Safe to connect ground to neutral?


Old 03-10-08, 03:47 PM
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Safe to connect ground to neutral?

My house is old and not wired to modern building standards. Apparently some joker came in and hooked up 3 prong receptacles without actually wiring the ground. All of them have an open ground fault.

Short of rewiring the entire house, I am not sure what to do.

Is it safe to hook the neutral to the ground? It seems they both go to same place anyways. The neutral being the earth connection and the ground being the same. If it's not safe, I was wondering why that is.

Any other suggestions?

Sorry if this is a silly question, just exploring my options.
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Old 03-10-08, 03:54 PM
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No do not hook the ground and neutral together.

Take a look at the link, a good discussion on replacing your outlets with gfci configurations
Old 03-10-08, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by euclidian View Post
Is it safe to hook the neutral to the ground?
No. This is actually quite a bit less safe than just leaving the ground unhooked.

The best remedy is to add GFCI protection to your circuits with three-prong receptacles. One way to do this is to replace the first receptacle of each circuit with a GFCI receptacle and connect LINE and LOAD to provide downstream protection. Another way to do this is to replace the standard breakers for those circuits with GFCI breakers. It's a little more expensive route, but it's easier than trying to find the first receptacle of each circuit. To be technically correct, you should also affix labels to the ungrounded three-prong receptacles which read "GFCI PROTECTED OUTLET" and "NO EQUIPMENT GROUND".
Old 03-10-08, 04:59 PM
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Agree with the above post for the most part.... You can still purchase two prong outlets that won't require the labeling described.

On the other hand, the trouble with GFCI protected circuits by using a GFCI outlet at the first spot on the run is that - typical voltage spikes will provide "false trips" on the outlet breaker. In my experience, using a GFCI breaker tends to work better - though I really don't know why..

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