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Rick, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 467
Experience:  10 yrs as a electrician. Have my own company.
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# I have a light circuit being fed by 120 volts. The ground line

I have a light circuit being fed by 120 volts. The ground line is being used as one of the feeders. The white common is not.

How to correct?

Sparky :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to answer any of your electrical questions.

Sparky :

What part if the home is this in, what color wires do you have?

Customer:

My light circuit is being fed by a black wire and a ground wire. The white wire does nothing. Why am I getting feed through a ground. The ground id ties into other grounds feeding other circuits.

Customer:

tied, is

Customer:

Is it possible that one of the other grounds is supplying current to my ground wire.

Sparky :

Someone that doesn't know what they are doing must have tried working on that electrical system at some point. The ground wire and neutral should never be tied together. Can you up load a picture for me?

Sparky :

What country are you in? I noticed it does not say on your question?

Customer:

The neutral white wire is not tied to the bare wire.

Customer:

I should not have said ground wire. It is the bare copper wire in three wire romex cable.

Sparky :

ok 3 wires in romex, bare, black, and white. What is each one of these connected to?

Customer:

I have four each of the bare copper wires, black wires and white wires tied together in the same box.

Sparky :

All of them tied together as in the whites are together in one wire nut, then the blacks in another wire nut, and so forth?

Customer:

Yes.

Sparky :

ok the bare wire is the ground wires and how do you figure that it is being used as a "feeder"?

Customer:

The black wire and the ground wire is giving me 120 volts. Actually the voltaqge is about 140.

Customer:

The white and black do not give me a reading.

Sparky :

Yes when you put a tester from black to ground you should be getting 120v. What are you trying to do?

Customer:

Maybe I should have said the ground is being used as a neutral.

Sparky :

No, what you have described so far is normal.

Customer:

I think I should be getting 120 volts from black to white.

Customer:

It is not normal for a grounding wire to conduct current unless there is a fault in the wiring .

Sparky :

You should be getting 120 from black to white as well. What are you getting when you test from white to black, and where are you testing at? A switch a plug a light?

Customer:

I should be able to connect the white and black wire and get 120 volts and not even use the bare wire. It is only a safety in case of a wiring problem.

Customer:

I am not getting a reading from black to white. I am getting a reading from Black to ground.

Customer:

I am testing at the end of the circuit and the beginning of the circuit, same results.

Sparky :

Is this throughout the whole house, or just on 1 circuit?

Customer:

one circuit

Sparky :

Then you need to work you way toward the panel and find where the neutral wire (white) has became loose, or broken.

Customer:

I may have solved my problem. I did not hook up the white wire and must be using the ground wire as a return in place of the white wire. If I hook up the white wire, the current should reurn back whrough the white wire instead of the ground.

Customer:

Do you agree?

Sparky :

If you know the route of the whole circuit, just work your way back towards the panel until you have 120 v from white to black. Once you have found 120 between white and black you know that it is either at that point, or the next point further from the panel.

Sparky :

If you did not connect the white wire there is no way it would work properly.

Customer:

Thanks. I will do that.

Sparky :

Yes you would get 120 from using the ground however by doing that you are energizing the ground wire and people would be getting shocked. Please rate. Thank you

Customer:

Thanks. I gave you excellent service. You did very well not seeing my problem.

Sparky :

No problem. and thank you