3 prong outlets where the owner tied the neutral to the ground pin. a
friend i spewnt the day with reported a family member just sold a home
I donmt believe the common testers would catch such a miss wiring.
worse its plain unsafe....
incidently the home inspector who did this home didnt catch it:(
Home inspectors use a outlet tester that has a series of lights. If it shows
two green lights the outlet is considered good. They don't open them up and
look at them. Some inspectors don't even to bother testing all the outlets
and say so in their reports.....
I've found over the recent years a particular inspector will pay more
attention/interest to things related to his trade from which he came.
The last inspector I had found one thing I had kept to myself, not
saying a word to the real estate agent, spouse or anyone. This
inspector found it, but I was ready to deal with it.
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens
It's very difficult to catch.
I built a special tester which applies a *heavy* load
and measures the voltage drop to Ground and Neutral.
Even so, that kind of testing consumes a great deal of time
and the inspector has to weigh where to put emphasis.
A SureTest will nail that in a second. You are right, it can set up a
very dangerous situation. In one example you could actually be putting
120v on the case of any "grounded" appliance. (swapped white/black
somewhere upstream and a bootleg ground). A cheap tester will NOT find
this and if the bootleg ground is made up more than about 25' from
where the SureTest is plugged in it won't either.
Things like this are difficult to find. I think many people assume that work
was done to code, permits were applied for and the work was inspected.
There are "clues" that this type of thing might exist in a house though.
When people do this type of thing, you can bet they have done other things
around the house which are not up to code. So when some things are found in
a house which are not up to code, a careful examination of everything should
be in order.
For example I saw a house which had an electrical junction box which had a
cut piece of cardboard covering it rather than a metal cover plate. How
cheap can you get? What does a metal cover plate cost - 50 cents? Anyway
this was a "clue". Elsewhere in the house I found all sorts of other code
violations like lamp cord run in the walls (homeowner added extra outlets),
Anyway some things found around a house which are not up to code should set
off an alarm bell and you should then *very* closely check everything.
Same thing with used cars/trucks. If you see modifications have been made
with are not factory spec. (duct tape type of repairs), then might want to
pass on buying that vehicle because who knows what else they did...
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