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I was looking to add an outlet near my light switch in the garage. When I opened the box for the switch I noticed that the neutral is wired to the ground. In the picture of the switch, the top wire screwed to the switch is the only hot wire in the box. Its hard to see but it comes from bottom right corner and the neutral from that same wire is wired to the ground. The wire at the top was stabbed all the way in to the back of the switch and i pulled out to test it which is why it is out. The second picture is the garage light. Two sets of wires coming in to the box. Have never seen anything like this. Did some reading on this site and couldn't find the same scenario. Any help on explaining why this is set up this way is appreciated.

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  • So I did finally figure this out. The black lead stabbed into back of the switch feeds hot over to another light switch on inside wall of garage for an outside light. It then feeds back into this box through the white wire at top right of picture which feeds out with the black hot wire at bottom right going up to the light fixture. So two switched hots going up to the light. One (black) for the light itself and other (white) to get hot out to the outside light. Return for neutral from inside garage light is through ground. I put black tape on all hot wires to identify the, – Zukes Jan 13 at 17:19
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Is the supply a 3 wire black, white , bare copper if it is the neutral connected to the ground at this point is a code violation. The only place the 2 are tied together is in the main panel. I would remove the neutral as this is not safe.

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    Ed - thanks for your help. Yes the supply is 3 wire (black, white, bare copper ground). There is no neutral going up to the overhead light. They were using ground as neutral. So if I disconnect the ground On both ends from neutral I have no neutral at overhead box. Only way I can figure to fix it is to run new wire. – Zukes Jan 13 at 20:56

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