40 votes

Sketchy looking electrical outlet

This is an alarm that you need to check every single switch and receptacle in your house. Ground and neutral are bonded together at your main panel. That's the only place they're supposed to be bonded....
Matthew's user avatar
  • 9,833
28 votes
Accepted

Should a device with a non-polarized plug touching hot and ground trip a breaker?

A normal breaker will not notice this particular error. You aren't drawing an unreasonable amount of current, it's just being returned along the wrong path. A GFCI will trip.
keshlam's user avatar
  • 28.6k
27 votes
Accepted

Is there a proper earth ground point in this switch box?

In North American split-phase wiring... How ground rods must be Each building must have its own set of ground rods. 2 rods are normally used, but they must be set at least 6 feet apart (catty-corner ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
18 votes

Is it a problem that ground was used a neutral for a 120v branch off a range circuit?

used the ground wire connected to the oven’s 3-prong receptacle An oven's 3-prong receptacle has neutral. It does not have ground. Ovens need neutral so the oven light can be 120V and use a ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
17 votes

What happens when a ground fault occurs inside the main electrical panel before circuit breakers?

BAM! That's the sound of the meter exploding. But seriously, that is why the hot wires coming from the meter into the main panel are connected to special lugs and torqued really tight. And covered ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
15 votes

Is my outlet / ground wire bootlegged?

That is exactly as it should be. The green screw on the outlet is the ground connection. (I take it you were expecting a push-in connection of either the old unreliable spring type or the newer ...
keshlam's user avatar
  • 28.6k
15 votes

Is there a proper earth ground point in this switch box?

One phase might be 90 volts while the other phase is 130 volts. This the symptom of a "floating neutral". It is the responsibility of the electric utility to provide you with two live phases ...
A. I. Breveleri's user avatar
15 votes

Is this outlet safely grounded?

Let me guess, you're seeing diagrams for plastic boxes? Routing all cable ground wires to the metal box is mandatory. Switches and some receptacles will automagically pick up ground via their ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
12 votes

What happens when a ground fault occurs inside the main electrical panel before circuit breakers?

It will burn (an electrical arc, typically around 5,000-35,000 °F) until: It's burned itself out of contact and the arc self-extinguishes. (Other things may continue to burn, having been lit, though.)...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 210k
11 votes
Accepted

Is this form of self grounding outlets really safe?

The idea is that the copper wire provides constant contact of the screw to the metal body of the outlet. If the outlet needed to be left a bit loose, so as to be flush with the wall and cover plate, ...
RMDman's user avatar
  • 27k
11 votes
Accepted

Is this outlet safely grounded?

They are grounded. One reason the person who used the insulated ground wire instead of bare wire may have done so, is that the bare wire can sometimes make a short with the hot wires if not placed ...
crip659's user avatar
  • 23.7k
11 votes

Sketchy looking electrical outlet

It's possible some moron along the way wanted to add another hot leg, or possibly a switch, somewhere along this circuit. Said moron may very well have tied that white wire to a constant or switched ...
Keith's user avatar
  • 1,065
10 votes

Is GFCI and surge suppressor needed on a grounded 3-prong plug?

The plumber is not an electrician, and not the person that will be paying for the warranty denied repairs unless you can drag them to small claims court and win. I would assume that CEC is similar to ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 210k
10 votes
Accepted

Is GFCI and surge suppressor needed on a grounded 3-prong plug?

The GFCI and the surge protector provide different types of protection against different problems and that's why the instructions call for both types of protection for this device. The GFCI protect ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 46.7k
10 votes

Does adding an explicit ground wire to EMT conduits provide any advantages?

If the conduit might be damaged because it is run somewhere you might step on it for example then an explicit ground wire is required. Otherwise the upside is that you then don't have to rely on the ...
ratchet freak's user avatar
9 votes

What happens when a ground fault occurs inside the main electrical panel before circuit breakers?

If a high capacity circuit encounters a very low resistance current path, something somewhere will ignite as noted in other answers. Here is an example of what happens when a service wire is ...
jay613's user avatar
  • 36.9k
9 votes

What happens when a ground fault occurs inside the main electrical panel before circuit breakers?

In one building deconstruction instance the mains was not correctly isolated. When the main panel was crushed all those pretty lights and magic smoke escaped. The result was a short across multiple ...
Perth Resident's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How can I make sure I have a ground wire connection for my range?

First of all, I prefer hardwired connections. It avoids a lot of the issues. But if, for whatever reason, you want to stay with cord/plug/receptacle: Turn off the breaker. Open up the receptacle. See ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

This 1950s metal box was ungrounded so I added a ground line. Do I need that if the wires are GFCI protected?

IMHO, pointless but certainly no harm. Except that it is not pointless if it is required by code. The usual rule is "receptacles must be grounded to metal box". If the rule is actually "...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
8 votes

Copper ground wire with a copper brace instead of nut?

It's hard for me to tell from your original photo what is in there, but it may be this: In an application like this to bond bare ground wires, sometimes copper "crimp sleeves" are crimped ...
Armand's user avatar
  • 4,426
8 votes

Does adding an explicit ground wire to EMT conduits provide any advantages?

EMT for ground relies on Scratching the paint off, adequately, from breaker panels or other painted boxes to which it is attached, Set screws being tight, rust-free, etc. the system remaining intact ...
jay613's user avatar
  • 36.9k
8 votes

Do I have to run the #4 bare copper ground wire continuous with out a break in the wire from the new 200amp outside meter/main panel combo to the 2 g

A few different pieces here: Ground wire from main panel to ground rods. This is one wire, no breaks/splices. Ground wire from main panel to copper water pipe. Many jurisdictions no longer require ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
7 votes

Is it a problem that ground was used a neutral for a 120v branch off a range circuit?

Under normal conditions, the ground is still held at (or near) zero volts, even when being used as a bootleg neutral. However, if the ground wire were to fail or get disconnected, then the neutral ...
DoxyLover's user avatar
  • 12.6k
7 votes
Accepted

NEC gurus: What does condition 2 mean in the exception to subsection 250.32(B)(1), to not run an equipment ground in a feeder to an out building?

I'm trying to understand the exception in the NEC, subsection 250.32(B)(1), which gives permission to use the NEUTRAL (in NEC lawyer-speak: "grounded conductor") as the ground fault current ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
7 votes

Ground has power

You have a broken neutral wire, or a non-connected (disconnected, loose connection that's come apart) neutral connection. Broken wires (away from junction boxes) are rare, so it's most likely a bad ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 210k
6 votes

How to tie large numbers of ground wires together?

I suspect you mean a lever nut , sometimes called a 'wago' connector after a manufacturer of that style of connector. There's both 'bus' and 'inline' styles. These are images of inline and regular UL-...
Journeyman Geek's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

NEC 250.148: Can I splice separate circuit grounding wires to a junction box's grouding wire, resulting in a single grounding wire exiting the box?

Yes, there are some other quirky other ways you could do it, but what you have shown is the normal method.
NoSparksPlease's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Can I wire smart switch to two panels?

Nope, absolutely not. Neutral not only needs to come from the same panel.... it not only needs to come from the same circuit... it also needs to come from the same cable as at least one of the hot ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Safely dealing with an "open ground" temporarily

Call the electrician anyway. They have super-powers which allow them to work in attics, known as "come in the morning" :) The heat in your attic is not from ambient air temperature. It is ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes

Is this form of self grounding outlets really safe?

Is this safe? If the device is UL listed (and anything made by Eaton and sold in a physical, brick-and-mortar store that doesn't want to be sued out of existence will be) then yes, the UL certifies ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 46.7k

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