Very confused over circuit tester reading

Very confused about what’s going on here. Anyone have any input?

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I would say to plug it in again, there are still two unlit lights remaining. :slight_smile:


Always remove any other plugs from the receptacles before testing!
(Is that a switched outlet)?


No sir it wasnt

I did a house recently where every outlet in the house showed a strange reading similar to that…Later the realtor told me it was a problem in the electrical panel…however I know I saw grounding and neutral wires connected together in junction boxes…so likely something like that is going on…at any rate it’s not a normal reading so an electrician needs to figure out what up…

JJ got it. Unplug the white appliance cord in your picture and retest. I would not trust a tester like that that needs a battery power supply. It may have uses but it’s not needed for a home inspection.

After you get a strange reading (unreasonable) on your outlet tester (even a three light) you should confirm by testing with a solenoid tester or test lamp.


Some sage advice right here from Mr. Kenney. :+1:

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According to the circuitdetective’s chart of tester variables, the hot /ground reversed indication on the tester could mean an open neutral with a load downstream, while a hot ground would give the hot/neutral reversed indication. If you care to have a look at the chart, it’s at:

The tester is apparently looking for voltage between the slots, so, as the others have suggested, a neon tester between the slots could at least establish faulty wiring, which seems certain in this case, or at least enough so to warrant having an electrician check it out if, after unplugging that other plug-connected load on the receptacle, the results still come up with seriously dangerous conditions.