I noticed one of my surge protectors didn't have the ground indicator light on. I tested each receptacle with a tester and every single one in the house said "bad ground". I confirmed the tester worked fine by testing at another location. I visually inspected each ground screw and wire nut connection on the receptacles and switches. Nothing was visibly wrong. The utility company said everything was fine on their end.

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Here's a photo of the main box heading into the house. Note the 2nd from the top bare copper wire connects to the rod in the ground. The ground rod does seem a little loose though. Could that cause this issue though?

Photo of the inside breaker box. enter image description here

I have not done any work inside the panels & the home is a manufactured home built in 1996.

Google drive for higher quality images. https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1dxc5dioE0HfCzEHA32i5dFQ-wqAYTe2i

  • I take it the conduit between the outdoor disconnect and the panel is plastic, and that the service entrance from the meter enters the outdoor disconnect from the left? Also, can you get us photos of the label on the inside of the breaker box's door? Apr 5, 2019 at 3:53
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    In the breaker panel the bottom-most ground wire that is thicker than the others goes out of the box through it's own little hole... Where does that go? It should get bonded to the ground rod somehow. A simple power strip or "outlet checker" checks ground by making sure ground and neutral are connected. It wouldn't be caused by a ground rod that is loose in the ground.
    – JPhi1618
    Apr 5, 2019 at 4:16
  • what type of tester did you use? Apr 5, 2019 at 8:43
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    Is the conduit between the main breaker point and the branch circuit service panel entirely made of metal? Or are there any PVC segments in there? Those 3 extra circuits going into that fat conduit, where do they go? Apr 5, 2019 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


From looking at your photo's, I see your main breaker (first pic) is connected up properly, and I am assuming the bare conductor is your system grounding conductor. What I don't see is a properly sized ground conductor coming from the main beaker to your subpanel. It should be attached to your ground bar in the subpanel. That would be the buss on the left and attached to the large lug on the bottom.

So when your subpanel was installed someone pulled two phase conductors and a neutral conductor but no ground conductor. That would mean your panel has no ground and neither do any circuits coming out of the subpanel.

Needless to say this is not a good situation. In fact potentially dangerous. Assuming this is a 100A service you need to pull a minimum #8 ground wire between the Main Disconnect and the Subpanel. If you want to be safe pull a #6 ground and that would cover everything up to a 200A service. Of course this should be corrected immediately.

Good Luck.

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