I have an outlet tester and it says the outlet in my bathroom has an open ground and I'm trying to see if I can fix this by replacing the receptacle or if the problem is elsewhere.
With a voltage meter I tested voltage between hot and neutral and got 120 (good), I tested between hot and ground and got 50ish (bad, should be 120), and I tested between neutral and hot and got 40ish (bad, should be 0).
Next I shut off power, pulled out the receptacle, and then turned the power back on. With the outlet sticking out of the wall I can test with the volt meter by touching the screws where the wires connect and the bare copper ground wire. I still find 120 volts between hot and neutral but now I read no voltage between ground and either hot or neutral... huh?
1) Why would the voltage difference disappear on the other side of the receptacle? For the volt meter to read positive volts I had to have a completed circuit right? So where did it go?
2) The outlet itself is not a GFCI outlet. Instead it looks like the breaker it's connected to in the breaker box is where the GFCI test button is located. Is that screwing up my voltage readings?
3) My volt meter doesn't have probes that are long enough to poke into a receptical, so what I do is plug in the outlet tester but only halfway and touch the volt meter probes to the exposed prongs of the outlet tester. But the outlet tester has some kind of circuitry in it, will that screw up my volt readings?
4) And most importantly: Is replacing the receptacle likely to fix this issue, or is it time to call a professional?