Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse

How To Post Images

Want to know the how to upload images to your posts? Image Posting Tutorial
See more
See less

neutral and earth ground

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • neutral and earth ground

    I was looking at a for-sale rental this weekend that had a curious situation. The upstairs back room had three plugs, the house is over 50 years old, and I was going through with my tester checking for proper ground, and one plug was out of the box and only had two wires in, with the earth ground pigtailed to the neutral so when you tested the plug it shows good. On most older breaker boxes, the earth and netural are connected to the same ground post system, but there has to be something wrong with this according to code. Only the back room of this house was like this, I'm guessing they got lazy or it was too difficult to pull new wire back there. I am wondering from the electricians why this is not to code, a quick check would show it is acceptable. The house was priced too high for me, but I was wondering the reasoning for this.

  • #2
    Re: neutral and earth ground

    Older homes didn't have grounded outlets . You buy it You can change it.
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: neutral and earth ground

      It is called a boot-leg ground. It is dangerous and non-code compliant. It can cause the metal parts of an appliance or other device to become energized,

      It is done to give people the impression it has a proper ground when it does not.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: neutral and earth ground

        But if the earth and neutral are connected to the same ground bridge in the panel box, can't the same thing happen to an appliance if neutral and hot get crossed somewhere in the walls?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: neutral and earth ground

          The neutral conductor is the return path that should be used normally. The ground wire should not be energized except under exceptional circumstances. An outlet without a ground can be replaced with a GFCI labelled "No Equipment Ground".

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: neutral and earth ground

            Originally posted by nkyrental View Post
            But if the earth and neutral are connected to the same ground bridge in the panel box, can't the same thing happen to an appliance if neutral and hot get crossed somewhere in the walls?
            If the neutral and the hot get crossed in the wall (or anywhere else), it it a short circuit and the breaker will trip.

            The danger with a bootleg is that if the neutral goes open there is no path back to the panel and the frame of the appliance is live. Without the bootleg, if the neutral goes open there is no connection to the frame of the appliance.
            Last edited by rjniles; 11-05-2013, 09:51 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: neutral and earth ground

              You need to go all the way back to the box with new ground added on old 2 wire outlets ! Thanks for that lesson ,Speedy Pete ! I use to ground to the cold water pipe !
              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: neutral and earth ground

                The path of least resistance, has been the saying, now it known that electricity takes all paths back to its source,

                yes there both connected to the same thing in the box, (and many thought the same as you have), but the ground is a safety device, and the safety device is piggy backed on a current carrying wire,

                where the problem comes in is if the neutral is compromised in some way, loose screw, cut wire, corrosion, and the list goes on, with a bot leg ground, the ground is compromised as well, now you pull out grandpas Black an decker drill you know that one that has the shiny aluminum frame and the third prong, Ok you have now just connected the drill to the neutral wire of the circuit, but remember that screw is lose on the third out let in the circuit, and as you crawl up on that aluminum ladder in the bath room that is touching the old cast tub that is connected with cast drain, you pull the trigger of the drill, all a sudden you become the conductor for neutral, and as you freeze and fall from the ladder , and wake up in the ER for shock and other hurts,

                yes it take a number of given situations to cause the damage,

                but the idea is for the grounds, is to give one a net of protection where ever thing is the same potential and if a leak or short happens it goes to ground and not through you. if that drill would have been connected to a real earthed ground it never would have passed through one, and if a fault would have occurred in the drill it would have been contained in the drill and passed harmlessly back via the ground
                Last edited by BHD; 11-05-2013, 10:59 AM.
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                attributed to Samuel Johnson
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: neutral and earth ground

                  correct bonding a neutral and ground must only be done in a main panel (in residential) if a sub panel is installed the bonding lug must be removed from the sub panel.
                  bonding a ground and neutral any other place downstream of a panel is a code and safety violation
                  (you would be surprised how often i see this) and how often even some good inspectors miss it.


                  of course the most interesting ground circuit ive ever seen was a ground loop in a basement of an old house.
                  someone had strung a ground cable (the type used for lightning rods) in a loop around the basement walls and had ground conductor leads from the outlets wrapped and soldered to it.
                  ground rod drove into the earthen basement and one end of the cable connected to it and the ground lug in the panel was connected to the other end.
                  Last edited by gnuuser; 11-13-2013, 03:56 PM.
                  shooting the s*** is a lot more fun when you use hollow points (much more splatter)

                  coffee hell gimme booze!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: neutral and earth ground

                    Originally posted by gnuuser View Post
                    correct bonding a neutral and ground must only be done in a main panel (in residential).
                    The neutral can also be bounded at the service head or in the meter socket if your utility allows it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: neutral and earth ground

                      Originally posted by johncameron View Post
                      The neutral can also be bounded at the service head or in the meter socket if your utility allows it.
                      also true
                      thats why if one is installing a new service or doing a complete rewire its a smart idea to contact the poco utility and the local inspectors for any specific requirements before starting the job.
                      shooting the s*** is a lot more fun when you use hollow points (much more splatter)

                      coffee hell gimme booze!!!

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X