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
192 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 ...
27
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5answers
331k views

Is it ok to have mixed grounds and neutrals on bars in a breaker box?

So to continue my line of electrical questioning (and perhaps narrow down my flickering light problem), I took a look through the two panels in this house. There is a 200amp main service in the ...
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2answers
117 views

Why am I measuring 60v at some outlets?

The house I bought a couple years ago had a couple outlets in a small room in the basement that didn't work. Now I'm troubleshooting them. It's a finished basement so I can't tear down walls. There's ...
5
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5answers
4k views

240 Volts - No Neutral Required - How does Power Return to Earth?

I think this question is appropriate here in order to help DIYers (me) to understand why a neutral isn't needed on a 240 volt outlet. I understand that two 120 volt power sources that are 180 degrees ...
12
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1answer
65k views

How can I install this programmable switch where a neutral is not present?

I'm trying install this programmable switch but the instructions do not match reality. The instructions refer to the existence of a black (load) cable and a white (neutral) cable supposedly coming out ...
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2answers
100 views

Apartment using ground wire as neutral

I was answering a trouble call in an apartment today that a pendant light fixture had come down and was hanging by the wiring. I went to remount it, but noticed that the light fixture wiring was ...
3
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3answers
284 views

How to test voltage between neutral and ground

I'm not an electrician. Per, https://www.apc.com/us/en/faqs/FA158817/, I want to test the outlets in a room for the following: Overloaded neutral wire (>5 Volts AC measured between Neutral and ...
0
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1answer
272 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 ...
0
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2answers
39 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 ...
3
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1answer
146 views

Understanding ground to earth and neutral, trying to make my home safe

I've been reading for hours and still confused in regards to my situation. I'm trying to improve electrical safety in my house, especially with a growing family. Any help would be great. I'm in ...
3
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1answer
167 views

Could a neutral wire be black?

I have these two switches which the left one is for the bathroom fan and the right one for the light. Everything already works. Now I want to add a minuter switch to the fan and the minuter have all ...
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1answer
72 views

Replacing timer with no neutral wire

I bought replacement for my bathroom exhaust fan. Basically what i bought was this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-50-CFM-Wall-Ceiling-Mount-Roomside-Installation-Bathroom-Exhaust-Fan-ENERGY-...
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1answer
453 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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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 ...
3
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3answers
131 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
99 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 ...
1
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2answers
76 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 ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Electric Dryer Leg A drops to 0V Leg B spikes at 240V when start pushed

I am in the military and came back from a month overseas and my 3 prong electric dryer would not start. I am an electronics technician (radios) so I am quite experiences with electronics and theory (...
13
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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 ...
1
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4answers
88 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
139 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
47 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)?
4
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3answers
312 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 ...
3
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2answers
185 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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1answer
61 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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5answers
247 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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
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2answers
685 views

How can I add a light fixture to a three-way circuit by connecting to the switch?

I would like to add a new light fixture to a 3-way circuit in my stairway. The new light will be closer to the second switch and therefore would like to wire it from there (the other fixture is in the ...
2
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
0
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1answer
119 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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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 ...
3
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4answers
620 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 ...
12
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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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3answers
127 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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2answers
89 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 ...
1
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0answers
63 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 ...
0
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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
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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3answers
149 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 ...
1
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3answers
246 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
767 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
747 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
225 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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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2answers
2k views

Is it normal for coax cable to carry this much voltage?

I recently had a problem with my internet going out (cable). I went a few hours later to check if anything was loose on the box on top of the breaker panel. I opened it up and noticed cable coming ...
12
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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
111 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
53 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
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1answer
65 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
319 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 ...