Live Neutral Reverse
Live neutral reverse is a term used by electricians to indicate that the neutral wire in a socket has been wrongly connected to the terminal intended for the live or hot wire. This is a safety hazard because it means that the socket cannot properly be turned off. Even when it is supposedly switched off, it will remain live, with electricity continuing to flow.
Live Earth Reverse
This term means that the live and earth wires in a socket have each been connected to the terminals intended for the other. This is dangerous because it means that exposed parts of the apparatus will be live and users could receive a potentially fatal electric shock.
No Earth or Missing Earth
The earth wire, used to safely discharge excess current, is not wired to the intended terminal.
Neutral Fault or Missing Neutral
The neutral wire is the conductor which completes a circuit, returning to the start point. Most socket testers will indicate if this is not connected, connected incorrectly, not in contact with the ground, or some other fault is present.
This reading indicates a fault in the live or hot wire. It may be damaged or wired incorrectly, for example. The live wire is sometimes indicated by the letter P (power).
You will find a key to the readings displayed on the back of the device. Some models will also indicate the specific location of a fault on the live, neutral or earth wires.
Testing the power and wiring of electrical outlets is an essential safety practice and one that should be undertaken regularly to catch any developing faults.
With the right equipment, socket testing is a speedy and simple process and one that does not require technical knowledge. However, electrical maintenance is a specialist job and one that should only be undertaken by properly qualified electricians or technicians.