Hot/Neutral Reverse and Ground

Hello, so if my 3 prong tester says I have hot/neutral reversed does that mean that I merely need to swap the hot and neutral wire AND that a ground wire already exists? Thanks!

Touch one lead of the tester to the metal outlet box and the other to each of the two outlet sockets. If you get voltage the ground wire is hooked up (and the hot should be the longer, left hand socket).

Oh, and if they are reversed are you more susceptable to fires…:wink:

My tester is a simple three prong plug (GB Electrical GRT-500) - it shows red/yellow/nothing when it should be nothing/yellow/yellow.

I’m in an apartment so can’t really do much myself - I just want to be prepared when I face the building manager. I already tried connecting a ground wire to the screw on the faceplate - didn’t change anything so I’m thinking I only need to get the wires swapped.

Also, my Surgemaster II says I have no ground (hence no warranty) but I’m guessing that it’s just flagging the reverse polarity as no ground - it only has two lights (grounded and protected).

I should note that I’m very suspicious of the electrical setup of this new apartment I moved into:

  1. Some of the ceiling fans and lights have external wiring tubes running along the walls from outlets. At least it shows lack of foresight.

  2. One girl I met who was moving out when I moved in said one of her light fixtures just crashed down once.

  3. The girl I subletted from said that the apartment hallway light didn’t work all the time.

  4. The light in the outside hallway was flickering the other night before it eventually died much later. In my old place, lights were either on or off - none of this flickering business.

  5. A week after I moved in there was a small fire (fire engine came and all) in one of the other units in the building.

Unfortunately, you have it backwards. The hot socket is the shorter slit. The grounded socket is the longer one. This is true in both three socket (grounding) receptacles and two socket ones. As to the right/left orientation of the slit sockets, when the grounding socket (the round hole) is inferior) the narrow (hot) slit is to the right. This is the preferred orientation for installation of electrical receptacles in most work, though I don’t believe the electrical codes demand it.