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Will a GFCI tester work on a receptacle outlet with no ground on a 2-wire circuit?
Friday, June 25, 2021
No. All GFCI receptacles with the push-buttons in the center trip when they detect a difference between the amount of current flowing into the receptacle on the ungrounded (hot, white) wire and out of it on the grounded (neutral, black) conductor. When you push the TEST button, a device inside the receptacle creates that imbalance to verify that it will function when an actural ground fault occurs.
But all plug-in test devices create the imbalance by shunting some of the current to the equipment grounding (ground, green or bare) wire on the circuit. This includes both the simple three-light testers and more sophisticated electronic ones, and they won’t work if there is no ground connection. For a work-around, go to How do I test an ungrounded receptacle for GFCI protection on a 2-wire circuit?
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