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  1. #1

    Default Outlet "Tester" sampler panel

    A long time ago, when I went through inspector class, my instructor had a panel with about 8 outlets on it. Simplex, duplex, quads, 2-prong. GFCI, ... everything the instructor could think of at the time....

    He had a surprise, he had one outlet that was "so wrong" that it tested "OK" with a 3-lite outlet tester but was seriously bad. That was a LONG time ago, and I can't remember how he wired it, hot to gnd and Neu/Hot reversed? Any ideas anyone?

    Oh yea, he also had an outlet that was completely drywalled over with a nite-lite bulb in it....
    (for the thermal camera)

    I am thinking of building one for show-n-tell at our local meeting... any thoughts on what YOU would want to see as examples of "bad" wiring. The back will be open/plexi like in a basement so you could SEE some of the other things... (speaker/lamp wire, no box, bootleg gnd on 2-wire AC, over-stripped, etc...)

    Bob of Inspectionsbybob

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado

    Default Re: Outlet "Tester" sampler panel

    A boot leg ground will fool a 3-light tester.

    We have a set up at the school. The catch with a plexiglass "wall" is that clever students can see the wiring and figure out what's wrong. I suggest an opaque wall that you can step around to the back and see what is going on. It's fun with mis-wired GFCIs, etc. And of course, throw in a few correct ones that will leave them trying to figure out what's going on.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Santa Rosa, CA

    Default Re: Outlet "Tester" sampler panel


    Yes, "hot" (black) conductor connected to the "neutral" connection, "neutral" (white) conductor connected to the "hot" terminal and equipment grounding conductor has a jumper between the ground and "neutral" terminal (improperly fed from hot).

    There is a bunch of stuff like that on YouTube. You can probably get some ideas there.

    Department of Redundancy Department

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Southern Vancouver Island

    Default Re: Outlet "Tester" sampler panel

    I had a real life anomaly, loose neutral, but still touching. A wire nut had pushed one neutral wire out rather than gripping it. A 3-light tester showed all 3 lights on.
    Then when the circuit was loaded, the neutral went open, but the outlet near the splice still showed 3 lights. Maybe too weird to duplicate.

    One situation that can baffle new guys is 2 GFCI's daisy-chained. Sometimes the upstream outlet will trip when testing the downstream one with a 3-light tester. Then the downstream one will not reset until power is restored from the upstream one.

    How about a GFCI protecting several other outlets, but it stays hot itself after tripping.

    An AFCI breaker was installed incorrectly. The neutral that comes with it was installed on the neutral bus. The breaker had the hot connection, but the circuit neutral had been installed to the bus bar instead of directly to the breaker. The symptom there was nuisance tripping to the extreme, such as a radio would play for 10 minutes and then trip. Turning on a lamp would trip the breaker.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 09-12-2017 at 08:30 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455


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