What Does Hot And Ground Reversed Mean [How to Fix]

Hot and ground reversed will be one of the diagnostic tests you do when checking faults in a circuit. This fault indicates there is a malfunction or absence of a neutral conductor in the wiring system.

In case you end up with a hot and ground reversed reading, the first thing to check are the neutral conductors. The chances are that maybe one of the conductors might be burned.

Burned out is not always the case. Sometimes the neutral bar might be simply loose so a bit of tightening should do the job.

Fixing Hot and Ground Reversed Fault

If you are not careful, you might be a victim of a shock hazard due to such a fault. So, you have to ensure that you have the fault fixed in time.

Since you know that hot and ground reversed means a broken neutral, it is time to start looking for where the source of the fault is.

When you have a broken neutral, it means that the current can go through the load, but there is no neutral to complete the circuit. As a result, the only route remaining will be going through the ground.

So far you can see that the metal parts connected to the circuit will be swarmed with the current. That is how it is seen as a shock hazard.

Here is the process of finding and fixing the hot and ground reversed fault.

1. Understand your tester

In most cases, you will have to use an outlet tester to know where the fault is.

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The outlet tester will use the voltage in the different wires in the circuit and relate it to the ground to see if there is any fault. Once the fault or no fault is found, the indicator lights will show on the tester.

Here is a video on how the outlet tester works

YouTube video

2. Checking the fuse box or circuit breaker

Sometimes it could be the circuit breaker that has tripped and now there is no power to the outlet. It is best if you can consider looking at the fuse box first.

If you find one of the uses is burned, then it is best to get yourself another fuse and have it replaced.

3. Check the outlet

Now that you are sure it is the outlet that has a problem, go ahead and test it to know exactly where the issue is.

Try to plug in a different appliance to see if it will still work or not. If it does not work, now start checking the wiring of the outlet.

Look for any loose wires or those that might be frayed. In case you find any, have them replaced to see if the outlet now works.

4. Replace the outlet

At times you get that the wires are still in good condition, but you still have the hot and ground reversed fault.

Well, it could be a problem with your outlet. You can always get a new outlet and have it wired correctly.

Yes, older outlets can get the loose meaning that the wires are loose too. So, a new outlet might be the solution you need.

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In case you feel it is hard to do the wiring correctly, you can always hire an electrician to help with the job.

Once the outlet is replaced, test the appliance again.

If the outlet was faulty, you may find the appliance now working. If not, you may now have to use the services of an electrician.

Check out this video for more details

YouTube video

Correct Wiring But still Hot and Ground Reversed Fault

It can be frustrating when it seems like you cannot have the fault fixed but you feel like the wiring is done correctly.

That can happen sometimes when the user swaps the wires during the wiring of the outlet. Also, the wires can become loose and switch positions as you try to fix the outlet back into the wall.

Just make sure the power to the outlet is turned off and then remove the outlet from the wall to check the wiring.

If you notice some of the wires were switched, make sure you have them wired correctly. In case of a loose wire, have it tightened too. This would leave you with a functional outlet with no fault anymore.

Correct Wiring But still Hot and Ground Reversed Fault


What happens when the ground is not connected?

Having no ground wire is quite dangerous for any circuit. The ground wire is important for carrying the extra static current so that the users do not get shocked. It can also b used as an emergency line for passing current.

What would happen when a hot wire touches ground wire?

You will see a lot of sparks which are not good for safety. That is why a breaker is necessary to cut power to the line so that it prevents the potential scenario of explosion or fire.

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What is open hot in an electrical circuit?

Open hot can also be dangerous. In this case, the hot wire is no longer connected to the circuit. That is why the outlet is not delivering power to the appliance. It would require opening the outlet and attaching the hot wire correctly.

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