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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27
votes
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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
37
votes
7answers
167k views

Why does this receptacle have the ground tied to the neutral?

I was replacing some outlets in my house with tamper-resistant ones, and came across one where the white and ground were wired together, as seen in this picture. Why? Is that okay or appropriate ...
4
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
572 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
10k views

What happens if you don't bond neutral and ground in a main service panel?

I know that we're supposed to bond neutral and ground in the main panel but can't quite understand what the actual danger/problem with this situation is. I also understand why we don't bond neutral ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Sharing neutral between branches

Legal? Safe? I don't see a problem with this as long as neutral uses a gauge high enough to support both branches. Am I missing something here? EDIT: Here's an illustration:
2
votes
1answer
761 views

Replacing subpanel in detached building - yet another ground/neutral question

Here's the situation. I've added on to my detached shop/garage and need to upgrade the very small subpanel. The existing garage pre-dates the 2008 NEC by at least a decade, and is supplied by a 3 ...
1
vote
3answers
212 views

multiple homeruns for neutral only?

I work in conduit and run single wires. I have a weird one. I have an always-hot (black) and neutral (white) pair that run from the panel passing through A to serve loads at B and C. At C, ...
1
vote
1answer
503 views

Why is the white wire hot in my switch box?

I have been replacing my light switches with zwave switches but some of them are wired a bit differently and am having some difficulty understanding them. This one is a single light switch to control ...
0
votes
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 ...