open ground on 3 garage receptacles

Out of all the receptacles in the house I Inspected,
I found 3 receptacles in the garage that my Tester said
were an open ground…the home owner said that they
have been that way for 10years and they never had a problem.
they were three prong receptacles . Is this a big issue ?


Yes. It is.

Defer to a qualified electrician for evaluation and repair.

Yes it’s a big problem. Just report your findings and move on. Home owner’s often claim to have had no problem with a reported issue. it’s still an area of concern for the buyer. He’s the one who has to decide how important it is and if it will affect his offer to purchase.

An absolutely classic reply to being told there is a problem.
I usually have some cute reply ready for them.
I will say something like, “Yeah, and your house hasn’t burned down yet either, but it only has to happen once.

Mount St. Helens was like that for a lot longer than 10 years and was never a problem…until it was a problem. :wink:

Yup, it’s a problem.

Isn’t that the God’s honest truth?


Is the main panel in the garage?

Being a garage I ask this… are they GFCI protected and is the house old?

Meaning, that the electrical codes allow for three prong outlets ‘downstream’ of GFCI protection(either a breaker or a GFCI receptacle). If so, then the ‘issue’ I would have is, why aren’t those receptacles identified “GFCI protected” and “No Equipment Ground Present”.

Just thinking out loud…


no…its the rear of house

Not my job identify the fault write it up and move on. Read the SOP .
I only have about 3 hours to do inspection write report and be gone.
Roy Cooke

Understood, I didn’t think there was a fault, just a simple ‘issue’ that effects the expectation of what should and shouldn’t be in a garage. There might be an open ground for a good valid reason.


I’m curious as to why you asked this Stephen.

ANY ungrounded plug with a 3 hole receptacle should be in your report and defered. Regardless of the debate that even (2 hole plugs are grounded in many eyes )…the EGC is used in a different way…

Lack of those having a EGC that shows up needs review…the EC will look inside and determine the problems…might be as simple as a EGC that came loose at the receptacle BEFORE those 3…you never know but the EC will find it…I ALWAYS find it…:slight_smile:

so…as Jeff stated correctly ( yet again…:slight_smile: ) defer it and have it looked at…

I love what Speedy said…MOST EXCELLENT…man i wish I had a $1 for everytime I have heard that statement…about been that way since the house was built and so on…classic home owners and RE’s response…lol…Nice Speedy…you nailed it !

Even if it’s marked both “GFCI protected” and “no equipment ground”? If so, why?

oh stop…lol…we are talking generals here…not a system that has been protected by GFCI…we are speaking to HI’s on finding 3 hole plugs in a 2 wire system ( ungrounded )…they know about the GFCI Protected and No Equipment Ground… ( that info is on the basic electrical intro exam )

He stated they were not labeled as such

So since the LACK of 2 prong plugs…or statement about a ungrounded systems…then any 3 hole plug NOT LABELED…and not working in a grounded system house ( excluding the argument the neutral " grounded" conductors is considered grounding :wink: )…it should be defered…

Would you NOT defer them…hell any 3 prong receptacle in a dwelling that gives a reading of No Ground that is NOT labeled should be defered and let the CHIPS go where they may…I would not be worried about an electricians comments on this…safety first should be the HI’s concern.