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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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    559

    Default Common neutral and ground connection?

    I was inspecting an 1840 antique colonial last weekend and noticed that there was a lot of BX cable and ungrounded romex used for distribution wiring.

    Most of the outlets in the house were grounding 3-prong type, so I expected to find plenty of ungrounded outlets (changeovers from 2 - 3 prong). To my surprise -- When I started testing the outlets with my $10.00 gfci/polarity tester they all seemed OK.

    As I was finishing in the attic I found the reason they all tested good.

    I guess I need a better type testing device. Would your expensive fluke testers have picked that up???

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    York SC Licensed in NC and SC
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: Common neutral and ground connection?

    I have heard the suretest will flag a low resistance between ground and neutral as a "bootleg" or "false" ground.

    The issue you found would be higher/normal resistance readings and would fool the ole suretest.


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

    Default Re: Common neutral and ground connection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    I was inspecting an 1840 antique colonial last weekend and noticed that there was a lot of BX cable and ungrounded romex used for distribution wiring.

    Most of the outlets in the house were grounding 3-prong type, so I expected to find plenty of ungrounded outlets (changeovers from 2 - 3 prong). To my surprise -- When I started testing the outlets with my $10.00 gfci/polarity tester they all seemed OK.

    As I was finishing in the attic I found the reason they all tested good.

    I guess I need a better type testing device. Would your expensive fluke testers have picked that up???
    I don't see why that in itself would explain the tester indicating properly grounded 3-prongs. There still has to be conductor attached to the grounding connection on the receptacles that either is boot-legged to the neutral connection, or is connected to the armored cable, for instance.
    Not to discount what you found, of course. There is now neutral current on the outside of the armored cable, assuming that is the neutral.


  4. #4
    Richard Moore's Avatar
    Richard Moore Guest

    Default Re: Common neutral and ground connection?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    I don't see why that in itself would explain the tester indicating properly grounded 3-prongs. There still has to be conductor attached to the grounding connection on the receptacles that either is boot-legged to the neutral connection, or is connected to the armored cable, for instance.
    He more than likely has all metal boxes and the receptacle mounting screws are providing the "ground"...don't need an actual wire to the terminal. Oh...and I agree the Suretest wouldn't pick that up, proving that Ken's brain is still the best piece of equipment he has!


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