Ground wire has become hot, any idea where to start looking? Problem is between the Service Panel and the first receptacle.
For a ground wire to get hot, you have to pass a lot of power through it. Unless you get free electricity, fix that fast!
If it is not a plugged in appliance that is causing it, (easy enough to check by unplugging whatever is plugged in there) the first step would be to turn the breaker off and replace the receptacle. The black wire goes to the brass terminals, the white wire goes to the silver terminals, and the ground wire goes to the sixor eight sided green ground terminal.
If that does not cure the problem, then please replace the cable between the breaker box and the receptacle before the house burns down. If you can't fix it today, turn the breaker off until it can be fixed. Also top off your insurance and keep some FULL fire extinguishers handy. The problem you have is not a joking matter, but very serious!
Because the possibility exists that a nail or screw penetrated the cable, don't touch any picture frames or nails or screws in the wall until the problem has been fixed. That could be a very shocking experience.
If you think that cutting the wall open to replace that wire is messy, consider the alternative: a burned down house. That is a LOT messier.
Before cutting the wall open or doing anything with wall board, move your computers as far away as possible and cover them with plastic. Dust from Gypsum, wall-board, sheet-rock, etc. WILL HURT your CD drives.
Next attach a no-slip drop-sheet or piece of old carpet to the wall ABOVE the baseboard with ducktape or masking tape.
With the breaker off, use a small wall board saw or box cutter and cut a slit wide enough to see the cable. Where you see the cable attached with staples, cut some extra to get at the staple and pull it. Also cut the cable there and pull out the section of cable that has been freed up to that point. Once you have all the pieces of cable out, lay them end to end and measure their length, so that you know how much new cable you need.
Before pushing in the new cable, push in a single wire or haywire. You can guide it along by reaching into the slit in the wall with needle-nose pliers. Then use that wire to pull in the cable. Don't try it alone. Have one person pushing and one person pulling.
Once the new cable is connected to a new receptacle and everything is working fine, get some cheap hemp or sisal rope the same length as the cable that you bought and about the thickness of the slot in the wall. Cut the rope into foot long pieces, Soak pieces of the rope in thin wall-board mud and stuff them into the slit so that they don't stick out farther than the surface. That rope trick will save you hours and money and frustration.
Let the rope dry overnight and then finish the wall like you would for surface scratches.
Don't uncover or bring back the computer(s) until all the dust has been vacumed up and the wall sealed with paint.
If you can't do it now, turn the breaker off and take it out, so that nobody can turn it on. A hot ground wire means you have an almost burning house.
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