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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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2answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
70 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 ...
0
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0answers
34 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
48 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 ...
0
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1answer
49 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 ...
1
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3answers
76 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
220 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 ...
0
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2answers
63 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
84 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
38 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 ...
0
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1answer
95 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
208 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 ...
0
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3answers
107 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 ...
0
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2answers
103 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 ...
0
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0answers
33 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
0
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3answers
117 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 ...
0
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2answers
79 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?
0
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2answers
89 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 ...
1
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0answers
51 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 ...
0
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1answer
620 views

Light switch using only black wires - Incoming whites terminate together in box - New timer switch requires white neutral

I want to replace a simple single pole light switch with a timer switch, which requires red, black, white, and ground. The existing switch is in a triple box, where all three switches have only blacks ...
1
vote
1answer
165 views

Adding sub panel, odd main panel configuration

I am in the process of adding a sub panel to a detached garage and I have the proper gauge wire connected up to the sub panel (neutral and ground NOT bonded) with 3 conductors + ground running in ...
4
votes
1answer
504 views

Neutral wire is tied to my electric metal box, why is it so?

I have this old Depard switch box in my patio. Originally, I wanted to 'add' a receptacle in my old Despard switch 'array' stack. Now I am puzzled and afraid of doing that because I found out that ...
1
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0answers
41 views

Lighting neutral

Can anyone explain about lighting neutral wires (blue)? I have a 3year old house, which has blue wires in the back boxes. I am assuming that this is the neutral. On my current 1 gang 2 way switch ...
3
votes
2answers
258 views

about the saying “neutral does not carry current”

It came across to me quite frequently online that people state "neutral wire does not carry current." I thin this is a false statement. My reason is the following. For the electrical panel in my home,...
1
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2answers
363 views

Install Smart Switch - Neutral wire from adjacent switch?

There are two switches that are side by side. The one I'm replacing with a Smart switch does not have a neutral. The adjacent switch is a 3-way switch and it does have a neutral. Can I share the ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Smart switch wiring with no neutral

Long time reader, first time poster. Working on updates for our new house and I bought a few lutron caseta switches the other day to wire up in our front entryway. I went with the PD-6ans which ...
3
votes
2answers
457 views

Multi gang switch boxes - Is it okay to keep the same branch neutrals separated for the different lighting/switching circuits?

I recently learned from this community about the importance of keeping currents balanced in each cable. In other words, current in one direction should be canceled by the same amount of current ...
2
votes
2answers
341 views

How should I secure an unused wire in my breaker panel?

I accidentally pulled 6-4 wiring to a machine that only needs 240 and no neutral. What to do with the white wire? I read here that at the machine, I just cap the white wire. When I go to connect the ...
3
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1answer
52 views

Replacing light fixture UK unable to determine which wire is which

We had our kitchen redone within the last year, part of that was adding a new light fitting which was to be replaced later in the year. That time is now, I've just taken the old one off which has ...
3
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1answer
5k views

Neutral Wire is used to carry power to light switch - is this legal?

Forgive me for my crappy drawing :) to make a long story short I just moved into a home and I am taking a look at one of the lighting jobs. I noticed the light switch had no power feeding it and the "...
1
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1answer
862 views

Electrical question on floating neutral generator for emergency use

There is tons of information on "bonded neutral" and "floating neutral" generator wiring to transfer switch. However, I have one question I cannot find the answer. I recently bought a Reliance ...
13
votes
4answers
8k views

Why is this shared-neutral wiring bad?

Summary: I have this wiring situation in my home. I gather it's not up to modern code, and I experienced why it's bad (got shocked), but I don't understand why (physics/electricity) it happened. In ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Small neutral wire at service drop to panel

I recently moved into a gorgeous Victorian style house built in 1890. I am concerned about the point of entry of the service drop to the fuse box.containing a much smaller neutral than i would have ...
1
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2answers
110 views

Does my panel with a separate disconnect need an isolated neutral bus?

Sorry about lack of language ....just need a little guidance! After a fire I had to install new meter below which I installed a small exterior breaker box . Here I can switch all power off to the new ...
3
votes
1answer
308 views

Baffled by 3-way switch wiring

I am the new owner of an old, WWII-era home. The previous owner rented the property out for many years, and upkeep seems to have always gone to the lowest bidder. Among other things this means we have ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

2 wire lamp cord - which one is live?

I'm replacing a feed-through switch on an IKEA (Canada) floor lamp. Its using an SPT 2 cable (photo attached). Both wires have the same insulation color and both are copper. Neither is ribbed (as far ...
0
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2answers
500 views

Adding a neutral straight from panel

I had to add a neutral for a light switch. I was not able to run up the ceiling and tied the new neutral in where the light Is installed in the ceiling. The switch for the light was only a couple of ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Unbundling Ground Wire make unconnected wires show hot

A light that has a 2 wires (and a ground) coming in from an outlet. The 2 wires are unused. From the other side there are two wires coming up to the box. 1 of these wires connects to the light and ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

Why does my light box have 2 cables for this one switch?

Took down a ceiling fixture and discovered what looks like a possible switch loop, except I don’t understand how the connection gets completed with the current set up. Basically, 2 lines coming into ...
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1answer
65 views

How can I reduce flicker on an ELV chandelier?

I wired up a set of ELV lights in my dining room and used this particular dimmer switch (Lutron MRF2-6ELV-120-WH) at the switch box. The wiring was rather straightforward. No more complicated than ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

How can I be sure a wire is truly neutral?

Most sites I find tell me how to distinguish the neutral wire from the live wire. Basically, you find the one that has current and the other one is neutral. That's all fine and dandy when you only ...
2
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0answers
2k views

“Open Neutral” only when load applied- my tester is confusing me

I have a 20amp circuit with a 20amp GFI and 4 more 15amp outlets after it. With nothing plugged in, they all indicate (on my 3-light tester) they are wired correctly. As soon as 1 thing is plugged ...
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4answers
3k views

Why is the neutral conductor sometimes undersized in AC applications?

Why are electricians allowed to sometimes lower the size of the grounded (neutral) conductor? If alternating current is bidirectional then wouldn't the neutral technically be an ungrounded (hot) ...
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0answers
98 views

Installed smart switch but nearby circuit keeps breaking

I just installed a smart switch (Leviton Decora) in my garage and the switch works fine. But I soon noticed that the circuit controlling outlets in the closest room to the garage keeps breaking. I ...
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2answers
1k views

How should I connect a three-wire transformer in a panel with no neutral bus?

I am installing a three wire 16v transformer. My 1960 20 circuit breaker box has only two connections, hot & ground. What to do with white neutral wire?
3
votes
1answer
510 views

How to wire programmable switch to only a single set of white-black-ground wires

I have a switched outlet that I want to control using a programmable switch. I have done this before with other lights around the house but they all have 2 sets of wires: one from the source and one ...