1

I use this simple plug device to detect any ground/neutral problems in outlets and if they're properly installed.

enter image description here

What can I use on open wires in an electrical receptacle to emulate the same test?

  • take a receptacle and wire it in temporarily – ratchet freak Mar 10 '16 at 15:05
  • that is labor consuming – amphibient Mar 10 '16 at 18:25
5

You can use the tester below. If you touch one probe to the hot and the other to neutral or ground and the bulb should light.

If hot-to-ground lights but not hot-to-neutral the neutral is open. Vice versa for open ground. If you get nothing lighting either both neutral and ground are open or there's no power.

If hot-to-neutral and neutral-to-ground light, hot and neutral are reversed.

If neutral-to-ground and ground-to-hot light, but hot-to-neutral doesn't light, hot and ground are reversed.

enter image description here http://byramlabs.com/store/images/hi-res/SPE-et-201a.gif

It's a little complicated. Since there's no outlet hooked up you should probably just test to make sure the black-to-white and black-to-green light the light, if not there's a problem further down the line.

I mostly use this kind of tester to see which wires are hot in old work with cloth covered wires that you can't tell which color is which anymore.

It's also a handy tool to have to test all the wires in a box to make sure there's no power in any of them before you start touching them with your hands.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    It would be useful to describe how to use this to detect the other defects shown on the tester in the question - hot-ground reversal and hot-neutral reversal. – RedGrittyBrick Mar 10 '16 at 11:19
  • 1
    Uhh well you can't have a reversal because you haven't connected the receptacle yet. 😏 – ArchonOSX Mar 10 '16 at 12:38
  • @archonosx sure you can - if in the junction box before this someone messed up and connected black to neutral instead of hot for example. – Grant Mar 10 '16 at 12:51
  • I was thinking the reversals weren't needed because of no receptacle also. I'm going to update the answer to include it. – Mysterfxit Mar 10 '16 at 15:48
  • True that would be a mighty big screw up and then a glow stick would tell you the neutral was hot. Good point though. – ArchonOSX Mar 11 '16 at 1:47

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.