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Old 08-12-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
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Please help me diagnose Thanks,


Outlet was working correctly - hot to neutral lights up and hot to ground lights up and neutral to ground does nothing. Was working in the circuit box and the neutral became disconnected. At which point hot to neutral was not lighting up and hot to ground was not lighting up. When neutral was reconnected in the box, then hot to neutral and hot to ground are working again.

If I understand this correctly, when the neutral was disconnected the hot to ground should still work - therefore it must be that the ground is not really grounded. If so why does hot to ground work when the neutral is connected? Is there a ground to neutral short somewhere in the system (other than in the box) Is there anything that would detect this condition?

Thanks,

Mitchell

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Old 08-12-2010, 03:04 PM   #2
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Please help me diagnose Thanks,


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Originally Posted by hyattmj View Post
Outlet was working correctly - hot to neutral lights up and hot to ground lights up and neutral to ground does nothing. Was working in the circuit box and the neutral became disconnected. At which point hot to neutral was not lighting up and hot to ground was not lighting up. When neutral was reconnected in the box, then hot to neutral and hot to ground are working again.

If I understand this correctly, when the neutral was disconnected the hot to ground should still work - therefore it must be that the ground is not really grounded. If so why does hot to ground work when the neutral is connected? Is there a ground to neutral short somewhere in the system (other than in the box) Is there anything that would detect this condition?

Thanks,

Mitchell
Yup, the neutral and ground are shorted together in the circuit breaker panel.

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Old 08-12-2010, 03:07 PM   #3
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Is it actually a grounded circuit? Is there a bare ground wire along with the hot and neutral, or metal conduit from the panel to the outlet box? If not, someone has probably replaced a two-prong outlet with a three-prong, using a bootleg ground. Pull the outlet out of the box and look at the wires. You should have a hot, neutral, and ground. If there's jumper wired between the neutral and ground instead, you have an illegal bootleg ground. This is mostly just a wild guess, until you pull the outlet out of the box and tell us what wires are present.
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