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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891 views

Why doesn't current return via the grounding conductor when it's connected in the panel? [duplicate]

Since the neutral wire and ground wire are connected in the main fuse box then why doesn't some of the returning electricity flow through the ground wire to earth?
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767 views

Are neutral wires linked to the neutral bar in the fuse box safe to touch

We have a tipical fuse box, fuses and neutral wires connected to a neutral bar. Let's say we have a closed circuit with a light bulb attached to it. The bulb is working. The neutral wire is ...
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Neutral wire issue

I have a lot of history on this issue and troubleshooting if someone can just bear with me...🙂 When we bought this house the previous owner had covered then eventually enclosed the back patio. When ...
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1answer
4k views

Light switch using only black wires - Incoming whites terminate together in box - New timer switch requires white neutral

I want to replace a simple single pole light switch with a timer switch, which requires red, black, white, and ground. The existing switch is in a triple box, where all three switches have only blacks ...
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1answer
650 views

Adding sub panel, odd main panel configuration

I am in the process of adding a sub panel to a detached garage and I have the proper gauge wire connected up to the sub panel (neutral and ground NOT bonded) with 3 conductors + ground running in ...
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1answer
2k 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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0answers
46 views

Lighting neutral

Can anyone explain about lighting neutral wires (blue)? I have a 3year old house, which has blue wires in the back boxes. I am assuming that this is the neutral. On my current 1 gang 2 way switch ...
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2answers
550 views

about the saying "neutral does not carry current"

It came across to me quite frequently online that people state "neutral wire does not carry current." I thin this is a false statement. My reason is the following. For the electrical panel in my home,...
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2answers
3k views

Install Smart Switch - Neutral wire from adjacent switch?

There are two switches that are side by side. The one I'm replacing with a Smart switch does not have a neutral. The adjacent switch is a 3-way switch and it does have a neutral. Can I share the ...
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2answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
83 views

Replacing light fixture UK unable to determine which wire is which

We had our kitchen redone within the last year, part of that was adding a new light fitting which was to be replaced later in the year. That time is now, I've just taken the old one off which has ...
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1answer
24k 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
5k 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 ...
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4answers
23k 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 ...
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1answer
95 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 ...
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2answers
238 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
10k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
193 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 ...
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3answers
718 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
375 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 ...
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1answer
624 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
4k 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
16k 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
443 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?
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1answer
753 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 ...
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1answer
204 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
400 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 ...
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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
812 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-...
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1answer
484 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
243 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
5k 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
5k 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 ...
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1answer
665 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 ...
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2answers
828 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
254 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, ...