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Old 09-27-2011, 10:06 AM   #1
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Ground and neutral tied together and 15amp receptacle on 30amp breaker


I had a 15 amp GFCI convience outlet on the outside of my house in an in-use box stop working. Would not reset. Replacing the receptacle resolved the issue.

While troubleshooting it I found the junction box it is connected to.

The junction box is fed with 10-2 from a 30amp breaker it has 14-2 going to the GFCI outlet outside and more 10-2 going to one of my AC condensors.

The neutrals and grounds are all tied together in this box.

Everything is working fine, but while I am no electrician - I cannot think that feeding a 15amp GFCI on 14-2 via 10-2 on a 30amp breaker is a good idea - plus the neutrals and ground tied together.

Thoughts?


Last edited by argetni; 09-27-2011 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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Ground and neutral tied together and 15amp receptacle on 30amp breaker


Air conditioner compressor circuits are normally 240 volts and do not have a neutral. Someone created an illegal neutral and unsafe condition by using the grounding conductor.

General purpose circuits also cannot be on 30 amp circuits.

You have a mess that needs to be fixed.

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Old 09-27-2011, 10:17 AM   #3
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Ground and neutral tied together and 15amp receptacle on 30amp breaker


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Air conditioner compressor circuits are normally 240 volts and do not have a neutral. Someone created an illegal neutral and unsafe condition by using the grounding conductor.

General purpose circuits also cannot be on 30 amp circuits.

You have a mess that needs to be fixed.
As long as I do not overload the 15amp receptacle it should be ok for now, correct? I don't want that 14-3 acting as a fuse which is what I assume would happen were I to overload the receptacle.

All the wiring I have encountered in the house is sketchy so far.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:55 AM   #4
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Ground and neutral tied together and 15amp receptacle on 30amp breaker


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Originally Posted by argetni View Post
As long as I do not overload the 15amp receptacle it should be ok for now, correct? I don't want that 14-3 acting as a fuse which is what I assume would happen were I to overload the receptacle.

All the wiring I have encountered in the house is sketchy so far.
That's never a good way to look at an electrical setup. For example you can draw 20 amps on a 15 amp circuit for a short timr and it may not trip the overcurrent protection device immediately. Unsafe is unsafe.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:15 PM   #5
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Ground and neutral tied together and 15amp receptacle on 30amp breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by argetni View Post
The junction box is fed with 10-3 from a 30amp breaker it has 14-3 going to the GFCI outlet outside and more 10-3 going to one of my AC condensors.

The neutrals and grounds are all tied together in this box.

Everything is working fine, but while I am no electrician - I cannot think that feeding a 15amp GFCI on 14-3 via 10-3 on a 30amp breaker is a good idea - plus the neutrals and ground tied together.

Thoughts?
Aside from the mess that needs to be fixed, you are using the term 10-3 and 14-3. 10-3 and 14-3 will have a red, black, white, and bare ground. Is this what you really have?
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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Ground and neutral tied together and 15amp receptacle on 30amp breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by argetni View Post
I had a 15 amp GFCI convience outlet on the outside of my house in an in-use box stop working. Would not reset. Replacing the receptacle resolved the issue.

While troubleshooting it I found the junction box it is connected to.

The junction box is fed with 10-3 from a 30amp breaker it has 14-3 going to the GFCI outlet outside and more 10-3 going to one of my AC condensors.

The neutrals and grounds are all tied together in this box.

Everything is working fine, but while I am no electrician - I cannot think that feeding a 15amp GFCI on 14-3 via 10-3 on a 30amp breaker is a good idea - plus the neutrals and ground tied together.

Thoughts?
Turn off the breaker.

Separate the ground wires and neutral wires. If this causes one or more subcircuits or receptacles or lights to go dead, leave them dead until a new project can be begun to hook them up. If this happens, unhook all of the hot wires going down the subcircuit that went dead. All the ground wires should be connected to each other again with short lengths of bare wire (pigtails) added if needed so each metal junction box has a wire end attached to it and each receptacle and switch unit has a wire end attached to its green screw. The neutral wire from the panel for a branch circuit should be connected to all the neutral wires belonging to loads served by that branch circuit only

Either unhook all of the 14 and 12 gauge wires from the air conditioner circuit or replace the breaker for that circuit with a 15 amp double wide breaker. The former move will make one or more receptacles go dead; the latter move may make it impossible to use the air conditioner. A new project can be begun at a future date to improve on this situation.

For switches and receptacles without green screws, get special clips intended for the purpose to squash between the mounting bracket (yoke) and a ground wire end at one of the screws used to hold the item in the box. Here, for a metal box, an extra wire end at the mounting screw is not needed but the clip is still needed when a ground wire end was attached somewhere else on the box.

Put a small wire nut or tape on every loose wire end awaiting a new project to be hooked up in.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-27-2011 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:34 PM   #7
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Ground and neutral tied together and 15amp receptacle on 30amp breaker


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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
Aside from the mess that needs to be fixed, you are using the term 10-3 and 14-3. 10-3 and 14-3 will have a red, black, white, and bare ground. Is this what you really have?
Sorry I meant 10-2 and 14-2. I am just starting to learn electrical. The stuff you need to learn when you buy a 1910 house "remodeled" by a flipper that is going bankrupt on the deal.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:02 PM   #8
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Ground and neutral tied together and 15amp receptacle on 30amp breaker


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Originally Posted by argetni View Post
Sorry I meant 10-2 and 14-2. I am just starting to learn electrical. The stuff you need to learn when you buy a 1910 house "remodeled" by a flipper that is going bankrupt on the deal.
Not a problem. Just wanted to make sure you learn the correct terms etc so when you ask a question, it makes sense to the rest of us

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