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Old 12-15-2016, 11:50 PM   #1
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Using Neutral as Ground


I was replacing floodlights over my garage door today and noticed that someone had cheated and just screwed them into siding and run a lamp cord through a hole. I fixed this by installing a box and used armored cable instead of lamp cord.

Whoever did this before used the neutral wire of the lamp cord to feed the neutral of the lights and the ground wire. They just wire nutted them together. Was this common with outdoor lighting? It doesn't seem right to me because the whole fixture would become dangerous if the neutral became loose somewhere.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:02 AM   #2
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Re: Using Neutral as Ground


it was accepted practice in the past,
but not any more.
as you surmise, if neutral is lost
then potentially earth becomes live.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:06 AM   #3
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Re: Using Neutral as Ground


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
it was accepted practice in the past,
but not any more.
as you surmise, if neutral is lost
then potentially earth becomes live.
Actually this was never accepted practice, at least in the US, except for two specific exceptions. Older dryers and ranges, and older feeders to detached structures.

Bootleg ground and neutrals are NEVER legal or safe on other branch circuits.
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