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If I bring my non-contact voltage tester within about an inch of any part of my washing machine's metallic housing, it beeps.

If I touch the machine, the tester stops beeping, but I don't feel a shock.

I plugged another washing machine into the same outlet and experienced the same behavior, so the issue seems to be the outlet, not the machine.

I then connected the washer to a different outlet on a different circuit, and the issue goes away. The metallic housing never has voltage when connected to the second circuit.

What could be the problem within the original outlet or the circuit that would cause this behavior?

I don't have a device to test the original outlet for ground, but the ground wire appears to be connected properly inside the box.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. I'm no pro, but have two reactions: 1) you may be getting a false positive from the tester, but 2) you instead may have a deadly situation. Be careful! – Daniel Griscom Apr 16 at 0:07
  • Spend $5 or less on "a device to test the original outlet for ground" aka a 3-lamp tester (staying under $5 you can also get one that will externally test GFCI outlets) and this might become clearer. – Ecnerwal Apr 16 at 0:08
  • Is this washer touching an electric dryer by any chance? Specifically, one that has one of the old, obsolete, dangerous 3-prong NEMA 10 connectors? – Nate Strickland Apr 16 at 0:14
  • @DanielGriscom The tester works fine on everything else. Could you please elaborate on what would cause the deadly situation? Could it be that the ground wire is hot, or that the ground is not attached? I know neither of those things is good but didn't think either was deadly in most cases. – painter48179 Apr 16 at 0:16
  • Without more info, I couldn't tell you what might be wrong, nor state that you aren't in danger. I'd just like for you to be careful. – Daniel Griscom Apr 16 at 0:34

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