Connecting Neutral and Ground at Power Outlets

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by invisible-man, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. invisible-man

    invisible-man New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Hi,

    I Have had a 200amp panel fitted approx 2 years ago and notice that the neutral and ground terminal blocks at the panel are joined as one, the ground wires and white wires are connected randomly to these terminals...........

    In other words the ground and neutral are as one at the panel

    My question is that if some of my older power outlets are renewed to include a ground socket, the ones that have old wiring with no ground wire, then can the ground be taken and connected as an extension from the white neutral ?

    Many thanks
  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Is this for real? Didn't we just go through this? I looked and the thread was gone. Was that even here?

    NO! YOU CANNOT DO THIS!!

    The fact that neutrals and grounds terminate at the same bars in the MAIN panel is of NO consequence. It's what they are and do once they leave the panel is what matters.
  3. arfeller

    arfeller New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    There was another post with this topic here that had a picture within the last week. Not sure where it went.

    And the dozen or so replies all discussed how dangerous connecting the neutral and ground wires on a receptacle is.

    Trust Petey on this one. Don' do it.
  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Yeah, I guess that was not enough to convince him that he had to ask again to see if the answers would be different.
  5. invisible-man

    invisible-man New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Its not always good to jump to conclusions....perhaps an appropriate name (speedy) toooo speedy! I WAS NOT THE FIRST POSTER OF THIS SIMILAR QUESTION! but thanks for the advice, I asked the question as a learning exercise......does not mean that I am just dying to get out there to do it!

    Wonder if anyone could elaborate on the reasons for the dangers to this, It was just that I was sure that dryers sometimes linked neutral to ground at the dryer.

    Thanks for the support!
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,819
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The other poster was obnoxious from Michigan.

    The ip and email is different.
  7. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    OK, thanks Terry.

    Invisible, the text in your post is extremely similar to the other thread. It is natural for us to assume an alias was made to repost this since it was removed. I am a moderator at a few other message boards and this problem is rampant.

    The danger is that once the conductors leave the panel the neutral is designed to carry the circuit amperage. The ground is supposed to carry ONLY fault current. If you join them then in the case if a neutral failure the bare ground, and everything metal associated with the circuit can and will carry current and potentially deliver a fatal shock.
    The situation with dryers and ranges was that the ground was allowed to be omitted, and the insulated neutral served both purposes. This has been gone for quite a while now.
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I trashed the other post pretty bad also. I made the statement that he should have his arms cut off.
    The permission to bond the frame of ranges and dryers required that the circuit originate in the service equipment also. This kept the bond isolated to just that one circuit. Bonding the equipment grounding conductor and current carrying neutral downstream of the service will elevate any exposed metal such as those 6/32 by ½ inch screws holding the plate covers in place to the voltage of the circuit.
  9. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,460
    Location:
    MD
    If this link will open, here's another take on this subject
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_and_neutral

    If you draw the circuit as it should be and then draw the circuit with different combinations of open circuits or short circuits [i.e., faults] in different places, you will see the effect.
    With two and three wire circuits there are many combinations and permutations of ways to fail.
    In some cases you will need to take the conductor resistance and current flow into account. E.g., the resistance for #14 AWG is about 2.6 milliohms per foot.

    The NEC procedures are supposed to reasonably guard against commonly occurring failure modes. These failure modes have been identified by analysis and experience.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  10. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    In the opening statement here at this link, the poster is way off base.

    We do not connect to earth to establish any type of low impedance path. The reason we connect to earth is outlined in 250.4 and there are four reasons why we connect to earth:
    Lightning
    Surges
    Unintentional contact with higher voltages
    To stabilize under normal usages

    WE DO NOT CONNECT TO EARTH FOR ANY OTHER REASON!!!!!!!!!

    All this bull about leaking current into earth that can’t come back….. to establish a low impedance path for current flow…. and so forth is nothing short of the biggest joke I have ever heard. The law of physics concerning current flow states that every one of them electrons that leave the source MUST return to the source. Not even one can be lost of stray off to somewhere else.

    And we wonder why Wikipedia is not allowed to be used in our school systems.
  11. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,460
    Location:
    MD
    Wikipedia can be edited and you are qualified to do this editing.
  12. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Thank you but no thank you
  13. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,780
    Location:
    USA
    The million dollar question is what the heck is an Englishman doing with a 200 amp panel?

    With 240 volts in England, you don't come across those everyday! Most homes there run off 60 amps.
  14. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,460
    Location:
    MD
    You also use less power
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electricity_consumption
    Each of us colonists use 2 hp, all the time.

    We are 5% of the world's population
    and use 25% of the world's resources,
    5x more electrical power than the average person
    and our defense budget is 1/2 that of the whole world.
    How long can this go on?

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...i&rls=en&q="unstable equilibrium"&btnG=Search
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  15. Jim Port

    Jim Port Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Maryland
    Not hard to use less power when the standards of living don't compare.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The three wire range, oven, and dryer connections DID inteconnect, (and still do if a new appliance is purchased to replace one), the ground and neutral, and no one died from doing it.
  17. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I beg to differ with you here on this. I know of two documented cases where a three wire dryer has cost a life. One was a two year old little girl in High Point NC about 25 years ago and the other was in Florida about 5 years ago.

    The allowance to connect the grounded neutral to the frame of a dryer or range the circuit MUST ORIGINATE IN THE SERVICE EQUIPMENT.

    Now any current on the frame of the dryer or range is in direct relation of the service equipment and there is no parallel path anywhere in the occupancy with the equipment grounding conductor.
  18. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    I'll guess there is MUCH more to those death stories than the 3 wires and what appears here in very short form.
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