The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Industrail Control Panel bonding per 409.108
by HotLine1
52 minutes 53 seconds ago
Calling all Non-US members!! (Non-US only)
by aussie240
12/07/16 02:39 AM
Photo Upload Tutorial
by DanK
12/06/16 11:35 PM
Sprinklered equipment 26-008
by bigpapa
12/02/16 04:24 PM
On Delay Relay with Auto Reset
by Potseal
12/01/16 09:59 AM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 13
HotLine1 10
sparkyinak 8
Texas_Ranger 8
Potseal 6
Who's Online
0 registered (), 215 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#54478 - 07/29/05 05:09 PM why not use the ground in a romex as a neutral?
Joey D Offline
Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 263
Loc: Arlington MA U.S.
I was asked this today due to a wrong spec on a job. The shade company required a 12-2 romex at each window shade location for power, so I did it. I went there today to start the install and reading the shade info it needs a 12-3 romex to work. The shade guy wants to use the ground conductor as a neutral and I told him no way no how. I am just thinking now though what is the real reason behind this. Safty because no ground? The current on the neutral now is not insulated on it's return trip?

Top
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#54479 - 07/29/05 05:15 PM Re: why not use the ground in a romex as a neutral?
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
"Safty because no ground? The current on the neutral now is not insulated on it's return trip?"

YES
And
YES (Could also cause ground / neutral contact in a metalic box - after the main.)
_________________________
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

Top
#54480 - 07/29/05 05:19 PM Re: why not use the ground in a romex as a neutral?
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Oh, been in this situation before...

If its you fault... Look into romote control ones, cheaper than re-finish sometimes.

Not your fault, T&M C/O!
_________________________
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

Top
#54481 - 07/29/05 05:24 PM Re: why not use the ground in a romex as a neutral?
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6805
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
OK, the bare conductor will be carrying the current as you said, and basically be "live" to a grounded object, box, etc; or a person.

YES it is a saftey issue, yes, it is NOT NEC compliant, and yes you are 100% right saying 'no way'.

I have seen instances where EMT was used as the 'neutral' for a 30 amp, 120 volt circuit that consisted of ONE 'hot' conductor. Yes, it worked, but the setscrew couplings were not tightened properly and started arcing. It almost caused a fire, as the EMT was installed on a wall that had clothing racks mounted on it.

Some of the 'old timers' used to say "gyp the ground" when you had a 'open' neutral to restore the circuit; heck I saw BX armour that was 'live' arcing on suspended ceiling grid.

You're right; illegal, unsafe, and not to be done.

John
_________________________
John

Top
#54482 - 07/29/05 06:09 PM Re: why not use the ground in a romex as a neutral?
ShockMe77 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
Oh, what the heck, as long as it works, right?

*rollseyes

What "electrician" walks away from a job thinking it's ok to use EMT as the grounded conductor?

Top
#54483 - 07/29/05 07:03 PM Re: why not use the ground in a romex as a neutral?
dmattox Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 267
Loc: Anaheim, CA
Er, misread something

[This message has been edited by dmattox (edited 07-29-2005).]

Top
#54484 - 07/30/05 03:32 AM Re: why not use the ground in a romex as a neutral?
Joey D Offline
Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 263
Loc: Arlington MA U.S.
I know not to do it and will get paid to fix it. The shade system is part of a larger system that is all tied together for controlling lighting, video and sound systems so doing anything but snaking in new cables will not work.

Top
#54485 - 07/30/05 03:55 AM Re: why not use the ground in a romex as a neutral?
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
 Quote:
I know not to do it and will get paid to fix it.


Good choice.

Do not listen to "The Shade Guy" he is not NEC trained and he is not on the hook if the electrical portion of the shades causes a problem.

Would you tell him how to hang drapes?
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

Top
#54486 - 07/30/05 03:55 AM Re: why not use the ground in a romex as a neutral?
Joe Tedesco Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
Because, 334.108 Equipment Grounding.

In addition to the insulated conductors, the cable shall have an insulated or bare conductor for equipment grounding purposes only.
_________________________
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

Top
#54487 - 07/30/05 03:15 PM Re: why not use the ground in a romex as a neutral?
Joey D Offline
Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 263
Loc: Arlington MA U.S.
Thanks guys. I know not to do it just wanted to make sure I was right in my reasons, besides the code.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals