False Ground

Inspected this 1960’s home today and thought that the home had been rewired with grounded circuits. The 3-prong receptacles tested OK (grounded) with my 3 lite tester. When I opened the distribution panel, I did not see any grounding conductors, all 2 wire. Removed a receptacle and here is what I found. My question is would a sure-test indicate this false ground? What would this set up do to a appliance with a ground (3-prong plug) if current traveled back and energized the appliance. Looks to me like a real safety hazard. What do you guy/gals think?

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Yes, a SureTest would have indicated this condition.

Hi Steve,

Yes my Suretest 61-165 will show false/bootleg grounds but I believe that the cheaper ones do not, it would be worth researching the ideal website to check.

Any appliance that has a three prong plug is designed to work with a gronded conductor. Some electronic components especially computer equipment does not work well on 2 wire circuits. and yes there are angers associated with connecting the Neutral to the ground at any location other than the service panel.



This find today has convinced me to invest in a Sure-test. Thanks for your help.

Gerry meant to say groundING conductor. . . Oh, and I’m sure he meant Danger rather than anger. . :wink:

Startin’ Friday a little early eh Gerry :smiley:

Yeah what Jeff says :mrgreen:

I have been writing a class all week and I’m getting punchy now I am going for a brew



An off the shelf VOM will show the boot leg ground

Cost about $25.00 from radio shack

If you have the $$ spend it on the big boys


Gerry – Warm pint, no doubt.
:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

Jae, no, in fact they kicked me out of England because I don’t like warm ale, and I am sure as hell not drinking the tea :wink:

I spent way too long in Belgium, Holland and Germany sinking tall frosty lagers

I’m just going to raid the fridge and see if I have any Stella left :wink:



Please people

Do we all have to spend $$ to find this problem or can we find it cheap and dirty way with out doing a lot of work liking taking the plug apart?


i don’t think i’m going to pull duplex outlets out of the wall. if you get a ground reading on you little tester, and theres not ground wire in the panel… guess what?:wink: :cool:

I would say yes. But that’s just me :slight_smile:


What if one could show you how to check for this problem is about 5 seconds??

Will someone else - Jeff Poe etc come in with the answer to the problem???

The ac voltage differenct between the ground and the neutral - Hi Z ???


Edgar Allan Pope will be along shortly…

I want a sure test just cuz it’s cool…sorta the same reason Jeff is Mr. Wireless now…

I don’t think I’ll be taking receptacles apart any time soon…the lack of ground in the panel would have been a red flag eh?


I feel the answer is comming — stand by


almost done #4 Tony, how you doing?

if it’s easier than doing what i’m going to do anyway (check outlets with 3 light, and open panel) i’m all ears…or eyes:roll:

Not if the wiring was with BX. . .

You could measure the resistance between the grounding and grounded conductors (that’s what the SureTest does).

What should the reading be?