Open Ground - how dangerous?

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  #1  
Old 03-11-01, 11:03 AM
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Prior to me moving into my 30 yr old the home inspector used one of those $5.00 testers you plug in to check each outlet. In the office, all outlets checked out ok except for one (on an outside wall). It showed "Open Ground." The inspector marked it as an issue. The seller of the home took the outlet out, capped the wires, and put a solid plate over the hole. I took the plate off, put a new outlet back on, and am still getting an open ground. Everything looks secure and I can't figure out why I'm getting this. But anyway, can I continue to use the outlet? I mean, I won't plug my computer into it - just the sewing machine. Am I in any danger?
 
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Old 03-11-01, 11:19 AM
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Well, there are probably tens of millions of ungrounded outlets used every day. So although it's not as safe as a grounded outlet, it's not necessarily an imminent deathtrap.

If you have a grounding wire in this box and it is connected to this outlet (you didn't say one way of the other), then the problem is probably in some other box on the same circuit. Figure out everything that's on this circuit, then turn off the breaker and check them out one by one. Look for a loose or disconnected grounding wire.

If your grounding is provided by conduit, it will be a little more difficult.
 
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Old 03-12-01, 04:23 PM
Wgoodrich
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A shot where you might want to look first on what John said;

If you have a bare wire in that receptacle box then try opening the nearest receptacle both ways from the receptacle with no ground, also look on the oppisite side of the wall on that same wall. For years accepted practice was to just twist the grounds. This can allow a loose connection to that dead grounding receptacle. Wire nut those twisted grounds or at least twist them more and see if you get the ground back in that receptacle that is missing its grounding connection.

One more place to try if the above fails then look in any ceiling light fixture boxes. Many times electricians skipped connecting grounding conductors in those ceiling light fixture boxes.

Hope this helps

Wg
 
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Old 03-12-01, 05:13 PM
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Question

would 210-7-d apply?

 
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Old 03-12-01, 05:33 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I did find something VERY interesting. The outlet across from the one in question, has two grounds - one coming down from the attic and one coming through the wall in from the bedroom on the other side of the wall. So, two rooms - on two different circuits are pluged into the same outlet?? Weird. My investigation will continue.

If I call an electrician in for this, any advice on selecting one? I live in the Chicago area. I've asked friends and co-workers but they didn't offer much help. One article said they should be in the Brotherhood of Electricians or something. Any advice would help.
 
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Old 03-12-01, 05:36 PM
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simply ask for licensed & insured

 
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Old 03-12-01, 06:14 PM
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Kevin, on what basis did you conclude that this outlet is on two circuits? Nothing you said indicates this. Unless you have more information you haven't mentioned, I think maybe you drew the wrong conclusion from these two wires. Many outlets on the same circuit have two cables -- one coming in and one going out.

Please provide more information.
 
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