I have 1 room that will be my theater room in my house, and for all the outlets in this room, the grounded light on multiple surge protectors doesn't light up. If i move those surge protectors to any other room in my house the grounded light is on. I took off the wall plate (after turning off the breaker for this room) and checked and there is a copper ground wire coming out of the cable run to the receptacle box along with the black and red wires and that copper wire is secured to the ground screw on the plastic box for the outlet . Why would all the outlets in this room act this way when they appear to be grounded? Is there any way to fix this or do I just need to replace it with a GFCI outlet from what I have been reading?

  • Try using a 3-light circuit tester like this one: amazon.com/Power-Gear-50542-3-Wire-Receptacle/dp/B002LZTKIA, to make sure the outlets are wired properly first.
    – mmathis
    Aug 17, 2016 at 20:42
  • Note: in some cases a GFCI outlet can be used where no ground wire exists. However if a surge suppressor is plugged into a GFCI outlet with no equipment ground the surge suppressor will not suppress surges.
    – Tyson
    Aug 17, 2016 at 21:01
  • Since you can see a ground wire connected to the outlets, I think if it were my house, rather than going with an ungrounded GFCI, I'd want to figure out why that ground wire doesn't appear to be connected to anything - there may be more than that one wiring fault.
    – Johnny
    Aug 17, 2016 at 21:57
  • ok so i typed that wrong the ground copper wire is wrapped around the ground screw "on the outlet" not on the plastic box. sorry :( i mis-typed. so would the problem be at the outlet end , which looks fine to me, or where ever the other end of the copper connection is, i assume at the main junction box?? i see the red, black, and copper wires all are wrapped inside a coated sheathing so they are all traveling together from somewhere :) , sorry if i'm not using the right terminology Aug 17, 2016 at 22:51
  • Have someone qualified check your breaker box - is the bare wire correctly attached there? If the whole room shows a ground fault start there and also check the first junction box for a wiring issue.
    – Ramrod
    Aug 18, 2016 at 4:40

1 Answer 1


Re-reading your post, the ground wire should be connected to the grounding screw on the outlet, not the plastic box. Plastic junction boxes don't need to be grounded (they're not metal, after all). The lack of a ground connection on the outlet itself is why the surge protector is showing an ungrounded connection, and the 3-light circuit tester would show an open ground as well.

  • ah my mistake i was typing in a hurry , it is connected to the "grounding" screw on the outlet. my fault Aug 17, 2016 at 21:49

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