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Old 02-06-2014, 10:30 PM   #1
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White wire to ground?


I have an average home wiring, 14/2 w G setup. There are three romex cables going into a box with 2 switches. There is a hot cable coming in, 2 switches and 2 cables exiting, to separate ceiling lights.

Everything seems normal except one white wire from a ceiling light is connected to the bare ground wires. It appears this is the original wiring (25 years old) and has not been tampered with.

The other 2 white wires are wire nutted together.

IS there some highly technical reason a white wire would be connected to the ground?? Did I give enough info?

Jim

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Old 02-06-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
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White wire to ground?


The white should not be connected to the grounding conductors. This can create a shock hazard. A neutral may have been lost and this was an attempt to get the light to work again.

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Old 02-07-2014, 01:12 AM   #3
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White wire to ground?


Thanks for the response. If the neutral was lost and I disconnect the white wire from the ground, the light will not work?

I now see that this wire use to feed 2 ceiling lights and now it is one light if that means anything?

Any input or suggestions greatly appreciated. Jim
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:30 AM   #4
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White wire to ground?


Turn the circuit off and remove the white from the bare - put a wire nut on the white (temporarily), or at least get it out of the way from touching anything. Turn circuit back on, and post back with results.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:43 AM   #5
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White wire to ground?


Thanks for the response.

Disconnecting the white wire causes one light not to work.

JIm
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:50 AM   #6
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White wire to ground?


Try connecting the white you just disconnected to the other whites.

A complete circuit needs two wires to operate.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:57 AM   #7
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White wire to ground?


Connecting the white wire to the other two white wires causes the light to come on. I see no smoke or sparks anywhere and the breaker did not trip!

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Old 02-07-2014, 03:16 PM   #8
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White wire to ground?


If not already done, the ground wires should have a pigtail to each switch.
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:41 PM   #9
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White wire to ground?


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Turn the circuit off and remove the white from the bare - put a wire nut on the white (temporarily), or at least get it out of the way from touching anything. Turn circuit back on, and post back with results.
Be carefull isolating neutral wires if you cant verify the rest of the circuit, its really easy to cause a power surge to electronic equipment that may be plugged in to that circuit if theres no neutral.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:44 PM   #10
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White wire to ground?


Thanks for the responses, always appreciated. Because the ceiling light was changed from 2 to 1 this has me concerned so I will attempt to visually inspect the wire in the morning. It runs through a vaulted ceiling space, not designed for a senior to navigate through.

As long as I have your attention, there is a lot on this circuit, it is 14/2 wg and protected by a 15 amp breaker. There are 3 switched interior ceiling lights, 2 with fans. 1 small switched florescent light. 3 interior duplex outlets. 3 switched exterior lights and 1 exterior duplex outlet. Seems excessive?
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:31 PM   #11
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White wire to ground?


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Thanks for the responses, always appreciated. Because the ceiling light was changed from 2 to 1 this has me concerned so I will attempt to visually inspect the wire in the morning. It runs through a vaulted ceiling space, not designed for a senior to navigate through.

As long as I have your attention, there is a lot on this circuit, it is 14/2 wg and protected by a 15 amp breaker. There are 3 switched interior ceiling lights, 2 with fans. 1 small switched florescent light. 3 interior duplex outlets. 3 switched exterior lights and 1 exterior duplex outlet. Seems excessive?
JIm
Ive seen complete older houses run off of 3-4 15a screw in fuses in the
past. Hahaha
Normally I try and run a seperate circuit for each room except kitchens and garages on new construction/remodel work, I do it more for ease of future repairs myself.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:47 PM   #12
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White wire to ground?


The good old days, when electrical problems were solved with a penny
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:02 PM   #13
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White wire to ground?


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The good old days, when electrical problems were solved with a penny
Pennys under fuses and light bulbs, if I had a dollar for eveytime ive yanked out a piece of copper water line with ends smashed down used in place of a cartridge fuse in a disconect! Hahaha
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:41 PM   #14
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White wire to ground?


Doesn't seem excessive at all. Many homes have much more that that.

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