||07-19-2008 11:20 AM
Outlet neutral bonded to ground?
A few months ago a friend asked me to help him (that means for me to do the work) find out why some of his garage outlets did not work. 5 outlets. 3 work, 2 did not. What I found was between outlet 3 (working) and outlet 4(dead) the wire fed an outside outlet. The outside outlet had a broken hot lead. Repairing the wire made all the outlets alive. What I found while trouble shooting alarmed me. This house was built in the late 50's or early 6o's and uses 2 wire NM cable without a ground. All the outlets in the garage and outside were 3 wire. Some one has bridged the neutral to the ground terminal at each outlet. I removed the first outlet in the circuit and and installed a GFCI, then I removed the bond strap from neutral to ground at each outlet. I believe that made the circuit safe and code compliant. I advised my friend to call an electrician and advise him what I found and the correction I made. My fear is the rest of the house may be wired the same, as all I see is 3 wire outlets in the rest of the house. I did not open the CB panel to see if the other circuits had ground wires. It has been 2 months and my friend has not done anything. (I have reminded him) How dangerous is this situation and is there anything else I can or should do?