Receptacle tester shows hot & ground reversed. No wiring changes have
been made since home new 25 years ago. Plugged in iron and power went
out but didn't flip breaker. All outlets in room also out. Later all
worked, plugged in iron and all went out, and breaker still not
flipped. Iron works fine elsewhere. Replaced breaker and outlet.
Still nothing. Outlet tester shows hot & ground reversed for all
outlets on circuit. Pigtail tester shows neutral and hot both hot for
all outlets on circuit. There is also a light switch and ceiling fan
on circuit. Suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
Still sounds as though you might have a bad outlet etc somewhere. Had water
in an outlet that did that to me once and the breaker never tripped then
went back to working. Later that day I had 24 volts to ground thru my water
fauet in the kitchen and the same to my ground rod outside which was causing
it to bleed back thru my water pipes. Also sometimes a breaker does not
appear to trip but actually does and you may have reset it when or if you
flipped the breakers as most people do when a problem comes up. Its time to
replace that one. Since you already did I'd check everything on the circuit
for a problem. does it show that at the breaker? No? disconnect the outlets
one at a time till it clears up or remove the outlet tying the wires
together as you go till it clears up.
Never work again if you can figure out how to color it(the current) black
and white so it can be seen)
You have an open neutral (white) somewhere in that circuit.
Those plug in testers will not give correct results with an open neutral
especially when stuff is still plugged into the circuit.
The 'pigtail' tester also fools you because with the neutral broken you get
a hot reading as the voltage makes a circuit from the hot wire through
different loads -such as light bulbs- into the 'floating' neutral wires. If
you unplugged everything and turned off all lights on the circuit you would
probably get accurate indications on the testers.
You need to find all the outlets and lights on that circuit, those still
working and those no longer working, then find the open neutral, loose
connection on white wire at the last live device or the first dead device on
I assume you use those 3-neon lights receptacle tester like this:
If it says hot ground reversed, it probably is.
By "pigtail tester", do you mean something like this:
And where do put the test leads?
It is not likely that neutral and hot are both hot. If they are, then
plugging in any device would not work.
What I don't quite understand is how the power went out and then come back
later. If you didn't do anything to make the power come back, then there is
either a hidden breaker (not likely), or there is a bad connection
The simplest explanation is someone miswired hot and neutral at the first
outlet or upstream of it, and there is also a bad connection. So check all
the junction boxes (fan, light switch, the most upstream outlet) to try to
locate the reversed hot-neutral. Hopefully that is also where the bad
Forgot to add, assuming that when you did this test you unplug every other
devices and turned off everything on this circuit. Otherwise, it may mean an
It's easy to tell whether you have open neutral or hot-neutral reversed.
Plug in a low power device like a night light at the same time you have the
outlet tester plugged in. If the night light lights up, it's not open
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