Normally the load goes between hot and neutral line.

Since neutral is grounded why can't I put a load between hot and the ground line?

  • That does not answer my question. Since neutral is grounded there is a connection between grounded and grounding wire. Since this connection exists why can't I put a load between grounded wire and hot wire. Please leave alone safety. This is a purely theoretical question. – Mleko Mar 15 '16 at 20:38

Because the grounding system is a safety system, and is designed to only carry current during a fault. If you use a grounding conductor as a grounded (neutral) conductor, you'll have current flowing on water pipes, faucets, appliance frames, metal electrical enclosures, and anything else that's grounded.

Doing this could lead to property damage, injury, and/or death.

  • 2
    Translated: "you CAN. But you'll kill someone." – Bob Mar 14 '16 at 19:33
  • Tester101 and Bob are right. Electrically, it would work (in fact, if you looked inside the breaker panel [but don't, please!], you'd see all the neutrals and grounds tied together), but would create an extremely dangerous situation. – Brian A. Henning Mar 14 '16 at 21:18
  • 1
    You would also trip any GFCI connected on that circuit. – Barry Mar 15 '16 at 0:28

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