Wall outlet(receptacle) open ground

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Old 01-19-14, 11:38 AM
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Wall outlet(receptacle) open ground

I have a 30year+ old house. On some of my receptacles, when I use a tester, I get the indication that it's open ground. In the receptacles, the top outlet shows open ground while the bottom outlet give the correct indication. The box is metal, with a ground wire attached to it with a screw. Please see the pictures. Is this a problem with the receptacle or the wiring?

Thank you for taking the time to look at my problem.
 
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Old 01-19-14, 11:43 AM
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I would say it is a receptacle problem. Either replace the receptacle With a back wired, not back stabbed one, or conventional around the screw installation.
 
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Old 01-19-14, 11:49 AM
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You need to use a multimeter*, preferably analog, to do an accurate test. Grounding to a metal box serves no purpose unless the box is grounded. Using a multimeter measure between the alleged ground wire and the black. You should get ~120 volts. Check to the white also. Repeat the same tests but measuring to the box instead of the ground wire.

*A cheap, $8-$15 analog multimeter is a good tool for this. Cheap digital meters aren't recomended because they may be influenced by induced voltage.
 
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Old 01-19-14, 11:51 AM
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when I use a tester, I get the indication that it's open ground. In the receptacles, the top outlet shows open ground while the bottom outlet give the correct indication.
Those plug-in receptacle testers aren't highly reliable and frequently give bad test results when the problem is the tester not making good contact in the receptacle.
 
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Old 01-19-14, 12:20 PM
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Checked

Okay so I tested the wires using a multimeter and I did get 116.9 volts. So I assume the tester is broken?

Thanks for all the help.
 
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Old 01-19-14, 12:49 PM
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I assume the tester is broken
Probably not broken, just poorly designed or manufactured. Judging from the age and paint on that receptacle I'd replace the receptacle and try the tester again just for giggles. Be sure to use the screws not the back stabs.
 
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