Non-grounded outlet?

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Old 05-24-19, 08:47 AM
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Non-grounded outlet?

I've tried researching this situation on line but don't find anything that quite matches. I have a two receptacle outlet in my garage that has rarely been used. I'm now setting up a small workbench under it and plugging in a surge protector strip the grounded indicator light did not come on. My outlet tester indicates hot and neutral reversed. My multimeter shows 120 v between hot and neutral, 64 v between hot and ground and 56 between neutral and ground. Any ideas? Thanks.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 09:27 AM
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Sounds like an open ground?
 
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Old 05-24-19, 09:58 AM
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I'd agree on an open ground.

Digital multimeters don't work reliably on home wiring because of "phantom voltage". Your H-G and N-G measurements are likely actually 0v, indicating no ground connection.

I find a simple neon tester is the best testing tool for 95% of home wiring troubleshooting.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 10:12 AM
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Thanks guys. Any hints for a relative newbie to trace the location of the "break"? This is a really oddball outlet and circuit. The house was built circa 1980. The outlet in question is on a different circuit than all other electric in the garage. I can't identify any other light or outlet anywhere on the house on the circuit in question. The wire coming into the outlet box is standard 3 wire black, white and bare. The applicable breaker in the box in the house is two 20 amp breakers joined together and labeled "future range". The applicable wiring coming into the breaker box is separately routed through a punch hole in the box separate from other incoming bundles, and is white, grey and red. Connections in the box seem tight. Ideas?
PS, when I first opened the outlet box the bare ground wire was not connected to the receptacle and there are no pigtails . I attached the bare ground wire to the green ground post on the receptacle before performing the tests described on my original post. Maybe original installer couldn't figure out the ground break and just gave up? The outlet works, just isn't grounded. Thank you for your thoughts.
 

Last edited by Mped7; 05-24-19 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Add facts
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Old 05-24-19, 01:35 PM
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Look for a box in the kitchen or basement kitchen area where a range might possibly installed.

Open all the known boxes on the circuit and make sure the grounds are connected to each other.
 
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Old 05-26-19, 07:08 AM
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OK, looked in all the kitchen cabinets and in one of the bottom ones found what looks like a vent outlet (strange location for a hood vent, maybe intended for a range with a downdraft vent?) and an unconnected sheathed cable end coming out of the wall (no box) with grey, white and red wires within and currently unpowered. I'm now more stumped than ever! I'm going to guess maybe the rogue garage outlet was an add on that somebody decided to wire into the then idle 20 amp circuit? But with two different colors of wiring at the breaker box and outlet box there must be a connection somewhere causing the open ground, seemingly unaccessible behind a wall. What seemed like it should have been an easy fix is now looking like it requires an electrician to do a long and expensive investigative search!
 
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