Open Ground in Electrical Outlet


During a recent inspection in Parker Colorado, I discovered that the electrical system had an issue with an outlet not being wired properly. The photo above illustrates how the issue was discovered.

During an inspection, I use a plug-in circuit tester that will test the circuit via three neon lights. I use the Sure-test brand tester which is highly respected in the industry. It will test for an open neutral, lack of a ground, wires on the wrong terminals, and no power. A typical outlet has three holes built into it. The shorter straight slot is the “hot” lead. The longer straight slot is the “neutral” lead. The slot that looks like a small circle hole is the ground. If the outlet is wired properly, both green lights on the Sure-test will light. In this case, only the green light on the left lit when the outlet was tested. This indicated the grounding wire was not connected properly.

Grounding is extremely important to both the safety of the occupants and protecting the property in the event of a fault or lightening strike. The grounding wiring in the system carry current to the grounding rod outside. If any of the outlets or the panel is not grounded properly, this important safety system is breached. In this case, it was recommended that the electrical system by inspected by a qualified licensed electrician to be evaluated.