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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48 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 a ground attached to a 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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34 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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58 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
64 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
103 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
108 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
373 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
105 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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95 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
47 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
76 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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38 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
56 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
88 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
133 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
627 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
87 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
38 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
258 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
43 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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1answer
306 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
141 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
310 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
162 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
212 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
37 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
228 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
155 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
114 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
100 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
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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
209 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 ...
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1answer
730 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
260 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,...
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2answers
571 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
594 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 ...
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2answers
426 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 ...
2
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1answer
55 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 ...
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1answer
7k 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 "...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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4answers
10k 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 ...
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1answer
67 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 ...
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2answers
122 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 ...
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1answer
344 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 ...
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1answer
4k 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 ...