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Old 09-10-2014, 07:14 PM   #1
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


Ill take this from my last post as I think I have narrowed it down. House is 200amp, garage has 100 amp service, the wire has to be 0 gauge but I cant read any numbers off it. I want to hook a 240v hot tub to the garage as its closer. Everything looks good but!

The 100 amp breaker has two hots into it, then the ground. The neutral is taped off. The bonding bar connecting the two ground bars is attached. Garage right now is running lights, garage door opener, power tools, etc. No issues.

Now lets backtrack, the feed at the garage goes to the house, and connects in the basement at a junction box. Everything is connected as expected except the last wire or the neutral. Keep going further the wire goes to the main service panel. Only three wires come into the box two hots and a ground. I would have to cut into but im guessing the 4th wire is sitting inside the sheething.


Not saying this set up is right or wrong, but obviously this was done for a reason, I cant see somebody just forgetting to hook up the 4th wire. Why would this be done? From what I know the reason for the neutral is for 240 items that may have lower current, like display or light? Now the hot tub has multiple components, but talking to the manufacture, its a straight 240v system and needs 8/3 wire and a 40 amp breaker. So its not like some tubs that need multiple breakers.


Now If I have to hook up the 4th wire, I would remove the bonding bar, hook up the neutral in the garage box. Then connect the two neutrals in the junction box. Now if I open up the sheathing find the neutral can I put a junction box there, get like wire and extend that wire into the main service pane?

Or do I just run it like its set up, or is there a risk.

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Old 09-10-2014, 07:34 PM   #2
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


Pics help.

The panel in the garage needs the ground bar and neutral bars separated.
Why it was done the way you have it is unknown.

The neutral wire is required for all 120 volt loads, and not the way you understand it.

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Old 09-10-2014, 08:07 PM   #3
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


If no 120 volt loads exist, no neutral is needed.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:20 PM   #4
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


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Originally Posted by Jump-start View Post
If no 120 volt loads exist, no neutral is needed.
A neutral IS required since the outbuilding with power requires a 120V receptacle.
210.52(G)
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:40 PM   #5
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


Did you verify voltage across everything? Always good to test. Then verify neutral wire is good back to feed. May be silly question. But never "assume" anything.

Missed the neutral missing in garage panel.

Last edited by clw1963; 09-10-2014 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:40 PM   #6
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


I am going to guess that there was a three wire feed to something(possibly and old garage) that was used to hook up the new garage. You should replace that section of three wire cable with a matching four wire cable and hook up the neutrals properly.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:57 AM   #7
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


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A neutral IS required since the outbuilding with power requires a 120V receptacle.
210.52(G)

There are outlets and lights that run on 120 coming out of the garage sub panel that are 120, and no issues. ??? Again not saying its right
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:58 AM   #8
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


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Did you verify voltage across everything? Always good to test. Then verify neutral wire is good back to feed. May be silly question. But never "assume" anything.

Missed the neutral missing in garage panel.

I didnt verify voltage, but I verified the neutral wasnt hooked up in the garage, the juntion box or the main panel in the house
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:03 AM   #9
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


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Originally Posted by joed View Post
I am going to guess that there was a three wire feed to something(possibly and old garage) that was used to hook up the new garage. You should replace that section of three wire cable with a matching four wire cable and hook up the neutrals properly.

garage was built in 2005, but a home made job, but built well. Im kind of thinking like you they had something in there.


But I think I have it now.

1. Connect the neutral in the garage

2. take out the bonding bar in the garage

3. Connect the neutrals in the junciton box in the house that are no connected

4. Lastly cut out the section near the main service panel, connect the matching 4 wire in a junction and lastly hook into the main breaker panel.

I think I got it now
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:04 AM   #10
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


Yes because you are using ground for the neutral. Tsk tsk. That is a no no... You need to fix this...
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:22 AM   #11
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


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Yes because you are using ground for the neutral. Tsk tsk. That is a no no... You need to fix this...
I understan that now. But I guess Im still wondering the exact why? As I have owned this house for three years and didnt wire the garage. But for the last three years ive ran lights, tools, you name it in that garage without a single flicker?
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:49 AM   #12
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


The reason why is that someone didn't understand everything they thought they knew. Beyond that, not too many of us here are psychics.

Last edited by brric; 09-11-2014 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:09 PM   #13
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


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The reason why is that someone didn't understand everything they thought they knew. Beyond that, not too many of us here are psychics.

Then I guess why does everything still work, and nothing is in flames yet?
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:10 PM   #14
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


Alright had an electrician come by during the lunch. The reason the neutral wasnt connected was the panel in the garage has its ground. He seems to think its fine.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:25 PM   #15
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Why wouldnt you hook up a neutral


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Alright had an electrician come by during the lunch. The reason the neutral wasnt connected was the panel in the garage has its ground. He seems to think its fine.
Find a new electrician. He's clueless.

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