(F) Bootleg Ground

I just wanted to make sure I’ve got this right before I report it as a defect. So when a 2-prong plug has been converted to a GFCI plug, testing with an impedance tester will show “No Ground” and not a “(F)alse Ground” like the attached image. Thanks!


A false ground indicator on the SureTest indicates a very low impedance path between the egc and the neutral, which can present itself for several reasons. You would need to pull the receptacle to confirm what is actually taking place.

It could be a bootleg ground, or the receptacle may actually be grounded properly.

How close to the service panel was this receptacle?

I would say about 15 to 20 feet. So given the possibilities, what would be the best way to report it? Maybe something like "Possible bootleg ground noted. Recommend a qualified electrician for further investigation?

Well, assuming you are no longer at the property, you could do that. In the future, you should do some “further investigation” on your own before deferring a condition.

When you step up and begin using specialized equipment you need to be ready to take additional responsibility. Simply plugging in the SureTest doesn’t mean you’re qualified to interpret its readings. Read the manual and educate yourself on the conditions that it is designed to indicate. Don’t report on a reading that you cannot interpret or do not fully understand.

Heed this warning as you will be asked someday to justify why you have what you have in your report.

One other slight critique, use the word receptacle instead of the word plug.