I have one circuit that has an open ground. The interesting thing is that
it also has voltage between both the hot and the neutral to the ground, 70
volts from hot to ground and 50 volts from neutral to ground. The voltage
from hot to neutral is 125 volts. There is nothing plugged into a ground,
so the voltage bleed is not coming from anything plugged into the circuit.
As you stated, you have an open ground. It's that simple. The
voltages you are reading are due to the capacitive coupling to other
nearby wires. I will guess the ground isn't interrupted near the
socket you are measuring, but further away thereby giving the ground
wire you are measuring a chance to run in parallel with other wires
for a ways. If you were to put any kind of load across either the 70
or the 50 volts, the voltage would drop to near zero because it isn't
really connected. Modern volt meters are designed to load the circuit
very lightly because you might be measuring sensitive electronics. In
this case, you would want a load to avoid the phantom readings you are
If you truly had 125V from hot to neutral, what ever you were testing
should be working.
Why are you testing for an open ground?
Find every outlet on that circuit by turning the power off and start
opening all the boxes on that circuit.
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