I was moving around a room and noticed my wife wanted her desk elsewhere. I decided to, since she would have her computer on it, check the outlet she would be moving to.

It seemed old so I changed it. I noticed before I changed it that with my GFCI tester, all sockets on this circuit were fine (2 right lights solid). I also noticed that the ground wires were sloppily twirled together and one was touching one of the neutral wires. I was hoping this wasn't the reason for it looking like it is grounded.

After wiring up the new receptacle I found that this and all of the other receptacles were showing an open ground. I put my tester in each one and put my pliers between the ground and neutral on the socket I just wired and each one showed as grounded.

- Did I do something wrong by pulling the ground away from the white wire?

- All of the sockets have a ground wire in their cables. Shouldn't I be grounded now? If so, what could be causing this?

- And most importantly, I also noticed that when I touch my wand tester (voltage sensor) to the screws, it lights up shows voltage. I touch the screws with my shoes off standing on the ground floor and I don't feel a shock.

?? So in this current state, is there a chance of fire? Shock? ??

This is in my basement where in the summer it can get pretty humid. I'd prefer the ground to be working and might call an electrician to come over but I'd like some options first. I'd also hope that there is no chance of fire due to this change.

Not sure that it would do any good but I put a GFI receptacle in replacement of what I thought was the first receptacle in the circuit.

Thanks in advance for any help you're able to provide.



PS - I have a similar reading on the circuits upstairs where no ground exists. Most of the receptacles up there are 2 pronged though. Still, what worries me is not just the lack of ground but the fact that my voltage sensor lights up when I put it over the screws.