Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Jumper wire from neutral to ground

    I just had a hunch and pulled an outlet cover and this is what I found. Now, I try to be low-key and not alarm people but from what I've learned this is really, really bad. After I found this one I pulled about 4 others in different places around the house to find the same thing. There were many other electrical issues as well so it will get the 'check the whole system' write-up. I don't typically pull outlet covers as part of my routine but might start doing so occaisionally.

    Do you guys hammer this one pretty hard?

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Jumper wire from neutral to ground

    I don't know about different degrees of hammering ... it's wrong and needs to be fixed, and since there are other electrical issues (aren't there always?) then, like you said, an electrician needs to go over the whole system. I wouldn't tell everyone to run like hell or anything like that.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Jumper wire from neutral to ground

    There are of course worse things that could be done but that does not make this situation correct by any means. The current NEC does have a ‘code acceptable’ method of dealing with 3-prong electrical receptacle outlets on a two wire run that does not otherwise provide a conductive path back to the system ground.

    What is shown in the picture above however is not it!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Jumper wire from neutral to ground

    Phillip - If by "conductive path back to the system ground" you mean the low resistance path back to the transformer by way of the grounded service conductor (as opposed to the grounding electrode path). A small percentage of current would flow on the grounding electrode path, just because it is there, but it doesn't actually need to be there in this specific instance.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,313

    Default Re: Jumper wire from neutral to ground

    What you found is called a "bootleg" ground or "false ground".

    As the term "false" ground states ... there ain't no ground there ... just tries to fool you into thinking there is.

    Yes, write it up and tell them it needs to be corrected!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Jumper wire from neutral to ground

    This is the exact scenario that electrocuted a plumber here several years ago. The only thing worse about that case was that it had been done at a gfci receptacle. It is absolutely wrong and must be corrected.

    In the case of the dead plumber, the electrician had done it to fool the original inspector (me) in the event that I was called back for a reinspection of the callout items from the initial report. Thankfully, I had not been called back and do not do reinspections of electrical systems.

    I would strongly urge you to pull representative samples anytime you haven't found grounding conductors in the panels, but you do register a "ground" at the receptacle with your tester. I would also pull some samples anytime you have a mixture of two and three-pole circuits in a house.

    Of course, any time you find three prong receptacles at two-pole circuits, it is a callout. IMHO, every electrical infraction is the most important thing in the house. Everything else is just money.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Jumper wire from neutral to ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Walker View Post
    This is the exact scenario that electrocuted a plumber here several years ago. The only thing worse about that case was that it had been done at a gfci receptacle. It is absolutely wrong and must be corrected.

    In the case of the dead plumber, the electrician had done it to fool the original inspector (me) in the event that I was called back for a reinspection of the callout items from the initial report. Thankfully, I had not been called back and do not do reinspections of electrical systems.

    I would strongly urge you to pull representative samples anytime you haven't found grounding conductors in the panels, but you do register a "ground" at the receptacle with your tester. I would also pull some samples anytime you have a mixture of two and three-pole circuits in a house.

    Of course, any time you find three prong receptacles at two-pole circuits, it is a callout. IMHO, every electrical infraction is the most important thing in the house. Everything else is just money.
    Thank you... this is excellent info. The tragedy described is exactly what I was referring to in my OP when I said that I really hit this hard. It seems that most electrical deficiencies and poor installations are due to incompetence or just a lack of knowledge. This goes pretty far down the path of outright malice. Trying to give the seller (or whomever did it) the benefit of the doubt, they hopefully weren't aware of just how bad this could be. I read a recent article about this and it basically said all it takes is a loose neutral somewhere and all of the current is fed through the ground system. This is likely how the plumber got killed. It could/would also energize the casing of appliances on that circuit.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •