Concerning the Sperry Instruments GFI6302 GFCI Outlet / Receptacle Tester:
Out of the package, with minimal understanding of operation, this one isn’t a good choice, here’s why in my opinion —
After buying this (and it’s a lovely, practical, pleasing design), the very first use, I experienced a receptacle similar to one that a reviewer claimed caused him to fail a Home Inspector Test, he thought the receptacle wiring was good, the instructor’s receptacle tester showed an open ground.
With this tester, a receptacle with an open ground, brightly lights one bulb, one slightly less bright, and one dim. I bought this tester to replace one that I had lost but has since shown up. Comparing it now, the older one only lights one bulb for an open ground. As we were working to get a contractor to rewire the house, I mentioned this effect to several electricians, and their socket testers, different models, only lit one bulb too.
In the image below, Sperry Instruments GFI6302 GFCI Outlet / Receptacle Tester is on the Right, my old tester on the Left. A single lit bulb in a specific location on either one indicates an open ground. As can be seen, the Sperry lights the center bulb brightly, which according to the chart on the tester is an open ground when only the center bulb is lit, but the other bulbs are lit as well, just not brightly, and that’s confusing.
My older tester is on the Left, one bulb lit, and on that tester, that single bulb being lit indicates an open ground.
Mind you, some reviewers where we bought this are fond of the Sperry Instruments model GFI6302 GFCI Outlet / Receptacle Tester, but careful attention needs to be given to the brightness of the bulbs. One article online said not to use any receptacle testers, but I disagree. As an industrial electrician, we have these, but we usually use a voltage tester, but you have to know what to expect, and exposed voltage tester lead ends are hot when plugged in, so shock and shorting hazards exist. Receptacle testers work just like using a plug, so it’s safer. There’s one site online that has an extended chart of conditions, and what to expect from the lights, including dim lights. It’s worth the effort to review it, makes this tester easier to use and understand, see it at the following link:
I purchased another receptacle tester on Amazon, it has 5 lights, but only one lights for each defect, and a green light for good. It’s a keeper. Big, but I love it.
My new one, the “Sperry Instruments HGT6520, Stop Shock II – Single LED Indicator, GFCI Outlet Tester” available on Amazon, has multiple LEDs, only one lights for any one condition, that condition is marked by each light (no table to consult), the LEDs are red to denote a defect and green for correct wiring, even from a distance in the photos below, the green is easily visible. In addition, the tester requires the circuit to have less than 10 ohms resistance to denote a normal ground, so poor ground conditions are flagged too, not just missing grounds.
Here’s a visual comparison of all three, they all test the GFCI function of receptacles as well, Providing the Receptacle is Grounded Properly!!! GFCI Receptacles DO NOT need a ground to work, the test button on GFCI receptacles will work without a ground, but, EMPHATICALLY, GFCI Receptacle Testers that plug into the Receptacle need the ground to be good to test the GFCI function of the receptacle.
Of using Receptacle Testers in general, this review is noteworthy.
I bought this while looking for homes to buy. It is a good indication on how well a person takes care of their home. Typically, an electrician won’t mess up something as simple as an outlet. A reversed ground or mixed up outlet is a great indicator that the person you’re buying from is a DIYer. Those types (DIYers) can be great for home maintenence, but if a wall plug is overlooked, then you might want to look closer at other things as well.
Pursuant to this reviewers comments, on the home were were buying, we found a multitude of open grounds (turns out the home was almost entirely on Knob & Tube wiring), so those deceptive modern receptacles were installed where old ones existed and have no ground because of the Knob & Tube wiring, and we found one Hot and Neutral Reversed. There was extensive former owner tinkering with the wiring, and it should’ve been a red flag to avoid a home that took months to get ready to live in (availability of the electrician) and much more money than we ever envisioned.
Hot and Neutral Reversed
Home buying? Get a good tester, check out the receptacles, write down your findings, and have the service and breaker panel checked by a trusted electrician as well.