Hot/Ground Reverse?

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Old 10-09-17, 12:26 AM
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Hot/Ground Reverse?

Tried tracing a problem in my home where electrical outlets and lights decided to stop working, checked breaker and seen nothing wrong, wasnt tripped. I buy a Socket Tester and all the problematic outlets came back as Hot/GRD Reverse. I never could trace the problem to anything, I checked out light fixtures affected with a Voltage Detector Pen, it would give beeps indicating it was getting voltage, it seemed to be getting these readings on the entire circuit, I figured the GFCI was at fault but unsure, reset button dont work and my guess is because of the fault and it not getting correct power, it would even show as Hot/GRD Reverse. I am stumped on where this problem is, could the breaker be at fault due to it being only 15 AMP and it having to power as much as it is in the diagram I show? Prior to the failure, lights would flicker very lightly and constant which made me think it was a breaker gone bad, any suggestions? below is the diagram of whats on the circuit, whats in green is in between on another circuit that works.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 12:56 AM
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Hot/ground reversal often means a missing neutral. Missing neutral would cause the receptacles (and lights) to not work but still activate a proximity voltage detector.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 01:44 AM
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I buy a Socket Tester and all the problematic outlets came back as Hot/GRD Reverse. I never could trace the problem to anything, I checked out light fixtures affected with a Voltage Detector Pen,
As Furd wrote socket [sic] testers are problematic at best. Non contact testers are an oxymoron. They can't be used for real testing. You need a multimeter, preferably analog, to do any real testing. An $8-$15 one will do fine. Digital may look cool but they can give misleading results so best to buy an analog meter.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 11:47 AM
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Missing neutral would cause the receptacles (and lights) to not work but still activate a proximity voltage detector.

Agree 100%. My experience when a plug-in receptacle tester indicates Hot-Grd Reverse that the problem has always been no neutral. Give that non-contact tester to your kids to play with, they are nothing much more than a toy, but they do generate a lot of profit for the big box home stores. They sell millions of them.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 12:42 PM
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Whats the neutral wire? In breaker box?
 
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Old 10-09-17, 12:55 PM
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Whats the neutral wire? In breaker box?
The white wire in a 120 volt circuit is the neutral and terminates on the neutral bus in your panel.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 01:46 PM
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Found problem. It was a burnt out ground in breaker panel. Crumbled in my hand when i removed it and cut it and put it back on.
 

Last edited by wwepatriot; 10-09-17 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 10-09-17, 03:54 PM
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It was a burnt out ground in breaker panel.
Grounds are normally non functional. They should carry no power. They are there for safety only. You need to find out why it burnt. That could indicate a serious problem. Or was it really a neutral with white insulation.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 06:40 PM
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Neutral with white insulation.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 07:23 PM
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Neutral with white insulation.
So not a ground wire. Grounds and neutral serve different purposes.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 07:40 PM
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Burnt out white wire sounds like an overloaded neutral from a mis-wired multi-wire branch circuit (MWBC). Was this white wire part of a cable that also had a black and red wire?
 
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Old 10-09-17, 08:56 PM
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Dunno, it was on the neutral bar. It was a single wire on the bar with other wires on it.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 09:46 PM
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You need to trace it to where the cable it is from comes in to see if there is also a red wire.
 
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Old 05-04-19, 04:10 AM
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Bad white wire

Weed trimmer stopped working; socket was dead (hot ground reverse on the plug-in tester), and several other sockets on that line, too.
The last "working" socket on that line was melted, and the white wire burnt!
 
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Old 05-04-19, 05:36 AM
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If only the end where it was attached to the bar or screw got burned then nothing wrongwith the circuit or wire, It was loose where it was attached and loose connections can get very hot even when the circuit load is much lower than the breaker rating.

While you are at it, tighten all of the other small screws and set screws in the panel. Flip off each breaker before touching the screw terminal(s) beside it, then flip it back on.

(Don't use extreme muscular strength to tighten screws.)
 
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