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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1answer
316 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
513 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 ...
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0answers
3k 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
13k 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
362 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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
701 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
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1answer
169 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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
3k views

How do I insulate a neutral bar when installing it in 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
1k 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
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1answer
390 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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2answers
699 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
2k 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
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1answer
400 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 ...
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2answers
177 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 ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
4k 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
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1answer
605 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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
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2answers
753 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", ...
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3answers
243 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, ...
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1answer
3k 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:
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1answer
2k 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
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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
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2answers
12k 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
87 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
115 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
6k 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. ...
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1answer
64 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 ...
5
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1answer
7k 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
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1answer
253 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 ...
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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 ...
1
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3answers
15k 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 ...
7
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4answers
119k views

I'm replacing my outlets and I have too many hot/neutral wires, what do I do?

I'm going through my new home and replacing my outlets. This was mostly fine, as the first outlet was very easy to replace. But, I ran into outlets that have multiple hot/neutral wires. For the most ...
5
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1answer
136 views

Is a grounded/neutral wire (not grounding wire) required to be run to a subpanel that will supply only 240V (2-pole) devices?

I'm installing a subpanel that will supply only 240V 2-pole devices. I'm positive I never will need the capability to run 120V (1-pole) devices. Am I required to run a neutral wire to the subpanel? ...
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2answers
897 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 ...
4
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1answer
856 views

making sense of a confusing light switch box

I'm trying to install a GE Z-Wave 12724 Smart Dimmer and my light switch box looks nothing like I imagine it's supposed to with wires properly identified. This wouldn't be the first improperly ...
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1answer
1k views

Wiring help for a Switch with LED Guide Light

In my bathroom I have a dual switch box. The left side controls a light, the right side controls a bathroom fan. I'm trying to convert the light switch (left side) to a Switch with LED Guide Light. ...
1
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4answers
5k views

What are the risks of sending low-current neutral through the ground wire?

I have an existing switch that controls an outlet. I'd like to replace it with a smart-home switch, which requires a neutral wire to power the switch itself. However, there is no neutral wire at the ...
2
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1answer
97 views

how should i wire up this 2-way z-wave switch?

I want to replace the 2-way switch on the left with a z-wave dimmer switch. Currently this box has a 2-way Dimmer on the left, and a 3-way switch on the right. As noted, all of the neutrals(marked W ...
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0answers
1k views

AFCI Circuit Breaker trips after turn on any light on different circuit

The last week an electrical service person came to update the circuit breakers from regular to AFCI. But they could not find the root of the problem and they will come again in one week but I wanted ...
3
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1answer
21k views

Low voltage on circuit after breaker turned off - induced or backfed voltage?

I was planning on installing a programmable timer on one of the 4 single-pole switches on a circuit. All of the 4 switches control various lights towards the front of the house, one of which is a pair ...