how to fix a hot ground reverse

A “hot ground reverse” refers to a situation in which the hot and ground wires in an electrical circuit are reversed. This is a potentially dangerous issue that can lead to electrical shock hazards and equipment damage. If you suspect a hot ground reverse in your electrical system, it’s essential to address it promptly and safely. Here are the steps to fix a hot ground reverse:

Important Safety Note: Dealing with electrical issues can be hazardous. If you are not experienced with electrical work, it is strongly recommended that you consult a qualified electrician or professional to address this problem.

Materials You May Need:

  1. Voltage Tester or Multimeter: To check the electrical connections and verify the issue.
  2. Screwdrivers: Flathead and Phillips-head screwdrivers for opening electrical outlets and switches.
  3. Wire Strippers and Cutters: If rewiring is necessary.
  4. Electrical Tape: For insulating and securing wires.


  1. Turn Off the Power:
    • Before working on any electrical circuit, turn off the power to the affected area by switching off the circuit breaker or removing the fuse that controls it. Confirm that the power is off by using a voltage tester or multimeter on nearby outlets or switches.
  2. Identify the Reversed Wiring:
    • Use the voltage tester or multimeter to identify which wires are incorrectly connected. A hot ground reverse typically means that the hot (live) wire and the ground wire are swapped.
  3. Inspect Electrical Outlets and Switches:
    • Open the electrical outlets and switches that are part of the affected circuit. This will require removing the cover plates and accessing the internal wiring.
  4. Reconnect the Wiring Correctly:
    • If you identify that the hot and ground wires are reversed, disconnect them from the outlet or switch terminals.
    • Properly reconnect the wires with the hot (live) wire to the appropriate terminal, usually gold or black, and the ground wire to the ground terminal, typically green or bare.
  5. Secure the Wiring:
    • Ensure that the wires are securely connected to the terminals and tighten any screws or connectors as needed.
    • Use electrical tape to insulate the connections, if necessary, and to prevent any exposed wires from touching each other or the metal casing.
  6. Reassemble and Test:
    • Carefully reassemble the electrical outlets and switches, including the cover plates.
    • Turn the power back on to the circuit and use a voltage tester to confirm that the issue is resolved. Verify that the hot and ground wires are correctly connected.
  7. Seek Professional Help (if necessary):
    • If you are uncertain about the wiring or if you encounter any difficulties during the process, or if the issue persists after your attempts, it’s essential to contact a licensed electrician to diagnose and fix the problem. Electrical work can be dangerous, and safety should always be a priority.

Addressing a hot ground reverse is crucial to ensure the safety of your electrical system. If you are not experienced with electrical work or have any doubts about your abilities, it’s strongly recommended to seek professional assistance to fix this issue safely and correctly.