Electrical Wiring in the Home/open ground


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?


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.
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Bob Sponaugle


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.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.