Electrical outlet tester - no ground

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  #1  
Old 07-10-11, 10:54 PM
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Electrical outlet tester - no ground

Is it of any use to test 2-prong outlets with no ground with an outlet tester? I cut off the ground plug on one and it says they're good, but I don't know if that's reliable with the ground cut off. If that changes the effectiveness of the tester, do they sell 2 prong testers?
 
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Old 07-11-11, 03:24 AM
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Destroy the tester you bought. You should never have modified it from it's intended use. If you need to test only hot and neutral, you could use the tester with a "cheater" plug. All you are testing is the positioning and existence of the hot and neutral. It will always say "no ground".
 
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Old 07-11-11, 05:33 AM
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The answer to your first question is no.

The answer to your second question is a qualified no, because anything that indicates the presence of voltage (voltmeter, light bulb, outlet tester rendered useless by cutting off the equipment ground contact) will show that there is voltage but the correct attachment of the hot and neutral leads to particular contacts is not able to be defined. It is the orientation of the connections that a three wire tester is used to determine.

You have already destroyed the functionality of your tester. Now you need to physically destroy (hammers come to mind) that tester, as Chandler states, because it is no longer capable of correctly testing anything.
 
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Old 07-11-11, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
If you need to test only hot and neutral, you could use the tester with a "cheater" plug. All you are testing is the positioning and existence of the hot and neutral. It will always say "no ground".
How is this different electrically from cutting off the ground prong? Sounds like the exact same thing to me. It did not say "no ground".
 
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Old 07-11-11, 09:52 AM
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There's no good/easy way of testing two prong outlets for anything other than "do they work". A tester (or lamp or radio) will tell you if there is power at the receptacle, but it can't tell you whether it's wired correctly or not.

If you have a neon light tester (the ones with two leads coming out of it that can be stuck into the receptacle), you might be able to test the hot (smaller) prong to the cover plate screw. Though it might not be grounded sufficiently to function as a real equipment/safety ground, it may be able to confirm that the 2-prong receptacle is wired correctly and not reversed.

What exactly do you think the issue is that you're testing for?
 
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