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Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse

Why is neutral conncted to ground in the fuse box/panel?

I found neutral connected to ground in the fuse box/panel, in the place I currently live.

That surprised me, I would have thought that you want to keep them separate. E.g. neutral connected to incoming neutral and ground just connected to ground rod.

My hose was built in the 50s, is neutral connected to ground in the panel allowed in current code?


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

Neutral should be connected to ground in the main panel but not in any subpanels.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Hagar

Always been that way in our live time.

However, it's only ONE connection between neutral and ground that has to exist. That means there is only ONE link between all the neutral and ground for the whole MAIN panel.

Simply put: If there is hot current that gets into contact with a grounded item (like metal casing of a range or dryer) then you want that hot current to have a path back to the neutral in the main panel and then trip the breaker/fuse. The ground rod isn't supposed to be that return path (That's in the "not simply put" version which I won't write).



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6
reply to Hagar

Is this literally a fuse box? How many fuses in it?

Are there any other overcurrent devices upstream from that panel?

Any other panels?



davidg
Good Bye My Friend
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-15
none
reply to Hagar

not to be an ass, but if you don't know this then you don't need to open the panel except to change a fuse/reset a breaker until you learn more.
--
Lack of Preparation on YOUR Part does NOT Constitute an Emergency on Mine!


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus

1 recommendation

said by davidg:

not to be an ass, but if you don't know this then you don't need to open the panel except to change a fuse/reset a breaker until you learn more.

And, asking the question here is how he can learn more, right?


Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to alkizmo

alkizmo,
Good explanation, I came from a place where there are GFI in the main panel (all breakers) so no need to connect ground to neutral to get the fuse/breaker to trip.

John Gault,
It was in the main panel, sorry for the use of fuse box (not a native English speaker)



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3

2 recommendations

reply to garys_2k

said by garys_2k:

said by davidg:

not to be an ass, but if you don't know this then you don't need to open the panel except to change a fuse/reset a breaker until you learn more.

And, asking the question here is how he can learn more, right?

+1

That response is wearing thin. I'd rather someone post and ask a question rather than do something wrong.


Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
reply to davidg

I appreciate the concern, no plans to do/change anything.


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to Hagar

I believe the neutral and the ground are connected on the pole anyway.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Hagar

said by Hagar:

alkizmo,
Good explanation, I came from a place where there are GFI in the main panel (all breakers) so no need to connect ground to neutral to get the fuse/breaker to trip.

That is incorrect. A GFCI is not an over-current limiting device. A GFCI serves a totally different purpose than does a circuit breaker.


Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse

Maybe it is my use/misuse of English. I did not try to say that a GFI was an over-current limiting device.

The scenario that was described by alkizmo ‘hot current that gets into contact with a grounded item’ is a scenario where a GFI would trigger.



davidg
Good Bye My Friend
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-15
none

1 recommendation

reply to garys_2k

sorry, but asking questions on a forum is not the PROPER way to learn about electrical. you will get such wide response(most of them completely wrong) that it will only serve to confuse and endanger someone. If he really wants to learn, and i hope he does, then the better method is to get someone that knows to teach him. there are also some basic electrical books available fairly cheap that will give someone the very basic understanding they need to do minor home electrical work.

i never said NOT to ask, just to not do anything in the panel until he learned more. a live panel is not the place for someone that has no basic knowledge, you can and will get hurt quickly.
--
Lack of Preparation on YOUR Part does NOT Constitute an Emergency on Mine!



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to davidg

said by davidg:

not to be an ass, but if you don't know this then you don't need to open the panel except to change a fuse/reset a breaker until you learn more.

+1 Good advice. These people have no business ever taking the cover off a panel period.

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to davidg

said by davidg:

sorry, but asking questions on a forum is not the PROPER way to learn about electrical. you will get such wide response(most of them completely wrong) that it will only serve to confuse and endanger someone. If he really wants to learn, and i hope he does, then the better method is to get someone that knows to teach him. there are also some basic electrical books available fairly cheap that will give someone the very basic understanding they need to do minor home electrical work.

i never said NOT to ask, just to not do anything in the panel until he learned more. a live panel is not the place for someone that has no basic knowledge, you can and will get hurt quickly.

And you said all that to him, about getting books, looking for codes, or did you just blow him off with a smart remark?

Besides, there are some extremely knowledgeable sparkys that post here regularly. The OP asked a fair question. Your answer was not helpful.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to davidg

+1 again

I guess that those of us wasted our time studying and getting our license? All we need to do is to come to a Home Improvement forum and ask about anything we need to know.

To think I could have avoided 2 years of M - F, 8 hour classes and 5 years of 3 and 4 nights per week of classes.

There are people on here that have no business opening up a panel yet are encouraged by some to perform functions that these folks should not be attempting. What's even worse is some of the posters giving this advice clearly don't know themselves.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to davidg

And this is why Detective David Mills should I never opened the box.



Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to Jack_in_VA

I personally do think the ‘You are in over your head’ posts are useful. Electricity is dangerous and it is important to follow code so the next electrician does not get a nasty surprise. I have been lurking in this forum and one of the reasons I read it is just because there are professional that take their time to explain things. Jack_in_VA you are on my list of pros that I read extra carefully.

I am a curious person and have lived in many places in the world. Some of them did not have a neutral to ground connection in the main panel. Maybe they had a connection upstream at the pole. The last place I saw no neutral ground connection had a whole house GFI. One lab I visited had two grounds, regular ground that was connected to neutral and reference ground that was not.

Sorry if not providing any context in the first post.

/edit typos



tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
reply to Hagar

We have had this discussion several times. Typical electrical distribution system used MGN - multi-grounded neutral.

»standards.ieee.org/about/nesc/ir532.pdf

The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires Neutral be grounded at the Service entrance panel. That is also the location were safety ground if bonded to Neutral. As robbin See Profile posted the main disconnect is the only location the two can be connected together.

More details about service entrance requirements.
»www.comed.com/Documents/customer···der1.pdf

/tom

Expand your moderator at work


Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA

1 recommendation

reply to tschmidt

Re: Why is neutral conncted to ground in the fuse box/panel?

Thanks for the links, now when I have the proper terms I can find more interesting links.

Again just for my curiosity not for doing anything, I leave that to the professional.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Hagar

said by Hagar:

I am a curious person and have lived in many places in the world. Some of them did not have a neutral to ground connection in the main panel. Maybe they had a connection upstream at the pole. The last place I saw no neutral ground connection had a whole house GFI. One lab I visited had two grounds, regular ground that was connected to neutral and reference ground that was not.

It would be a mistake to think that all power distribution systems around the world are the same as the system used in the United States. As you list your location as Sunnyvale, CA; I based my response to your question on the system used in the US. That by no means should imply that all electrical systems have the neutral and ground bonded as is required with our system.

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
reply to robbin

Unless of course the electrician installed one or more combination GFCI, Circuit Breakers. Then from the point of view of a homeowner the GFCI is a circuit breaker.

Expand your moderator at work