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Old 07-14-2013, 11:06 AM   #16
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HOT Neutral


Wow thank you for this. So this makes me think the idea of neutral shock being "worse" is due to it being more unexpected.

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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman

For those looking for a history of grounding, and a more in depth discussion about problems associated with two prong (ungrounded) outlets, see the following article by the Peavey amplifier company, that discusses grounding safety, pseudo grounding, the history of grounding in the U.S., issues associated with inadvertent swapping of the hot and neutral wires, and several other interesting issues as they apply to electronic devices.

http://www.peavey.com/support/techno...hockhazard.cfm
I will for sure read this. The link below regarding the history of grounding was posted on Electrician Talk by Joe Tedesco (who I think is or was on the NEC panel). It was fascinating to me to understand the history of grounding.

http://www.licensedelectrician.com/S...es_History.pdf

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Old 07-14-2013, 01:37 PM   #17
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And if anything, they only seem to hurt more because you were not expecting to get hit off the neutral. To say it actually hurts more is impossible to prove..
I don't know about that. I separated a shoulder getting popped by a hot neutral. Never did that getting hit by a hot wire. That did hurt more.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:33 PM   #18
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If the neutral is hot (has voltage on it), it isn't a neutral, it is a mislabeled or improperly connected hot wire. The definition of a neutral is a grounded conductor, meaning it carries current, but has zero or very close to zero voltage relative to ground. It is certainly possible to inadvertently cause a neutral wire to carry voltage by improperly wiring it, or using a white wire as a hot and forgetting to paint it black (you think it is a neutral because it is white). However, if you do this, IT IS NOT A NEUTRAL. The only way to get a noticeable shock by touching a neutral is if the neutral is improperly connected, or there is a fault.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:59 PM   #19
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If you opened the neutral because you are working on it, all you need is a downstream load that is on. If you turn the power back on, or left the opposing leg of a MWBC on, you can get bit.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:25 PM   #20
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HOT Neutral


Is anyone saying that Point A of Drawing A, is not supposed to be HOT?

As far as Drawing "B" goes, I still think I do understand why the lamp case didn't get hot, and I'll revise my attempt at explaining why a bit later - maybe tomorrow or the next day.

Can't thank you all enough for all the input - it's already helped me in a way indirectly related to my original request for confirmation (or not), regarding that issue. .
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:01 PM   #21
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First to Dan Holzman..... Thank ya sir for a very excellent/understandable/and reasoned response.

To the OP Ducky...... Duck, I just got on to try for the third time to address your question (this time I'm going to copy/save my response rather than loose it with the re-log-on problem.)

However, I'm sure I could not improve (or even equal) on Dan's response.

But, relative to your specific initial question involving a bootleg ground and your subsequent experiment, I did want to clarrify something I said, in either an earlier post you read, or what I might have written to you.

In regard to a what I call a bootleg ground (jumpered neutral/ground)(normally occuring in a hacked two wire system or by a hacked job in a three wire that may have lost a neutral) (or in your experiment with both a functioning neutral and ground), I probably said that that gives you a HOT appliance.

My nomenclature could be argued in that something is not hot if it is at ground potential (ie no potential)...as in your experiment with a functioning neutral/ground.

However, I will still call that a hot appliance under the theoretical argument that 1) it is not at theoretical true ground (resistance in neutral/ground wire) and under the practical argument 2) if you loose that neutral/ground, you will have the voltage (and amps depending on the circut load) to give you a bite that you will know.

In effect, the appliance has become part of your neutral wiring, the neutral is a current carrying conductor, and regardless of it being close to 0 potential under most circunstaces, I still like to think of it as hot.

(Necessarily, this is a different "hot" appliance situation than Dan described in his first post directed to a faulted hot.... but I still refer to a faulted (bootleg ground) neutral as a creating a "hot appliance"... With the realization that my nomenclature can be challenged).

While the likelyhood, from a practical standpoint, of a serious shock from a my bootleg neutral "hot" situation verse a faulted hot "hot"situation in Dan's first post, is significantly less, it is still there... and my understanding is that is a primary reason that code prohibits it.

Actually the bootleg ground senario will seemingly work fine most of the time under normal circumstances.... probably why we ever see it occur in older two wires and sometimes in three wire/lost neutral hacks.... but the possibility for problems exist.... and code prohibits the practice.

Best ta ya....

Peter
PS EDIT: This time the re-log-on worked????

PS... Ducky... Just looked back on your drawing B experiment... forgot you had shown a lost neutral.... does not change anything as to the discussion... whether you have two or one grounding wires.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justplumducky View Post
Is anyone saying that Point A of Drawing A, is not supposed to be HOT?

As far as Drawing "B" goes, I still think I do understand why the lamp case didn't get hot, and I'll revise my attempt at explaining why a bit later - maybe tomorrow or the next day.

Can't thank you all enough for all the input - it's already helped me in a way indirectly related to my original request for confirmation (or not), regarding that issue. .
I'm pretty sure there is no one saying that Point A of A is not hot,,,, but I'm pretty sure everyone will say it is not supposed to be... it's a broken/lost neutral
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:57 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
This is untrue, older 3 wire dryers used the NEUTRAL as a ground, not the other way around. Also, all dryers contain a 120v motor, only the heating elements are 240v.

So in an old 240v dryer set up ....10/2

1 black
1 white
1 ground wire


Which one is the neutral?


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Old 07-15-2013, 05:03 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
AC current is alternating, it is the same result whether you receive a shock from the supply side or the return side.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
This is just like saying, wow it was 120 degrees out yesterday, but only 110 degrees out today, its still hot outside... And if anything, they only seem to hurt more because you were not expecting to get hit off the neutral. To say it actually hurts more is impossible to prove. Its actually the stupidest comment i've ever heard.

One would need to come to the conclusion that VOLTS are shocking you and not the amps....

Ever get shocked from a 12 v spark plug wire ?

Ohms law is the same for ac or dc .
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:54 AM   #25
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[Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
This is untrue, older 3 wire dryers used the NEUTRAL as a ground, not the other way around. Also, all dryers contain a 120v motor, only the heating elements are 240v.

So in an old 240v dryer set up ....10/2

1 black
1 white
1 ground wire


Which one is the neutral?




Ya gotta love this one, yepper, the little whistling guy got me (no offense stickboy)
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:04 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly Master View Post
So in an old 240v dryer set up ....10/2

1 black
1 white
1 ground wire


Which one is the neutral?


This was NEVER allowed, but 3 conductor SEU was, and the bare conductor was a NEUTRAL not a ground... just saying....
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:05 AM   #27
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HOT Neutral


Quote:
Originally Posted by justplumducky View Post
[Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
This is untrue, older 3 wire dryers used the NEUTRAL as a ground, not the other way around. Also, all dryers contain a 120v motor, only the heating elements are 240v.

So in an old 240v dryer set up ....10/2

1 black
1 white
1 ground wire


Which one is the neutral?




Ya gotta love this one, yepper, the little whistling guy got me (no offense stickboy)
No offense taken, because that setup was against code and was NEVER, EVER, allowed. So it's an unrealistic example.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:19 AM   #28
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HOT Neutral


Thank you Daniel H~ for that in-depth circuit analysis. I'm a relative newbie, but had no problem understanding. Had prior classroom training with Ohm's law and circuit analysis (it's been a while), but never had it related in such a practical way that impacted me as much as your analysis did. Thank you for that effort.

Not related to my experiment, but... I previously (to your analysis) had trouble understanding how there could be current in the neutral without the higher voltage associated with the hot side of the load. That "trouble understanding" doesn't make sense in view of prior circuit analysis training, but it's been a while and simply never occurred to me to apply Ohm's law (relative to voltage drop) to all parts of the circuit, including the wire resistance on the neutral side.

In other words, I was previously baffled as to why, when I put a voltmeter probe on the neutral side of a 120vac normally operating circuit, it would show only minimal (less than "1") voltage.

Philly Master also has a way of conveying great impact:

Original Quote by Philly Master: "One would need to come to the conclusion that VOLTS are shocking you and not the amps.... "

Thank you Philly Master.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:53 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
If the neutral is hot (has voltage on it), it isn't a neutral, it is a mislabeled or improperly connected hot wire. The definition of a neutral is a grounded conductor, meaning it carries current, but has zero or very close to zero voltage relative to ground. It is certainly possible to inadvertently cause a neutral wire to carry voltage by improperly wiring it, or using a white wire as a hot and forgetting to paint it black (you think it is a neutral because it is white). However, if you do this, IT IS NOT A NEUTRAL. The only way to get a noticeable shock by touching a neutral is if the neutral is improperly connected, or there is a fault.
Please explain further. I got popped by a neutral when I was working on a 3-gang box in my garage. In this box there were 3 separate circuits: garage lights, flood lights and carriage lights. All 3 of these circuits were OFF. The floods lights were part of a 3-way circuit which had a switch by the front door. When I touched the neutral for the flood lights I got popped hard. I pulled away so hard as to re-separate my right shoulder.

Turns out the "licensed" electricians just wire nutted all neutrals in the boxes together and one of the circuits in the front door box was live and the neutral in the garage box was carrying this current back to the panel. I have since fixed this in every box in my house.

How does this scenario fit into your explanation? Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:59 AM   #30
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Depending on that situation, it is very likely you didn't get hit by a neutral, rather a white used as a traveler/switch leg/hot.

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