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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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3
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1answer
9k 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
2k 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 ...
12
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4answers
12k 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 ...
2
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1answer
71 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
135 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
387 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
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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 ...
0
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2answers
775 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 ...
2
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1answer
104 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
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2answers
233 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
86 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
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1answer
210 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
6k 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
143 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 ...
1
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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?
2
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1answer
557 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Safest way of temporarily working with a failed 4-wire outbuilding subpanel (one missing hot leg, neutral bonded ground on both ends)?

This is actually a multi-pronged question. I will ask it all and split out what I can as needed. I am renting a remote out building in a rather rustic location on a farm. The power situation here was ...
0
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2answers
1k views

Troubleshooting a 120v load off a GFCI outlet

I have a 120v load im trying to troubleshoot, i replaced the GFCI located in garage as it's the first termination after the breaker and i thought it was the issue. Before and after GFCI the issue was ...
2
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2answers
2k views

How do I add a neutral bar to a sub panel?

I am adding a neutral bar to an existing sub panel and need to insulate the mounting screws so I don't ground my neutral bar, any suggestions on what to use?
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2answers
512 views

Kitchen wiring issue

We recently bought a 1978 home in Florida. The kitchen wiring leaves me scratching my head. I think I have solved 2 of 3 major problems, but need advice on the last. (see pic) 4 different 20A ...
2
votes
1answer
316 views

Weird wiring configuration, neutral is live

I'm trying to install a wemo dimmable smart switch to replace a regular switch. The original wiring pictured below is unlike the other 8 switches I replaced in my home. It looks like it's hooked up to ...
2
votes
2answers
624 views

Will this particular breaker box allow ground wire to connect at neutral?

House is ran with EMT.. I have two dedicated circuits coming in from outside the house for a swimming pool, with a dedicated ground to the main breaker box. I want to connect to far right bottom ...
2
votes
1answer
800 views

When connecting hot to ground, lights turn on. Open neutral?

In troubleshooting one circuit, I accidentally discovered information for a second circuit that I've also been trying to sort out. So, bottom line is I was stupid and lucky. While replacing a switch ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Kitchen Wiring 14 to 12 Neutral

I have a 20 amp circuit going directly from the panel to the kitchen with 20 amp receptacles and subsequent 12 gauge wire. There are only 4 outlets on that circuit (one being a GFI). I am installing ...
0
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1answer
1k views

Making a switched plug hot all the time

My house was built in the 70s so most of my outlets are on a switch in which the bottom is always hot and the tops are controlled by the switch. I'm installing recessed lighting and I'm going to use ...
-1
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2answers
457 views

Use of ground wire on split phase 120V house that was converted to 240v

I would like to use the ground wire as neutral to convert one outlet on a 240v plug to 120v. see attached on use of ground and let me know. [![enter image description here][2]][2] [2]: https://i....
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1answer
930 views

“Neutral wire required”!

I have a dual switch in my bathroom with two separate controls -- one for the fan and one for the light. It has the following four contacts: Ground (duh!) Two "common" ones, which seem short-...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

RCBO makes one lamp blink

Let me start by stating that I'm an IT (information technology) guy, but I'm a novice at electricity. I just educated myself to some degree using YouTube tutorials and some written articles. I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

Odd Problem Testing Series Outlets

I recently purchased a new outlet tester and was randomly going around the house happy that all outlets were showing GREEN (correct). Then I came to one of the outlets in my kitchen. I have three ...
3
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3answers
2k views

How to determine which neutral to which power?

I have 20 Amp power run to part of my house. The conduit that carries it runs down one of the walls of my garage. I've cut the conduit, inserted a metal junction box, and intend on putting in a ...
1
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2answers
2k views

How can I add 120v circuits to a 240v sub-panel with no neutral?

I want to wire my detached garage from a sub panel that supply 240 volts to my AC unit and water pump. My problem is that there is no neutral leg in this panel. I tried bonding my neutral to the ...
3
votes
1answer
385 views

Single Neutral for Several Smart Switches

I have some (seemingly common, but specifically unanswered) concerns about providing a neutral wire to smart switches that are in a single multi-gang box (4-6 switches on different circuits). I am ...
0
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2answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
882 views

Installing night-light switch on hot-neutral-ground circuit

I am attempting to add a light switch that has a night light in it to my workshop. I noticed that the switch box only has one neutral wire leading to it, and what appears to be a ground wire tied into ...
2
votes
2answers
533 views

Sub Pabel Install, NEC 250.24 question, Mixed ground/neutral at main

Did this install today on my home. How'd I do? I asked an old electrician and he said that I ought not to mix the Neutral with the Ground at the main like that cause "it could cause problems", ...
1
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3answers
201 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, ...
3
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:
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How can I test the integrity of my neutral wire?

I wired up a set of ELV lights and installed a Lutron dimmer switch specifically designed for ELV lights. They have a problem with flicker. The manufacturer of the lights has advised me that having a ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Leaving lost neutral wire

I am in the process of clearing out old random wires from my 100 year old house (think multiple layers, modern, knob and tube and everything in between). In the process of doing this, I tried to ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Dangers of connecting ground to neutral?

In my living situation, there is no ground wire at the building. There is a ground AND neutral bus in the breaker box, but it doesn't extend to this separate building, which I'm living in. I've got ...
0
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2answers
598 views

What do I do with the neutral wire when there isn't a place for it? [closed]

I'm trying to replace a 3 prong dryer cord with a 8 gauge wire. The control box has a three prong dryer wire that was originally connected to it. I don't have that type of outlet so I'd like to hook ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

How many terminal bars N / PE do I really need?

I've purchased a wall mounting enclosure by ABB (serie Europa), and in the manual they recommend special designed terminal bars ABB 12494 for the enclosure. I can't figure out if I need TWO of this ...
0
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0answers
36 views

enough electrical knowledge to get me in trouble

I have an Arc welder and just picked up a spot welder. Checking the Arc welder cord I found it has 4 wires. The green is cut off and the white is used. Do I need to have the neutral (white) and the ...
0
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1answer
90 views

New service, detached structure

I am now living in Cuenca, Ecuador. I have yet to see any electrical wiring that meets code. Zip, zilch, nada. Wires running everywhere, people scabbing onto other peoples houses to get electricity, ...
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2answers
4k views

New house - No neutral in switch box?

I was going to add an outlet to a switched 1 outlet circuit thinking it would be pretty straight forward to run a wire from the switch box to a new outlet. The switch in question is a simple 2-way. ...
1
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1answer
61 views

Midway Neutral disconnects whole house supply

We have pretty good electrical wiring as an electronics hardware lecturer has recently changed certain wiring. Recently at one switch box in the mid-point of the house electrical wiring, when a ...
4
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1answer
4k views

Why would a 120v circuit work without a neutral?

My home has a relatively typical (in America) 100 amp 240v feed accomplished via three conductors - two 120v "hot" wires and one neutral. This gives me my 240v circuits (the two hots) and my 120v ...
0
votes
1answer
160 views

No neutral kitchen wiring

Home built 1975, South Florida. Adjacent to my kitchen sink is a combo switch controlling a non-GFCI receptacle below the sink for the garbage disposal. Next to it (same box) is another non-GFCI ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Workaround for a bad neutral cable

Question: A 3-wire socket (hot, neutral, ground) in my bathroom has stopped working due to a bad neutral wire. Can I safely disconnect the bad neutral wire completely, and move the ground wire to the ...