I Guess I Need ANOTHER Tester

Originally Posted By: jpope
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This one’s got me baffled.


I plugged in my SureTest and had no display (my SureTest works fine). . .

![](upload://zH8J2L69NiLWpekeZyCqYoSzB0B.jpeg)

So I plug in my "three-light" tester and get a "reverse polarity" indication. . .

Hmmm. . . ![icon_confused.gif](upload://qv5zppiN69qCk2Y6JzaFYhrff8S.gif)



Next I stick my "voltage tester" in and again, nothing.



I turn the voltage tester, neutral to ground, and get 120 volts



I turn it the other way, hot to ground, and get 120 volts ![icon_confused.gif](upload://qv5zppiN69qCk2Y6JzaFYhrff8S.gif)



The conductors were visible but had all been painted. I couldn't tell neutral from ground from hot.

Anyone care to guess?


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: brian winkle
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open neutral


Originally Posted By: jpope
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brian winkle wrote:
open neutral


120 volts neutral to ground. . .


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: brian winkle
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Jeff, with an open upstream neutral you will get 120 volts on the neutral thru a downstream load.


Originally Posted By: jpope
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brian winkle wrote:
Jeff, with an open upstream neutral you will get 120 volts on the neutral thru a downstream load.


I'm not getting it (not that I'm doubting it). How would an open neutral carry 120 volts to ground. Also, the three light tester is supposed to indicate an open neutral condition (I know they're dummy lights but usually reliable for simple readings).


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: mboyett
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Ground wired to Hot Terminal, Hot wired to Gnd Terminal. Remember the painted wires.



Mike Boyett


Capital City Inspections


Austin, Tx


www.capcityinspections.com

Originally Posted By: brian winkle
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If the neutral is open ahead of where you checked it, and the hot is intact, the receptacles will not work, as you found out. Now, picture the current traveling down the hot wire till it reaches a load such as a lamp, which is plugged into a downstream receptacle and turned on but not working. The current will travel thru the buld filament and into the neutral to find its way back to the panel. Only the neutral is open. When you tested the neutral upstream, there was that current, finding a new path to the panel thru your tester.


Originally Posted By: jpope
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mboyett wrote:
Ground wired to Hot Terminal, Hot wired to Gnd Terminal. Remember the painted wires.


That could do it. . .


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: mboyett
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icon_biggrin.gif



Mike Boyett


Capital City Inspections


Austin, Tx


www.capcityinspections.com

Originally Posted By: brian winkle
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Consider this, if your 3 light tester lights up but the receptacle doesn’t work, it can only be an open neutral. You know it’s not an open hot or the tester wouldn’t light up.


Originally Posted By: jpope
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brian winkle wrote:
If the neutral is open ahead of where you checked it, and the hot is intact, the receptacles will not work, as you found out. Now, picture the current traveling down the hot wire till it reaches a load such as a lamp, which is plugged into a downstream receptacle and turned on but not working. The current will travel thru the buld filament and into the neutral to find its way back to the panel. Only the neutral is open. When you tested the neutral upstream, there was that current, finding a new path to the panel thru your tester.


I guess that could do it too. So what other tester do I buy next? ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: brian winkle
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Quote:
Also, the three light tester is supposed to indicate an open neutral condition


If you removed the downstream loads your tester would show open neutral. But with a downstrean load connected it is putting 120 volts on the neutral pin of your tester fooling it into showing reverse polarity.


Originally Posted By: brian winkle
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Quote:
I guess that could do it too. So what other tester do I buy next?


A wiggy would do it.


Originally Posted By: jpope
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I knew that was coming.


And I get a wiggy from???


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: brian winkle
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I think HD or Lowes has them for $20 bucks. You can get a Knopp for about $40 at the electrical supply. I use a Knopp because it fits my pouch nice and it’s not as clunky as the Wiggy.


Don't buy the fancy Ideal Elite, it has too many functions and can easily make a fool out of you when you mis interperet one of it's buzzes, don't ask me how I know.


Originally Posted By: jpope
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Thanks Brian. . .



Jeff Pope


JPI Home Inspection Service


“At JPI, we’ll help you look better”


(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: pdacey
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OK, for those of us in the remedial section… What’s a wiggy???



Slainte!


Patrick Dacey
swi@satx.rr.com
TREC # 6636
www.southwestinspections.com

Originally Posted By: brian winkle
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On second thought, I don’t think you need a wiggy. It won’t tell you any more than your voltage tester did. Electricians use wiggys because they shake and vibrate when they read voltage, a more sure way to detect it’s presense. I consider mine an important life saving device.


I think diagnosis of problems like this probably do not fall under the HI catagory, probably just note it as a defect needing repair by a licensed sparky. If you want to understand these problems better the only tool I can suggest is an electrical theory book and maybe set up a test board in your shop to simulate various problems and see how your tester reacts to them.


Originally Posted By: brian winkle
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Patrick, a wiggy is just a voltage tester that vibrates at different levels to show voltage. It must contact the conductor or terminal. It also has the lights showing the voltage range.


Originally Posted By: jpope
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brian winkle wrote:
On second thought, I don't think you need a wiggy.


Too late. It will be here tomorrow ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)

http://www.foxelectricsupply.com/content/products/ProductDetail.asp?qsCatID=26309&qsProductNo=K60


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738