Jumping neutral and ground on a receptacle?

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  #1  
Old 01-03-06, 07:02 PM
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Jumping neutral and ground on a receptacle?

My receptacles aren't grounded but there is a jumper from the ground to the nuetral. I don't understand what good this is doing because my tester says I have open gronds. So is this unsafe and do I need to switch out the three prong receptacles for two prong?

Thanks, this is a great forum.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-03-06, 07:23 PM
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This connection, called a bootleg ground, is incredibly hazardous. It is installed by very ill-informed people thinking they are making an improvement when they are really creating substantial danger. They do it on the well-meaning but dangerously wrong advice of a father-in-law or uncle.

Remove it immediately!

There is, however, some inconsistency in your post. If you really had a jumper between neutral and ground, your tester would not be reading open ground. Perhaps you've dropped your tester too many times.

Note also that even after you remove this jumper, you will still not be in full compliance with the electrical code. But at least you will have cause a hundred-fold improvement in safety. You have several options to achieve full compliance that we can discuss after you remove the hazard.
 
  #3  
Old 01-03-06, 08:00 PM
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That was a fast reply, thanks. I want to make it right and up to code. So should I switch to two prong outlets and gfci's where I have to have three prong. The kitchen was rewired with 12-2 with a ground before I bought the house. I'm in Indiana.
 
  #4  
Old 01-03-06, 08:07 PM
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Your options are:
  • Connect to a true ground, if there is one in the box via metal conduit or bare or green wire.
  • Run a grounding wire back to the main panel.
  • Replace all the wiring back to the panel with a new grounded cable.
  • Replace any 3-hole receptacles with GFCI-protected 3-hole receptacles, either via a GFCI at the box, or via a GFCI receptacle upstream, or via a GFCI circuit breaker.
  • Replace ungrounded receptacles with 2-slot receptacles (hard, but not impossible, to find).
If you are in the U.S., your options definitely do not include:
  • Connecting the ground to the neutral in the outlet box.
  • Connecting the ground to a new grounding rod.
  • Connecting the ground to a nearby water pipe.
 
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