Electrical outlet tester

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Just bought one of these, and wanted to know what was OK, and what wasn't. Of all the options it can tell you, obviously Hot/ ground reverse, and hot /neutral reverse are bad, and a no-no to plug into.

    My questions are on these scenarios: Open ground, open neutral, and open hot. Are these useable? What are the possible adverse effects?
  2. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Open neutral:no operation,open hot:no operation,in both cases its because electrical energy needs to flow from hot to neutral(actually,back and forth between the two in an AC circuit).

    Open ground is a shock hazard,especially if the amp/appliance etc.developes a "short to ground",ie;a hot conductor touches the cabinet(which should be grounded)but since the ground is open,the cabinet is now "hot".if you happen to be touching the ground or have bare feet or wet shoes etc.and you touch the hot cabinet,you become the "path to ground" and the electricity will flow through you to the ground.

    If you happen to be grabbing a "hot" metal handle when this happens,you better have a friend nearby, because the current flowing through you will overide your muscles and you wont be able to let go.

    This happened to my wife many years ago,she was barefooted and grabbed a refrigerator handle in a garage.Refers weren't required to have a ground wire back then.she hollered and I tried to pull the fridge out to unplug it,but a very strong friend of mine was able to beat me to it by knocking her arms loose with brute force.What she didn't know was that she may have been able to free herself if she had jumped off the ground and broken the circuit.

    Most refrigerators,if they are a few years old have slightly shorted compressors,not enough amps going to ground to pop the breaker,and maybe not enough to shock a person if the ground were removed,but there's always a few that could.I've been in appliance repair for more than twenty five years.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego