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Circuit at breaker box is 30amps. Ground is free standing not connected to neutral or ground bar. The outlet is removed presently with no wires touching each other or anything else near the outlet box.

When I flip the breaker on my non-contact voltage detector alerts in the breaker box for the ground!

I'm sure it is the ground that is alerting as it isn't near any other wires.

I checked voltage from the hot to the ground with multimeter, results: 0.0v

From hot to neutral: 120v

Continuity test with multimeter says no contact between hot and ground or ground and neutral.

However when I turn the breaker back off, the voltage detector no longer alerts on the ground?

This circuit wire is only connected to one single outlet.. not anything else. What gives?

Should I just replace the wire? It is thicker gauge than any other wires and more expensive

UPDATE: in order to test the hypothesis that my hot wire is somehow making contact with the ground within the Romex coating itself I disconnected the neutral from the bar so that both neutral and ground are not connected to anything and turned on the breaker (hot still connected). Then measured the voltage from ground to neutral bar and neutral to neutral bar (If hot were somehow making contact with either it should show voltage).

Both showed 0 volts but the hot to neutral bar still shows 120v. I believe it must be a false reading on the non contact voltage detector. Although it beeps for both neutral and ground when not connected to the bar multimeter says no current.. your thoughts?

  • 1
    Why is the ground not connected to the ground bar in your panel? – ThreePhaseEel May 25 '20 at 19:52
  • The previous owner left it floating and I'm trying to figure out why.. neutrals and grounds are connected to a single bar and there is one spot left – Lakeman59 May 25 '20 at 20:47
  • How many wires come into the panel that feeds this circuit and feed its main lugs and/or main breaker? – ThreePhaseEel May 25 '20 at 21:54
  • 3.. two large ones and a rather thick bare copper come into the main panel.. bare connected to the bar.. no conductor outside the panel.. I may have to replace the panel in the future. This isn't completely correct – Lakeman59 May 25 '20 at 22:50
  • What make and model is your main panel, for that matter? – ThreePhaseEel May 25 '20 at 23:10

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