How to Fix Hot and Ground Reversed Safely and Effectively

Electrical work can be tricky, especially when it comes to dealing with hot and ground wires. Mixing up these two wires can lead to serious safety hazards, including electrical fires and shocks. If you’re wondering what to do when hot and ground are reversed, read on for a comprehensive guide to fixing this issue safely and effectively.

hot neutral reversed outlet fix - Wiring Diagram and Schematics

Understanding Hot and Ground Wires

In a typical electrical system, hot wires carry the electrical current, while ground wires provide a safe path for excess current to flow back to the power source. It is crucial to keep these two wires separate to ensure the proper functioning of electrical devices and to prevent electrical accidents.

Signs of Hot and Ground Reversed

Several signs can indicate that hot and ground wires are reversed in your system. These include:

  • Outlets not working properly, such as devices not powering on or lights flickering
  • Tripping circuit breakers or blowing fuses
  • Unusual humming or buzzing sounds coming from electrical devices
  • Exposed or damaged wires with reversed colors (black wire connected to the ground terminal, white wire connected to the hot terminal)

Safety Precautions

Before attempting any electrical work, it is essential to take the following safety precautions:

  • Turn off the power at the main circuit breaker or fuse box.
  • Use a non-contact voltage tester to ensure that all wires are de-energized.
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes and insulated gloves for protection.
  • If you’re not comfortable working with electricity, contact a licensed electrician for assistance.

How To Fix Hot Ground Reverse - HowToFix.ONE

Tools and Materials

To fix a reversed hot and ground, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • Non-contact voltage tester
  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire nuts (appropriate size for wire gauge)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these steps to fix a reversed hot and ground:

  1. Turn off the power at the main circuit breaker or fuse box.

  2. Remove the cover plate from the outlet or switch where the wires are reversed.

  3. Use a non-contact voltage tester to verify that there is no electricity flowing through the wires.

  4. Remove the screws holding the wires in place and disconnect the wires from the outlet or switch.

  5. Identify the hot and ground wires using a wire tester or by their color coding (black for hot, white for neutral, green or bare copper for ground).

  6. Swap the positions of the hot and ground wires by connecting the hot wire to the ground terminal and the ground wire to the hot terminal.

  7. Tighten the screws to secure the wires.

  8. Turn the power back on at the main circuit breaker or fuse box.

  9. Test the outlet or switch to ensure it is working correctly.

  10. Label the wires with electrical tape to prevent future confusion.

Additional Tips

  • If you are replacing an outlet or switch, ensure that the new device is compatible with your electrical system.

  • Consult with a licensed electrician if you encounter any difficulties or have any doubts about the safety of your electrical system.

How To Fix Hot And Ground Reversed


Fixing hot and ground reversed is essential for electrical safety. By following the steps outlined in this guide and taking necessary safety precautions, you can safely rectify this issue and ensure the proper functioning of your electrical system. Remember, electrical work can be dangerous, so if you’re not comfortable performing it yourself, don’t hesitate to contact a qualified electrician for assistance.

You May Also Like