Neutral connection to ground

Old 09-01-02, 07:12 PM
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Neutral connection to ground

While replacing exterior light, I discover that the white wires are connected to the ground. This connection has been in place for at least 12 years. I also discover that the voltage reads 119.7 between the black and white wires and 123.6 between the black and ground. However, a light will not glow when properly connected to the white and black wires. If the black and white wires are touched, nothing happens. However, the black to ground connection lights up the world. How can I be getting a volt reading of 119.7 between the white and black wires but a light will not come on ( several where tried ) ?? Apparently, there is a break in the white wire somewhere and that's the reason that the white wire of the lantern was connected to the ground. Should I rewire this way? This is an underground wire under concrete ( no conduit ) and the replacement of that wire will be nearly impossible.
Thanks for your help.
Old 09-01-02, 07:23 PM
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connect your black to black, and white to white, and don't concern youself with the grounding conductor if it is non-existent.
Old 09-01-02, 07:52 PM
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Wirenuts, was your reply intended to be posted to a different question? Or maybe you read the question too quickly?

There are two main ways to get voltage without power: (1) you are getting phantom voltage because the white wire is floating, because it is disconnected somewhere. (2) the white wire has a very high resistance somewhere -- this resistance could be caused by a bad connection, a faulty cable, or something wired in series.

In any event, you have a problem with your white wire. You'll need to look everywhere on this circuit for a bad connection of the white wire. Or the cable may have been breached somewhere, by something like a nail, or rock in the soil. Even though replacement may be nearly impossible, it may be your only safe choice -- try routing a new cable via some other path.

Do not leave the grounding wire as a current-carrying conductor -- it is not safe.
Old 09-01-02, 08:04 PM
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John, Thanks for your help. I was afraid that it might not be safe.

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