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Understanding the Ground and Neutral of Electrical Wiring
How to Configure the Ground and Neutral of Electrical Wiring: A ground wire is not intended to be a current carrying conductor. To use a ground wire for anything other than a ground would be very dangerous and is not recommended.
The Ground and Neutral of Electrical Wiring
[ad#block]Electrical Question: I am replacing an outdoor bracket fixture.
- Upon removing old fixture, I discover there was no neutral wire.
- Only a single switched leg wire is in the box.
- How dangerous is it to use the grounding system for a neutral?
- I know its not code compliant, my question really is how dangerous would it be to reconnect the new fixture in the same manner as the old was.
This electrical wiring question came from: Miles, a Handyman from Orland Park IL
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Miles.
Application: Wiring a Light Fixture.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
How to Configure the Ground and Neutral of Electrical Wiring
- First, lets make sure that you understand that a neutral wire is not used for a typical single light switch. Basically wiring used for a a switch is nothing more than a loop which passes through a light switch.
- Ground wires and Neutral wires are separate wires that are vitally important for the home electrical system. A ground wire is not intended to be a current carrying conductor. To use a ground wire for anything other than a ground would be very dangerous and is not recommended.
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