My last bedroom has three outlets, and are all showing "OPEN GROUND" from my tester. The third one is adjacent to the other bedroom, and that outlet is also showing "OPEN GROUND". The others in that room are fine.

My home was built around 1980, and I have never done any electrical work on those outlets. The way that I found out was because my son bought a surge protector for his gaming stuff, and it was showing "NO GROUND". So I plugged in my tester, and it read "OPEN GROUND". I have lived there about 16 years, and have never noticed a problem. I have checked all outlets, and all ground wires are twisted and connected.

Could the break be where the two rooms meet? Any ideas? My master bedroom is closest to outdoor breaker, and then it is the room in question.

  • Are those 4 outlets on the same breaker? Trace this circuit as best you can to the panel and see if the ground is properly terminated. Since they're all showing as open, that means the break is before the first receptacle in the circuit.
    – TFK
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 4:24

2 Answers 2


I would start by turning off the circuit, pulling out the outlet and ensuring the ground wire is connected.

If the wire is connected, but still showing as not connected, I would get a cable tracker and follow the wire. The cable tracker has a sender that sends a signal through the wire, and the receiver listens for this signal. You can use it to follow cables through the wall and ceiling. When you get to the break, you should loose the signal.

Here is the cable tracker I have. http://www.harborfreight.com/cable-tracker-94181.html

It would be unusual for the break to happen outside of a box/junction.


Since your home was built in 80 we know there is a ground. To track down the open, turn off the breaker and find all the dead outlets. It would be rare for a general purpose circuit to only have 4 outlets. The break in the ground is probably located at the first outlet you have an open ground. But may be the outlet prior. These 2 outlets would be where I look first. Pull them out with the power off and verify the wire nuts are secure on the grounds. Occasionally a wire will break off. But this normally happens with the neutral and hot at the point where the insulation is stripped. Since the other outlets are good you will probably find a loose or broken ground at the connection in one of the outlet boxes.

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