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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Can I disconnect a neutral whose hot is disconnected?

I was replacing a light switch, and in the junction box there is a romex that comes in where the hot was cut and shoved back in the back. The neutral from the same romex wire is connected to the other ...
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3 votes
2 answers
452 views

Is it possible to wire 2 GFCI receptacles on 2 circuits with 12/3 wire shared neutral?

I am planning to run a few needed 20amp outdoor receptacles (and therefore want GFCI). My plan was to run 12/3 wire from 2 separate circuits in the panel to a double gang weatherproof box with 2 gfci ...
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2 votes
1 answer
273 views

3 wire conductor to an electrical subpanel - Can I add a separate conductor for neutral in same conduit?

I'm installing a subpanel to bring power to a garage. Answers to similar questions make it clear that a subpanel must isolate ground from neutral, so the bonding screw will be removed at the subpanel....
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Neutral size in breaker box

Hello I have a regular 3 wire 120/240 system. Whilst looking at the service drop and breaker box I noticed the neutral wire seems very small. It is definitely smaller than the two main conductors.. I ...
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0 votes
2 answers
212 views

Grounding and neutral in a well pump shed

I am working on a pre existing pump shed. The shed is 150 feet from the main panel. For some reason the neutral has dropped. It is probably damaged. The pump still works because it doesn't require a ...
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4 votes
4 answers
3k views

What to do with the neutral in a 240V 2-pole hot tub disconnect?

I'm planning a hot tub installation (nothing built yet). The current plan is: 50A 240V 2 pole GFCI breaker indoors (added to existing 100A subpanel) 4-wire from subpanel to exterior disconnect (2 ...
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Refrigerator restarts when a 3 pin plug is plugged to socket like Laptop Adaptor

Over last few months I'm noticing whenever I connect my Laptop cord and turn on the switch my Refrigerator in the kitchen is restarts as if power has gone and comeback. This happens primarily with 3 ...
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0 votes
3 answers
240 views

Ground neutral bond screw on a PON main panel

I'm installing a Plug-On-Neutral (PON) main panel. There is a screw with a label indicating that if I need to bond the ground to neutral, tighten to 40lbs. Now I know main panels generally have the ...
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Isolator switch for electric generator to change from bonded to floating neutral

I have an electric Power generator and have a manual transfer switch to use a Power generator when the utility power is out. So the electric power generator is used as is with bonded neutral when used ...
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2 answers
96 views

Sub Panel Grounding method

I encountered a condition where a sub panel' s Neutral wirings are on both Neutral bar and Grounding bar, at a 1960' s home, with wirings are Romex and flex conduits. Subject sub panel served as the ...
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Lighting fixture: 2 live, 2 neutral, no ground - Is is okay to have the 2nd neutral used as a ground?

I live in Germany and I have just moved into a new apartment and started to change the light fixtures, but I ran into confusion. Wires coming out of the ceiling are - two black & two white (no ...
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How can I get a neutral wire for this switch?

This switch is in my garage and controls lights at the end of my driveway. I want to replace it with a smart switch that requires a neutral wire. I've learned that I can't steal a neutral wire from ...
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1 vote
1 answer
147 views

Joining neutral of two ac power meters?

I have single phase power in my area I have two ac power meters connections at my home. Last night there was a windstorm and neutral cable of once AC meter got broken. I had black out in half ...
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  • 111
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are the grounds and neutrals in this electrical subpanel reversed?

I would appreciate your feed back to help me understand the logic behind Bonding the Neutral and Isolating Ground as shown in the attached pics. Subject sub panel is dedicated to one of four ...
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2 answers
210 views

Does this existing wiring with shared neutrals need to be corrected?

I've come across some existing wiring in my home and I wonder if it needs to be changed. In my basement, there is a 4" box with a 20a GFCI receptacle. A conduit runs into this box. The conduit ...
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  • 373
2 votes
2 answers
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Safety differences between the various types of outlet (two-/three-prong, grounded/ungrounded, with/without GFCI)

I am an ordinary person with absolutely no knowledge regarding electricity and how it works (things like circuits and such) and I never really cared before until now when I sense potential safety ...
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1 vote
2 answers
384 views

Old house, no Neutral coming from APS pole. Neutral vs Ground

I'm installing some 110v Mini Split Air conditioners and want them on a separate breaker. The Main Panel only has 2 HOT wires coming in from the Mail Pole. The neutral wire is connected to the Ground ...
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1 vote
0 answers
910 views

Sub panel 3 wire and 220Volts

My mom just bought an old house (1917). The Main Breaker has 3 wires two hot from a 30amp 220 breaker and one ground going from the main into a sub-panel, there is no room to feed a 4th neutral wire. ...
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2 answers
148 views

Lighting fixture removed, only hot wired to switch

The previous owner of my house removed a light fixture and installed canned lights in my living room. The light fixture location was capped and I had a switch that seemed to do nothing so I assumed ...
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1 vote
1 answer
155 views

Is this a MWBC?

I think I have some MWBCs that are not handle tied. Can you tell from this picture if the bottom red breakers and top blue breakers are MWBCs? I can't trace back to the conduit and they supply "...
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2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can a neutral be shared beween the line and load side of a GFCI if it's on the same circuit?

All neutrals are crimped together on this circuit. Not daisy chained. So I have one hot and one neutral from panel (line) and one hot downstream (load). And additional no neutral wire for going ...
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2 votes
1 answer
209 views

Smart Switch Wiring Question: What is the Need for a Neutral Wire? How to Provide One?

I plan to install a Smart Switch to control an outside outlet. The existing electrical box is in my detached garage and it does not have a neutral wire. The box currently only controls a single GFCI ...
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2 votes
0 answers
38 views

Neutral line with two circuits

I’d like to install a GE smart dimmer and a GE smart switch into a four gang box. The box currently has four non-smart switches. I determined that one of the switches is on a different circuit ...
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1 answer
277 views

Can duct tape be used to mark neutral wires?

Hello I’m in search of code requirements as they relate to the use of duct tape for marking the neutral conductor in the service panel. My understanding is this is a code violation as duct tape is a ...
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2 votes
4 answers
2k views

Can I steal neutral from fixture for 3-way switch device with no neutral?

my 3-way switch is wired this way, because i am unlucky: so i have neutral in the line box, no neutral in the load box. i want to use a leviton smart switch that requires neutral in both boxes. if i ...
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5 votes
2 answers
22k 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 ...
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  • 81
5 votes
5 answers
6k 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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
372 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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  • 133
3 votes
1 answer
256 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
2k 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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  • 131
1 vote
1 answer
3k 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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1 vote
5 answers
8k 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
501 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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  • 1,785
2 votes
2 answers
193 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 ...
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  • 21
1 vote
2 answers
4k 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 ...
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1 vote
4 answers
509 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 ...
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13 votes
7 answers
5k 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 ...
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3 votes
5 answers
976 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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0 votes
0 answers
410 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)?
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3 votes
2 answers
978 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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0 votes
2 answers
56 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 ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
169 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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1 vote
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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1 vote
3 answers
69 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 ...
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0 votes
5 answers
566 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 ...
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3 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
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1 vote
3 answers
306 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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  • 131
0 votes
1 answer
2k 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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  • 1
0 votes
2 answers
198 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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