1

while checking out all receptacles in our home two bathrooms show the hot side bright as normal while the neutral side is dimly lit as well as the ground light is dimly lit. Also checked with a multimeter and voltage reads 66v from black to ground and same voltage white to ground. 115v black to white. Any suggestions as to the cause?

  • 1
    If you plug a 2-prong (double insulated) thing into the receptacle, it works fine, right? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 11 at 4:15
  • Are these 3-prong receptacle testers ever know to be faulty? Take you r tester to a friend or neighbor's house and see what result it gives.If for some reason you can't do that, before going to a lot of trouble and maybe some expense to check the grounds, buy another tester and see if it gives the same result. – Jim Stewart Feb 11 at 11:17
  • Lets forget about the receptacle tester and go strait to the multimeter readings. If your readings are correct. The most common cause would be a broken or loose ground somewhere upstream of that receptacle. – Retired Master Electrician Feb 11 at 13:33
  • @Retired Master Electrician so would one measure the resistance between neutral and ground slots in receptacles that this 3-prong tester is giving alarming results on? Should one turn off the breaker to do this to prevent damage to the meter or injury in case one goes into the wrong slot or the receptacle is miswired? – Jim Stewart Feb 11 at 15:23
  • @JimStewart - In order to check voltage the power must be on. If you were trying to use ohmage or continuity you would have to verify that the neutral and ground be isolated and the power must be off. Otherwise you might be getting feedback from another source or induction from another conductor. This procedure may be more difficult than searching for the broken or loose ground. It seems like William is knowledgeable enough since he has reported using a multimeter in his question. Also a multimeter is way more accurate and reliable than a receptacle tester. – Retired Master Electrician Feb 11 at 16:50
1

"Two dimly lit" means the wire between the dim lights is connected to nothing.

If the center one is solid, that means hot-neutral are good and ground is missing. If the side yellow is solid, that means neutral is broke.

Make very sure all your grounds go back to the main service panel. It is allowable to retrofit just a ground wire if one is missing.

Do not connect an isolated group of grounds together; I call that an "island of grounds", and all that does is spread around the hurt. If one of them ground-faults, then instead of just that appliance chassis being electrified, the shock is spread around to every connected ground on the island, so you are getting nailed by touching cover plate screws, any piece of equipment, even conduit.

  • 1
    Thanks for all the inputs. This is an older (1989) house I am working on. After reading your suggestions (all of them) I began looking at the ground and it is open. This is the first outlet after the main breaker and feeds two more rooms that also show the same problem. I am now beginning the process of checking all the grounds in the other rooms. I think I have found the problem and couldn't thank you enough for getting me on the right path. – William Ragland Feb 12 at 22:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.