Ain't that the truth. I found some fun stuff at my place, like a
14AWG hall lighting circuit connected to a kitchen receptacle, which
was fed from the receptacle in the basement for the clothes washer,
which was on a 20A breaker. Good times. And you wonder why my lights
dimmed every time someone used the microwave. (don't worry; I fixed
it.) Also bootlegged grounds all over the damn place, I'm still
picking away at those. I was happy when I saw the grounded
receptacles at the initial walk through and they all tested OK with a
cheap plug in tester; now, not so much.
If its a DVM then yes you see that often. In fact, I would be more
worried if I saw 0 volts between neutral and ground when using a
DVM... because that meant that somehow my neutral got grounded and now
my ground is a load carrier (a situation you never want to see). Get
a low-impedance analog VOM meter and re-test it, you will see a much
lower or zero volts. Try a neon tester, it probably wont light. The
47V with a DVM is most likely induction current easily detected by the
DVM which has a very high impedance able to detect small current.
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