I was replacing only the supply wiring running from Electrical box to a existing circuit in my kitchen, which starts at an wall outlet and branches to lights and other outlets.

I first connected the hot wire, with ground and neutral still not connected.. and just for testing purposes, I turned on power, and to my surprise, the lights turned on, and outlets have power, I cannot see why they should be on since I still have not even connected the neutral and the ground wire from the Electrical box to the circuit.. so I am confused as to what where there must be some kind of ground? or a short between ground and neutral?

So basically my kitchen has power at lights and outlets, but with only the black hot wire connected to the branch from the Electrical box. It has metal conduit/boxes.

Any help is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


The circuit is finding a path back to source. At some point along the circuit there is a connection to another neutral, or someone connected the ground and neutral and the current is returning through the metal pipes.

The only way to find whats causing it is to start opening each outlet, light, and junction box until you find the shared neutral, or neutral to ground connection. You should correct this because an improperly shared neutral can cause that neutral wire to over heat.

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