Since 1967, the receptacle tester has been available for your tool kit. Because incorrectly wired receptacles can be dangerous and not work as intended, this easy-to-use tool provides the user with a sense of security because it allows for the safe identification on any receptacle.
Many hardware stores sell convenient handheld testers, for both traditional and GFCI outlets that will inform you if your outlet is “hot” (works) and is wired correctly (works safely). Visit this site to view tester options https://www.lowes.com/c/Electrical-testers-tools-Electrical. You will note these tools are inexpensive. They are also easy to use and are helpful to identify which outlets are good outlets and which outlets are non-working.
Follow the easy instructions that come with your tester. If there is an issue within the receptacle, the tester has three lights which will indicate what the issue is within that outlet. The GFCI tester has a button on it that will trip any GFCIs that are before the receptacle that the tester is currently in, thus identify if there is a GFCI protecting that outlet. Below are some definitions that may be helpful.
Open Ground. An open ground occurs whenever the ground wire is not correctly attached to the outlet, is broken, or the wiring for the receptacle does not have a ground wire.
Open Neutral. If your tester reveals that you have an open neutral, then somewhere on that circuit the neutral (wire) is not properly connected or is broken.
Open Hot. If no lights are lit, your receptacle has no power.
Hot and Ground Reverse. Your ground is your safety in the event of a short circuit. If reversed, the outlet will not work.
Hot and Neutral Reverse. Outlet may still work, but some equipment may not work on this outlet due to the wiring being reversed.
Correct Wiring. If your correct wiring lights are lit, your receptacle is wired properly.
Just remember that working with electricity is dangerous. If uncertain about working with electricity then call Radle Electric at 717-761-4150 as we will be happy to help.
Michael Facer, Electrical Apprentice