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RickyBobby 07-30-2011 04:10 PM

Hot Ground
Hey guys.

I added a leg off of an existing outlet and every time I flip the breaker back on it trips. I disconnected the ground at my recepticle, reset the breaker and it works. However, if I put my meter on both grounds they read 120....??? WTF???

The recepticle worked fine prior to this and everything is connected properly. I know I probably have to trace to the source of the power but I don't really know what I am looking for in doing so. Would someone have hooked up hot/neutral to one of the ground wires?

As of now the breaker is off until I can get an answer.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Speedy Petey 07-30-2011 05:01 PM


Originally Posted by RickyBobby (Post 696928)

The recepticle worked fine prior to this and everything is connected properly.

Obviously not. You need to find out what you did wrong.

How was the old receptacle wired?
How did you wire the new one?
I assume they were both exactly the same?

RickyBobby 07-30-2011 05:47 PM

Got me there Petey!

The new line off of the recepticle goes to a light on a switch. The blacks on the switch and the neutrals together. The grounds pigtailed to the switch and also on the recepticle.

There is no ground on the new light (single bulb ceramic ones) so basically the ground is tucked into the plastic ceiling box.

The only thing I can think of is if the ground in the ceiling box is touching the hot terminal.

I guess I am looking to see what would cause me to get a 120 reading when touching the 2 grounds?

I am also concerned with no ground on the ceiling light.

Most likely being a call to electrician on Monday but any help in advance is great.

AllanJ 07-30-2011 07:15 PM

Does the new line go to the light or does the new line go to the switch?

Thbe porcelain light fixture will work perfectly well without the ground wire but the ground wires entering the box should all be connected to each other.

A wire nut is needed to hold a bundle of ground wires together. Just twisting and/or taping is not good enough.

RickyBobby 07-30-2011 07:49 PM

[quote=AllanJ;697024]Does the new line go to the light or does the new line go to the switch?


The new line goes to the switch and then the light. Can the ground at the light just be tucked inside?

Thanks for the response. Regarding the ground being hot, is the only way it can happen is be touching a hot line somewhere?

joed 07-31-2011 11:02 AM

How tight did you make the box clamps? I have seen them tightened enough to cause a short.

RickyBobby 07-31-2011 03:05 PM

I actually found it. The ground on my switch contacted the hot terminal on the switch when I pushed it into the box. I went back through all of my connections this morning and found that.

Thanks all for the input.

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