What Is a Hot Ground Reverse and How To Fix It (Guide)

Wiring mistakes happen all the time. Even professional electricians can and do make mistakes. When these mistakes happen, the results can be disastrous. That is why you need to double-check all wiring work with the right tools.

The hot ground reverse is as it says. The hot and ground wires have somehow been reversed. It doesn’t happen often but when it does a short occurs and you will have bigger problems. The difficulty is that you still have to track the problem down

To learn more about this topic just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you know what to do when you face the hot ground reverse situation. Just make sure you have the right tool on hand to do the testing first.

What is a Hot Ground Reverse?


The hot ground reverse is where the ground wire gets the electricity and becomes the hot wire. The hot wire in this case becomes the ground wire because it has lost the electrical flow.

To find out if any of your circuits have a hot ground reverse, you need a three-light tester. These testers have a series of light combinations that let you know what is wrong with your wiring.

Their drawback is that they do not always tell you where the problem lies. It could be in, before, or after the first outlet, in the second circuit, and so on. All the tester will tell you is that you have a problem.

But that doesn’t mean these testers are not good. They are, they can help you narrow the location down as you use it to test the other outlets on the circuit. Once you narrow down the location, it is just a matter of time in getting the exact location of the problem.

What Happens If You Connect Hot To Ground?


If you do this action, you may think the fourth of July came early. There should be some sparks flying about and then your prongs, screwdrivers, or other tools may melt.

It is possible to start a little fire if the breaker does not trip when the short takes place. But the breaker or fuse is designed to trip or blow when a short circuit takes place. Fires normally would not happen.

If the breaker does trip, and you go to the breaker box to fix the situation, there are certain parts you should not touch when you open the breaker box. Those parts include:

- The neutral bus bar where all white wires connect.

- The main black cable.

- All bare metal parts.

- Damaged or burnt parts.

Also, stay away from any large wires or lugs. These parts of the electrical system are always hot and if you touch them you can die. Working with electrical systems is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced person.

Always defer to an experienced electrician if you are not trained to handle electrical systems correctly.

What Causes a Hot Neutral Reverse?


You may know this situation as reverse polarity. The hot neutral reverse is where someone made a bad connection and attached the hot wire to the neutral terminal and the neutral wire to the hot terminal.

The ground wire is supposed to be connected to the neutral wire. Sometimes many inexperienced electricians and handymen connect the hot wire to the neutral and forget about connecting any ground wire.

The way to avoid this is to make sure you know what the color of the wire is for when you are replacing old wires. Sometimes electricians change colors on you so you do have to be careful when you replace old or broken wiring.

Then you have to make sure you know which terminal is which. After that, double-check to make sure you made the right connections so that all the right wires are in their proper place.

If you are not sure which color goes for which terminal, neutral is supposed to be always white. The hot wire can be red, black, or blue, and the ground wire is supposed to be green.

Then to make things confusing sometimes the wire may be white with a black, red, or green stripe on it. Those stripes are your clue as to where the wire connects. On top of this, if you travel to different countries, do not expect those countries to use the same colors for hot, ground, or neutral.

Hot And Ground Reversed Fix


The situation is this: The neutral wire is the wire that the electricity travels to return to the source. If that wire gets disconnected or broken then the ground wire is used by the current.

When this takes place, and you touch the wrong spot, you can get a fairly nice shock. To fix this problem, you have to track down the location of the broken connection and replace or fix the neutral wire.

To help you narrow down the location, you use the three-light tester. If the first outlet tested shows correct, then you know the problem is further down the line.

The second outlet may test correct so you keep moving to different outlets in the circuit till you get an incorrect one or the lights indicate a hot ground problem.

That is where you start looking. Of course, the problem may not be at that outlet, it just maybe just after the previous outlet. At this point, you just search for the break and when you find it, you replace the wire or reconnect it.

Some Final Words

The hot ground reverse is not a difficult problem to solve. The hardest part is finding it and keeping yourself from getting a shock. Until you find the location of the problem, you do have to keep the power on.

When you find the location, make sure to turn the power off before doing any repairs. Always play it safe.

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