Why The Bare Ground Wire Is Hot (How To Fix)

The ground wire is supposed to be a safety net in the electrical circuit.

It acts as a natural path for the current after it’s gone through. If it is hot, this means something is wrong within the circuit and that becomes a natural safety risk.

You will have to find out why the bare ground wire is hot.

A bare ground wire can become hot when the connectors are loose or improperly connected. Additional reasons can include a leakage within the circuit, a lightning strike, and/or general damage to the wire. To fix this issue, turn off the power supply, check the connectors, and tighten everything. If there’s a leak, please consult with a qualified electrician.

Do not continue to use the circuit until the ground wire is fixed. You can’t use a hot ground wire because it’s not supposed to be in that state at any time.

This guide will provide a deeper look at what to do when the ground wire is hot to the touch.

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How To Fix A Hot Ground Wire

1. Turn Of Power Supply

If you think the ground wire is carrying current then this is a major point of concern.

This becomes not only a safety risk but also a fire hazard. If the current continues to pass through the ground wire, your circuit has no safety net to speak of.

This is a significant concern.

To fix this issue, the first thing you are going to have to do is turn off the power supply. This will ensure any work that is done during the inspection or diagnostic phase goes ahead without risk.

Do not touch the wires when the power is still running through the circuit. This is dangerous and unnecessary.

Go to the circuit breaker and make sure the breaker has not tripped. This can also be a sign that the connectors are installed incorrectly and that is why the ground wire is warm.

bare ground wire is hot

2. Check The Connectors For Ground Wire

If you think the ground wire is energized, it’s time to look at the connectors.

Where is the ground wire connecting in the circuit? Is the connector loose or damaged? There are times when one of these connectors can become frayed due to a sudden surge of electricity that jolts through.

You might not notice it until the ground wire is hot or the power stops coming through the circuit.

To fix this issue, you will have to see where the problem area is. Tighten all of the connectors and double-check the ground wire to see if it is structurally intact.

This is a must before you start running power through the circuit again.

3. Look For Leakage

The last step is to look for a potential leakage in the circuit.

This happens when the current does not go through as expected and you start noticing warmth with other components. This can include the ground wire.

You should not be using a circuit that is in this condition at any cost. It has to be fixed by a certified electrician because finding the source of the leak is a must.

This is not a recommended DIY job because it can often go deeper into the circuit. This is harder to access on your own.

Speak to a qualified electrician to spot where the leak is.

This should only happen if you were unable to locate loose connectors in the circuit. This means there is a leak that has to be fixed.

bare ground wire is hot

Final Thoughts

When a bare ground wire is hot, these are the steps that are going to help the most.

If a bare ground wire is hot, the reasons can include a sudden surge of power through the circuit, loose connectors, or a leakage in the circuit. To fix this issue, turn off the power supply, tighten the connectors near the ground wire, and then look for potential leakage. If there is a leak, please consult with a qualified electrician for further assistance.

It’s never recommended to work on the leak by yourself.

A qualified electrician will know what to look for and what to do while containing the leak. This is a must as it can fry the rest of your circuit if you are not careful.

Read More About Wires:

  1. Reasons Ground Wire Shocked You
  2. Comparing Neutral Vs. Ground Wire
  3. How To Link Two Ground Wires To Light Fixture
  4. Is Neutral Wire Supposed To Have Current?
  5. Should Neutral Wire Be Same Size As Ground Wire?
  6. What If You Wire Neutral And Live Wire Improperly?