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Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 259
J
Joey D Offline OP
Member
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?

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
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e57 Offline
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"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
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
E
e57 Offline
Member
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
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,305
Likes: 6
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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
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
S
Member
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?

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 265
D
Member
Er, misread something

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

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 259
J
Joey D Offline OP
Member
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.

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
I
Moderator
Quote
I know not to do it and will get paid to fix it.

Good choice. [Linked Image]

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
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
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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
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 259
J
Joey D Offline OP
Member
Thanks guys. I know not to do it just wanted to make sure I was right in my reasons, besides the code.

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