Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-12-2010, 10:42 AM   #1
Don't know it all, yet!
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
Posts: 910
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


Years ago I learned to call the white connector in houshold wiring the common. Seems like I hear it called the neutral more often now. So which is the more accurate and accepted term?

__________________
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. If you wouldn't put your name on it, it ain't done right!
downunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 12:50 PM   #2
Mad Scientist
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 771
Rewards Points: 510
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


To be technical, it's called the "Grounded Conductor" in the NEC.

That said, I've always heard it called the neutral.

McSteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 12:50 PM   #3
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,951
Rewards Points: 2,158
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Years ago I learned to call the white connector in houshold wiring the common. Seems like I hear it called the neutral more often now. So which is the more accurate and accepted term?
The 'grounded conductor'.
brric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 01:57 PM   #4
Wire Chewer
 
Red Squirrel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,221
Rewards Points: 2,020
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


What would the ground itself be called then? It seems misleading. I can see why they would call it that given it's bonded with the ground though.
Red Squirrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
Mad Scientist
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 771
Rewards Points: 510
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


That would be the Equipment Grounding Conductor.
McSteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 02:26 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


The white wire
I've heard common & neutral
Since DIY's seem to refer to it as the neutral I use that

The grounded conductor makes more sense (neutral)
...tells you that it is grounded

The grounding conductor also makes more sense (ground)
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 03:01 PM   #7
Electrician
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 1,151
Rewards Points: 518
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


It can also be called the indentified(or common) conductor. The white wire is techinally only a neutral when it carries the unbalanced load. So the white wire on your stove is a neutral, the white on a typical plug would be called the indentified or common.

Grounded condcutor-name for the white wire since it is grounded.

Grounding conductor-Your bare ground, the conductor that is ran to your
grounding source. This techincally is the only
ground in your house, all other "grounds" are
technically a bond back to your ground.
darren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 05:09 PM   #8
Don't know it all, yet!
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
Posts: 910
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


So many replies so soon!

A history lesson from you guys or a trip down memory lane from me might be in order. At the risk of dating myself, I learned the "common" name in the 60's or maybe 70's. Most house wiring then had only two conductors and none were polarized. I probably still have a couple of those "adapters" for new appliances laying around somewhere.

If one is not careful, grounding and grounded could be confused. Probably not if you deal with these terrms everyday but I think I am more comfortable with the hot wire (black or red), the neutral (white), and the ground (green or bare) and I hope that will be effective in communicating my occasional need.

PS
Darren- At the risk of being picky but this stuff is dangerous, please proof read your "indentified." I thought you had taught me a new word, but should this be "identified?"
__________________
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. If you wouldn't put your name on it, it ain't done right!
downunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 05:13 PM   #9
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 5,407
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder View Post

If one is not careful, grounding and grounded could be confused. Probably not if you deal with these terrms everyday but I think I am more comfortable with the hot wire (black or red), the neutral (white), and the ground (green or bare) and I hope that will be effective in communicating my occasional need.
you are right and due to the serious situations that can present with electrical systems, one should always be careful.

For most of the posts here, neutral, hot wire, and ground wire are commonly used.

The bottom line is that whatever term is used, those asking for direction understand what is implied. Most of the pro's here try to use terms the layman is comfortable with.
nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #10
I=E/R
 
a7ecorsair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,052
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
What would the ground itself be called then? It seems misleading. I can see why they would call it that given it's bonded with the ground though.
Keep in mind that the grounded conductor is normal current carrying wire. The grounding conductor hopefully never carries current.
a7ecorsair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 10:02 PM   #11
liscenced electrician
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oregon coast
Posts: 986
Rewards Points: 504
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
Keep in mind that the grounded conductor is normal current carrying wire. The grounding conductor hopefully never carries current under normal conditions.
fixed




i would be very careful referring to the neutral as the grounded conductor on these boards, while it is more correct, it is also easier to confuse
jimmy21 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2010, 11:46 PM   #12
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 5,130
Rewards Points: 2,230
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


Quote:
fixed
Why did you need to fix anything ? the adverb hopefully simply means that you hope that the grounding conductor does not carry current. In the context of the sentence it is a comparison to the 'grounded conductor' being a system current carrying wire and the grounding wire not being a system current carrying wire so , hopefully, it isn't carrying dangerous system current ...ever,never,nada....

Now unless we want to determine what grounding wire we are taking about .. for example egc or gec then one better be careful saying a grounding wire will not have current on it 'under normal conditions'.

Quote:
i would be very careful referring to the neutral as the grounded conductor on these boards, while it is more correct, it is also easier to confuse
In what way? Someone going to burn the house down? We use all those terms here and things go just fine. We use the term grounded conductor often when refering to the incorrect term neutral in a 120 volt circuit.. When you look at a schematic of a utility ... what are they calling the utility neutral serving your home? It isn't called neutral it will be labeled 'grounded' conductor. Most DIY seem to like the term neutral for the grounded conductor in a 120 volt branch circuit. Many have no idea what you call it. Some just say 'white wire'. So it makes little diference what we call it. How about 'return' wire? We see that here too.

There is no point to being condescending to what someone posts by making YOUR correction to their statement. He said what he said .. there was nothing to correct.

In the future I would be very careful making corrections to other peoples words/text unless of course your just that much better at this stuff than everybody else.....

BTW filling out your profile would lend a lot to your credibility here....
__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie

Last edited by Stubbie; 09-13-2010 at 12:02 AM.
Stubbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2010, 11:58 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 780
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


I think to many people get overly concerned with what is the proper title or word usage. If some one asks about the bare wire, the green wire, the ground wire, or the bonding wire on e receptacle is any of those terms going to cause some one to mistake it for the third phase in a 3 phase system?
hayewe farm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2010, 01:34 PM   #14
liscenced electrician
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oregon coast
Posts: 986
Rewards Points: 504
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
Why did you need to fix anything ? the adverb hopefully simply means that you hope that the grounding conductor does not carry current. In the context of the sentence it is a comparison to the 'grounded conductor' being a system current carrying wire and the grounding wire not being a system current carrying wire so , hopefully, it isn't carrying dangerous system current ...ever,never,nada....

Now unless we want to determine what grounding wire we are taking about .. for example egc or gec then one better be careful saying a grounding wire will not have current on it 'under normal conditions'.

In what way? Someone going to burn the house down? We use all those terms here and things go just fine. We use the term grounded conductor often when refering to the incorrect term neutral in a 120 volt circuit.. When you look at a schematic of a utility ... what are they calling the utility neutral serving your home? It isn't called neutral it will be labeled 'grounded' conductor. Most DIY seem to like the term neutral for the grounded conductor in a 120 volt branch circuit. Many have no idea what you call it. Some just say 'white wire'. So it makes little diference what we call it. How about 'return' wire? We see that here too.

There is no point to being condescending to what someone posts by making YOUR correction to their statement. He said what he said .. there was nothing to correct.

In the future I would be very careful making corrections to other peoples words/text unless of course your just that much better at this stuff than everybody else.....

BTW filling out your profile would lend a lot to your credibility here....
i missed the word hopefully


and what i mean by not using the term "grounded conductor," if you told a diyer to hook something up to the grounded conductor, there is a good chance they will hook up the grounding conductor.

Last edited by jimmy21; 09-13-2010 at 01:36 PM.
jimmy21 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2010, 03:14 PM   #15
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 5,130
Rewards Points: 2,230
Default

Just wondering- "common" or "neutral?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy21 View Post
i missed the word hopefully


and what i mean by not using the term "grounded conductor," if you told a diyer to hook something up to the grounded conductor, there is a good chance they will hook up the grounding conductor.
No problem and yes that would not be good.

In general all of us that frequent here are very careful to be clear about what the poster needs to 'hook up' and to where. In my experience very few posters misunderstand where the grounding wire goes but as mentioned one needs to be clear to avoid confusing the two.

__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie
Stubbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wondering =notching out floor joists Darjordan Remodeling 3 06-20-2010 01:00 PM
wondering how to remove blinds... beerbelly918 Interior Decorating 3 05-06-2010 03:37 PM
wondering if i can use thinset mortar for sloped floor in shower stylusbaker General DIY Discussions 1 06-24-2009 07:15 AM
Just Wondering if this is happening to all here!!! localtradesman Off Topic 10 11-02-2007 02:41 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.