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Questions tagged [neutral]

For questions relating to the neutral wire, or "grounded conductor" as it's sometimes called. The neutral, or "grounded conductor" in NEC, is the normal return path for electricity in a household AC circuit.

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5answers
3k views

GFCI in a 3-wire sub panel with bonded neutral and ground

My detached garage has 100-amp 3-wire service from the main panel in my house, with a 100-amp breaker at each end of the feed. The grounds and neutrals are bonded inside the sub panel due to the lack ...
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3answers
116 views

Legal/safe? Neutral in box goes to different panel than the one that provides the hot

TL;DR: in summary: the load (light) is in the garage, it is fed by a hot that originates in the garage, and it sinks into a neutral in the garage. The odd thing is that a switch loop extends from ...
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2answers
91 views

Can I use the ground wire as a neutral for an outlet?

I had a bulb light outlet, and I decided to convert it to power outlet. Now when I took the bulb light off, I discovered that there is only two wires in the wall, brown and yellow green, so I assume ...
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2answers
63 views

4 neutral wires bundled, two smart switches, how to pair neutrals

I have 4 neutral wires bundled together, and two switches requiring neutral. Each switch allows an in and an out for neutral, as pictured. My question is, does it matter how I pair the neutral wires ...
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4answers
82 views

Can you have neutrals on ground bar only bonded through main panel body

I have just added a circuit to my main panel and saw something I wanted clarification on. For reference, my main panel is a Homeline 30 space panel with 2 extra grounding bars on the sides. Picture ...
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7answers
4k views

Why does my old table saw power switch cut both hot and neutral?

I am refurbishing an old Craftsman 10" table saw that has been collecting dust in the back of my shop for years. I don't remember exactly how I acquired it, but to my recollection the one time I ...
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5answers
132 views

How do I know if this switch box has a neutral wire?

This outlet is two rocker switches. Left controls my bathroom light (4), right controls my bathroom fan (3). I am trying to install a timer switch so the fan is only on for ~30 min at a time. The ...
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0answers
32 views

no neutral wire for smart thermostat

I want to install a smart thermostat 240 volt but there is no neutral available. Can I connect to the neutral of an adjacent 120 gang box (receptacle)?
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2answers
167 views

Can I combine ground and neutral wires before they connect to their bus bars?

I finally did my 50 AMP 15-40 Nema wiring. Couple of questions on it. I don't have enough ground and neutral wire to reach the ground bar of the electric panel. Is it ok to join both neutral and ...
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2answers
31 views

Wiring a Smart Wall Switch

I’m considering on buying a Xiaomi smart wall switch but I had to consider the neutral or no neutral switch which led to me opening my wall switch to check. Which got me even confused... May I know ...
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1answer
59 views

Trying to wire switch outlet combo to existing two outlet. But the outlets each have 3 wires

I have 2 outlets, I want to replace with switch outlet combo (outlet always hot). But looking online, I keep seeing everything has only one white neutral, but in my case, both outlets have a black ...
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2answers
120 views

Open Neutral Circuit yet all circuits outlets and wiring appear connected

I am stumped...I have not had an electrical problem in my family room and have lived in this home for 11 years...until a few days ago. A few days ago I plugged a laptop charge cord (new and in normal ...
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3answers
36 views

Connecting smart switch, identifying neutal wire

Im looking to switch out an old rocker switch to a smart switch, but the wiring appears to be unconventional. Two black wires attached to the same screw, and a white wire, which I am trying to ...
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5answers
236 views

Can I connect the ground pin of the wall socket to neutral?

I have leaking currents issues in my apartment. There are some appliances in the apartment that don't have a problem with a wall socket that doesn't have a ground; like, TV, mobile charger, laptop ...
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4answers
332 views

Trying to install 2 smart switches but neutral wires in box are not connected

I'm trying to install 2 smart wifi switches to replace 2 dumb switches in a box. 1 switch powers a dining room light. The other switch powers two kitchen lights that turn on/off together. As ...
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3answers
121 views

Is wiring the neutral in a circular path correct?

I have a bathroom that was re-wired to add a bathroom fan some years ago. I am wondering if it was wired correctly. Originally, I believe the overhead light was wired in a switch loop to a single wall ...
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1answer
65 views

120v on black and white wires

I have been troubleshooting this for some time now. Any help would be great! A friend of mine's wife plugged in a hair dryer and lost power about 2 minutes into it. A few hours later the power was ...
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2answers
77 views

Ground Bus Bar on Sub Panel

I was working on a house with a sub panel for a shed/workshop. The sub panel was fed off the house main panel via 2pole 50A breaker. The sub was a load center type with no main breaker. The neutral ...
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3answers
3k views

Can ground attached to neutral fool a receptacle tester?

I'm using a basic outlet tester like the one from picture below. Let's say someone wired the ground to the neutral in some outlet, to provide a fake ground. What would the tester report? Would it be "...
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0answers
36 views

Main Electric Panel Neutral Bar

I have a Siemens 200 amp main service panel in my basement. The main service lines are two black and one black with a yellow stripe going to the neutral bar. The grounding bar is attached to a ...
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0answers
60 views

1 generator + multiple ATSes: how can I install this to Code without unobtanium?

I want to supply standby power to both units in a separately metered duplex from a single permanently installed generator. The cheapest way to do this is a pair of bog-standard ATSes and a smallish ...
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3answers
112 views

GFCI Circuit Breakers Wired Incorrectly

Just moved into 5yr old home, was looking to expand a garage outlet to afford more outlets. The outlet is below the panel is a GGCI outlet, however, the circuit breaker is not, so, I am going to ...
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3answers
168 views

Can you attach more than one wire in a given hole on a bus in an electrical panel?

Is it permissible to attach more than one neutral or ground wire to any terminal screw on the service panel bus? A home inspector says this is not allowed. THAT DOESN'T SEEM RIGHT, because all of ...
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2answers
270 views

Acceptable voltage between earth, Line,Neutral - Single Phase

I have a 240V+-10V 2 Wire Single Phase (UK) supply with TT earth bonding (earth rod). The breakers are double pole. The issue is with a lighting radial circuit. This is a new electrical ...
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2answers
602 views

Wifi light switch needs neutral wire. Why? AND Can that wire be a skinny one?

What does the neutral wire do on a light switch that responds to wifi? My suspicion is that when the switch is in the off position, the electronics in the switch need to still be powered, so the ...
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3answers
159 views

Neutral and ground connected to one bus bar in subpanel; should I change?

At my house, there is a subpanel that serves a pool area, served by one 30 amp 240v circuit. The panel, which I think was installed about 30 years ago, has just one bus bar that the neutrals and ...
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0answers
97 views

Can two loads use the same neutral return path?

I have a 220v circuit with two hot conductors. The connection has 4 terminals, L1 L1 L2 L2. The cable going in has a neutral conductor. Can I hook the first of the L1 and L2 to the neutral ...
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2answers
3k views

Can I use a neutral wire from another outlet to repair a broken neutral?

Recently one wall of outlets quit working. Testing shows the hots are all good and the grounds are all good but the neutrals are all dead. They are all connected to each other but somewhere have lost ...
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1answer
78 views

Bonding vs grounding a main and sub panel

I am in the process of building a new home and of course I'm saving some money by doing all the wiring myself. I do have a decent bit of experience with electrical work, but the main panel is a little ...
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1answer
86 views

Do I need a neutral on the other end of a three-way switch?

I'm looking at adding a three-way switch to a room. I'll probably drop the hot and neutral into Box #1, but 12/2/2 (hot, 2x travelers and a neutral) is fairly esoteric cable (nobody locally sells it ...
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0answers
51 views

Electrical wiring hook up sequence

I have found a box that as three duplex electric cables connecting. The neutral (white) from wire 1 and wire 3 are connected. The hot (black) from wire 1 is connected to wire 2, and the hot from ...
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1answer
60 views

Bathroom fan/light wiring help

I have old switches at home for the fan and lights. In short, 2 switches to control fan and lights separately. Recently, I've been trying to add a timer switch which requires neutral and it doesn't ...
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1answer
162 views

Electrical Outlet not working - Open Neutral

There are two outlets in our downstairs bathroom, one on each side of the sink. The one on the right side hasn't worked since we moved in. So, I decided to buy a tester and check it out. It said "Open ...
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3answers
270 views

Bridging Neutral and ground in a Light Switch

I changed my bathroom light switch for a Occupancy Sensor Switch but it would not turn off. Since the package said Ground Wire Required I figured it was a ground issue. The location has wiring from ...
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6answers
1k views

Why is the neutral tied to ground in my home's electrical panel? [duplicate]

What keeps the Electric from shorting to ground? On my electric panel the Neutral is tied to the ground. The ground is a bare copper wire run back to my water main. a. Electricity chooses the path ...
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2answers
213 views

Removing a light switch cuts power to my entire room. Breaker not tripped. Smart Switch Install

I have installed smart switches before, but I moved into a new apartment recently. I have never had a problem before. I removed my old light switch and installed a new smart wifi light switch, and I ...
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1answer
40 views

Dangers of connecting Neutral to case of blower?

(Not an Electrician) I have a 220V air handler (not part of the HVAC system its for a homemade wind tunnel) that I need to get power to. There is an old dryer receptacle (10-30R) in the basement that ...
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1answer
548 views

Is my plan to add a neutral wire to a switch box ok?

I'd like to add a neutral wire to an old switch box so that I can install a smart switch that needs a neutral wire. I have a mud room and porch that each have a light fixture. The lights are ...
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1answer
49 views

Installing light switch that requires neutral wire - wire is continuous through box

I have a new switch that requires a neutral. There is a neutral wire in the box, in the back, but it's continuous -- comes in one side and goes out the other. Is the proper procedure to cut it, then ...
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2answers
823 views

Why is neutral wired to ground at this switch?

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 ...
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1answer
229 views

Convert Three Way to Single Smart Switch

I have two switches set up as a 3-way and I'd like to take out one and install a smart switch for the other. I know I need a neutral, and I thought things would be good when I looked inside, but it ...
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3answers
451 views

Mystery current on neutral wires coming into outlet box

In reworking outlets and switches in our 1960's California home to use AlumiConn connectors + copper pigtails where needed (instead of older wire nuts + Noalox), I came across a duplex wall box in the ...
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3answers
250 views

When splitting a 240v circuit, what happens to neutral's amperage?

My garage has very limited power with only one outlet that I share with 3 bathrooms and every outdoor outlet, 4 total, on a 20 amp breaker. (House hastily thrown together in 97' for your reference) I ...
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2answers
372 views

How can I provide neutral wires for my smart switches?

I'm trying to install smart switches, which obviously need a neutral wire. I'm pretty sure I am lucky enough that I have it, but, want to make sure and also find out how to use it. I've attached a ...
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0answers
49 views

switch box red wire connected to white?

i'm installing smart switches, and found the neutral in another area so i assumed it'd be in all the switch boxes. Well not these two. It's a 3 way switch, and in the back of it there are white wires ...
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1answer
383 views

Installing CAFI Plug on Neutral Circuit breakers

The circuit breaker has only 2 places to hold wires. There are 3 wires. These are the newest versions with no pig tail. Do I need to wire it to the neutral bar? I thought the idea of this new design ...
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3answers
190 views

Is it acceptable to use a lighted switch with a switched outlet?

The bedrooms in our house in California each have a light switch that controls power to an outlet in the room. The switches are the single-pole type, interrupting the black/hot wire. Is it acceptable ...
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2answers
159 views

Why doesn't current return via the grounding conductor when it's connected in the panel? [duplicate]

Since the neutral wire and ground wire are connected in the main fuse box then why doesn't some of the returning electricity flow through the ground wire to earth?
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2answers
142 views

Are neutral wires linked to the neutral bar in the fuse box safe to touch

We have a tipical fuse box, fuses and neutral wires connected to a neutral bar. Let's say we have a closed circuit with a light bulb attached to it. The bulb is working. The neutral wire is ...
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0answers
53 views

Neutral wire issue

I have a lot of history on this issue and troubleshooting if someone can just bear with me...🙂 When we bought this house the previous owner had covered then eventually enclosed the back patio. When ...