One method of testing is incorrect.

Perhaps the ground is supplied via conduit. Perhaps the receptacle ground is improperly connected to the neutral wire. There are many things that can be going on, but without more information a proper answer cannot be given.

I will say this again. Do not do any electrical work if you are renting this house. Testing is one thing, but repairs and upgrades are another.
 
  #3  
Old 09-24-06, 12:04 PM
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This is a rental house. Perhaps I should have said his house but my home.

These are simple probe testers with a clip and neon light that can be bought for less than two bucks. His is a probe tester with four or five neon lamps that indicate 110/120, 220/240, etc. Mine is the simple clip and neon lamp.

Lightning struck the house and took out several things including the dimmer switch in the bathroom. As I considered it to be a fire hazard and rather than wait for him to "get a round to it," decided to replace it myself.

Knowing it's an old house and the people he had previously contracted to update the wiring were a bit shady in their work, I wanted to make sure that the switch had been wired to the hot; I found that the wiring in the house is not consistant and not up to code.

His tester clearly lights at 110/120 in a regular outlet but when probing the hot and ground, does not light. With my tester, it brightly lights when probed into the hot and neutrals and glows faintly when probed with the hot and ground.

My concern was that the lightning strike had taken out the ground.
 
  #4  
Old 09-24-06, 12:18 PM
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Have your landlord get a contractor in there. If not call the town/city houseing authority. Or local electrical inspector.
 
  #5  
Old 09-24-06, 12:39 PM
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You definitely need a proper and thorough inspection after a lightning strike. ANything you ior the landlord does is not a thorough inspection.

If the klandlord balks, tell him you will spewak with your lawyer and the town fire inspector. This is nothing to let go and nothing to delay.
 
  #6  
Old 09-24-06, 01:21 PM
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Well, I seriously doubt he'll bring in someone that's licensed.

Last time there was a problem with the electrial system and a breaker tripping, I brought to his attention that I had counted 28 outlets and/or lightfixtures on that one breaker. Why it was wired like this, I don't know. His suggestion was to increase the size of the breaker. Fortunately, I talked him out of that.

It's a 125 amp breaker box wired to a 100 amp main breaker at the meter. I think an electric stove, water tank and dryer alone is reaching a hundred; tack on eletric heaters, etc. and we're talking a lot more amps.

From my experiences with this landlord, my best solution is to let him have it and buy my own house, which I've been thinking of doing for a while.

I really don't like the idea of the house not being properly grounded which I don't think it is.
 
  #7  
Old 09-24-06, 02:31 PM
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Try that tester with one prong in the hot of the outlet and the other on your wet thumb. It will light dimm.

Your tester showed the same as his.. NO Ground.

There is also no llimit to the number of outlets that can be on one circuit.
 
  #8  
Old 09-24-06, 03:16 PM
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Talking

See post #4.

1 Phone call and a mans mind can be changed.

You have the upper hand, don't forget that.
 
  #9  
Old 09-25-06, 07:15 AM
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Now I understand after your replies and looking at a couple of diagrams. When touching the hot wire to the ground with an electricial tester, the ground becomes the neutral. As they both come from the same bar, the ground is acting sort of like a second neutral when testing to see which is the hot and which is the neutral.
 
  #10  
Old 09-25-06, 07:24 AM
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While I liked living here, I've decided to buy my own house. My landlord's attitude is whatever's cheaper. He told me the wiring in his house is still the old style ceramic insultator type.

We were doing some remodelling, painting, etc. and he had worked on part of the floor and plumbing. But considering what's left that needs to be done on this house, it's doubtful he could it ready to rent within six months.

I'd been gone for several months to my mother's house as she'd had an operation. I come back and a few days later discover a snake in the house. I call his wife and she kind of thought that was funny. I didn't.
 
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