When there isn't a ground wire, is it okay to ground to the neutral on a outlet ? There is no ground wires to my outlets.

  • 1
    Please see the referenced duplicate to see why it's a bad idea. Basically, if the neutral wire from the supply breaks, the plugged-in device's chassis can become electrically hot and cause an electracution!
    – DoxyLover
    Mar 19 '16 at 5:54


The usual solution is to replace that outlet with a GFCI outlet, attaching the included label to indicate that it is ungrounded. This provides equivalent protection, perhaps better.

In older buildings where the wires run in metal conduit, the metal outlet box is grounded through the conduit. The prong outlets are designed so they can ground to this through their mounting tabs, though some of us prefer an actual wire between the ground terminal and the box. This is traditional and it should work as long as all the conduit and box connections are secure.

Or install a GFCI and make sure it is properly grounded. Belt and suspenders.

But do not connect ground and neutral at any point except the main breaker box, and do not try to use neutral as a ground.


No, it's never okay to use a neutral as a ground.

If there's no ground, you can:

  • Install a GFCI receptacle.
  • Install a grounding conductor.
  • Connect to a grounding conductor of a similar sized circuit.

Assuming this is with a two-pin plug-top as are used in the USA and Europe, and one of the pins is connected to load and chassis, if the plug is reversed the chassis immediately becomes live.

So no. NEVER bridge neutral to ground.

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