Electrical Wiring in the Home/open ground

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Question
I am a home inspector and have found a house that every receptacle that was checked was showing open ground?I checked the breaker box and everything looks ok? I did notice that the ground wire from the electrical panel was attached to the copper water pipe,but the pipe that comes into the house is plastic then to copper?could it be a faulty grounding rod?

Answer
Hi.

I suspect that the problem is with each outlet, and not one problem. How old is the house? Houses built before the sixties usually are not grounded.  However, that did not stop some homeowners from installing 3 prong outlets everywhere.  Or perhaps the homeowner put new outlets and did not know how to connect the ground.

Even if the ground rod or water pipe is not connected correctly, you normally should get a good reading because the neutral and grounds are connected together in the panel. If the pipe coming in is plastic, grounding rods should be installed anyway, even if the ground shows good.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle

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Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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