Ground wire connected to white in light fixture
#16
  Re: RE: Ground wire connected to white in light fixture by rwe2156 (Qualifier: I am not ...)
(04-03-2019, 09:18 AM)rwe2156 Wrote: The neutral was tied to the ground in the panel.  So was the neutral was also acting as ground?

If it was the main panel, and was the service equipment (no disconnect before that panel), then the grounds and neutrals all go to the same bus.  The utility's service conductors, of which there are only three (two hots and a neutral), land on the main breaker and the large neutral conductor is landed on the same neutral/ground bus as the circuit conductors, under the big lug intended for that.  The grounding electrode system is also landed on that bus, and includes (probably) the cold water pipe from the city and the ground rods or ufer grounds or whatever they used. 

From there, grounds and neutrals are completely separate, not counting pre-1996 3-wire dryer and range circuits.  But in the main panel only, grounds and neutrals and service neutral and grounding electrode conductor all come together in that one place and at no other location.  Subpanels have a 4-wire feeder, and grounds and neutrals are separate, on separate bus bars, all the way back to the service equipment (main panel usually, but can be something before that, like with a manufactured home).

So yes, at the service equipment, the neutral is also the ground, and is in fact called the 'grounded conductor' in NEC-speak, while the 'ground' is actually called the 'equipment grounding conductor'.  Those terms are unfortunately a little too close sounding, and can cause confusion.
Tom

“This place smells like that odd combo of flop sweat, hopelessness, aaaand feet.”







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#17
  Re: RE: Ground wire connected to white in light fixture by rwe2156 (Qualifier: I am not ...)
(04-03-2019, 09:18 AM)rwe2156 Wrote: Qualifier: I am not an electrician.

When we bought our house, it had a 2 wire system, IOW, no ground wire in any of the circuits.  My first tip off was the outlets had no grounds.  

The neutral was tied to the ground in the panel.  So was the neutral was also acting as ground?

At our previous house, part of the home inspection found that the condensate pump for the air handler in the basement was wired to use 1 leg of the 220V feeding the air handler, the neutral was wired to the ground of the 3-wire cable used for the air handler.  It worked, but was definitely not code.   I priced out what an electrician would charge to fix it, got that knocked off the price of the house and then fixed it myself with a proper circuit.
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#18
  Re: RE: Ground wire connected to white in light fixture by crokett™ ([quote='rwe2156' pid...)
(04-03-2019, 11:15 AM)crokett™ Wrote: At our previous house, part of the home inspection found that the condensate pump for the air handler in the basement was wired to use 1 leg of the 220V feeding the air handler, the neutral was wired to the ground of the 3-wire cable used for the air handler.  It worked, but was definitely not code.   I priced out what an electrician would charge to fix it, got that knocked off the price of the house and then fixed it myself with a proper circuit.

   That's a common issue with kitchens. Allot of them were built with a built in oven and a microwave over the oven. Often they would tie the microwave to the 220 box for the oven receptacle. They would use a hot and then hook the neutral to the ground of the 220 oven feed. Usually they would not hook up the ground of the oven so there was no way the shell of the oven could become hot due to the microwave wiring....
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#19
  Re: RE: Ground wire connected to white in light fixture by crokett™ ([quote='rwe2156' pid...)
(04-03-2019, 11:15 AM)crokett™ Wrote: At our previous house, part of the home inspection found that the condensate pump for the air handler in the basement was wired to use 1 leg of the 220V feeding the air handler, the neutral was wired to the ground of the 3-wire cable used for the air handler.  It worked, but was definitely not code.   I priced out what an electrician would charge to fix it, got that knocked off the price of the house and then fixed it myself with a proper circuit.

My air handler is under the set of stairs to the 2nd floor.  My old AC setup used to have a condensate pump, now it's just a gravity fed line.  The outlet in the room there was tapped off a small light in there-- that didn't have a ground.  So the electrician 'borrowed' the ground from the circuit the furnace runs off of.  Can't see why this would be a huge violation, but i'm sure it is.  I don't have the condensate pump any longer, so i should probably yank that outlet out entirely.

Colin
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#20
  Re: Ground wire connected to white in light fixture by shoottmx (We bought this house...)
Neutral wire and ground wire are two different animals as far as code, you are allowed to borrow a ground but not a neutral. Roly
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