Testing ungrounded receptacles

How are you testing 2 blade ungrounded receptacles?

If they’re polarized the only thing that you can really check is to see if they’re wired correctly.

Use your non-contact voltage tester. Older receptacles don’t have a dedicated neutral slot, but newer non-grounding type receptacles do.

Just make sure to set the sensitivity on low to see which side is hot.

Get a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter and you will see that most of these have lost the tension and need replacing.

Great Suggestion,

Fantastic info guys - thanks!

If I come across an old worn looking device I check it with one of these spring tension testers. Insert and pull out. Gives you the spring tension on each prong.


Thats what I use also.

Plus I check that touching the adapter tab to the faceplate screw gives me a “good ground” indication on my GB receptacle tester … or it gets written up as a safety concern, since using the 3-2 adapters with an ungrounded outlet/box is hazardous.

JMO & 2-Nickels

2-Prong Adapter.jpg

Use a two prong neon 120/240 tester (super cheap) in conjunction with your non-contact voltage tester. You can check for current and polarity.

Great tip Chuck. Do I need to take my shoes off first?