Why would ground & neutral be together??


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Old 09-19-08, 11:44 PM
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Why would ground & neutral be together??

I just opened up a light switch in my garage, planning to replace it with a motion sensing switch. There is a (hot) black wire that went into the switch, then two out -- to the light and to an outlet past the light.

What confused me is that the ground (in and out) was twisted into a wire nut along with white (neutral), in and out.

I don't know a lot about electricity, but I am pretty sure ground and neutral should not be together, so I separated. (I assume this is necessary to ensure that juice in a neutral does not go through the ground wire... but if I am incorrect, please let me know.) Is there any reason why these would have been together? This is a 20-year-old house and I had never opened that switch before, so it was done when the house was built.

The old switch did not have ground connected to it -- was that incorrect? The new switch has a ground wire that I connected into the in and out ground in the wire nut.

Does it all appear to be correct now? Thanks.
 
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Old 09-20-08, 01:59 AM
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Typically the netural wire { white } should not be wirenutted with grounding wire { bare or green }at all and the grounding wire is used for give protection in case something short circuited and it will carry current during fault mode but for everyday mode it should not carry any current at all.

You may want to check other switch box and receptatles to see if that done the same way as well.

Old switch useally don't have grounding screw on it but all the modern switch are now have grounding screw.

The main moot point for grounding screw on the switch yoke due some of the switch plate cover is metal so it will prevent getting electric shock if the switch go bad or connection come apart inside the switch / junction box.


Merci,Marc
 
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Old 09-20-08, 04:53 AM
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Are we dealing with a switch loop?
 
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Old 09-20-08, 08:51 PM
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There is no legitimate reason to ever connect a grounding wire and a white wire in a switch box. There are a few illegitimate reasons, perhaps to fool a home inspector into thinking that an ungrounded receptacle is grounded, or maybe just out of ignorance about how grounding works.
 
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Old 09-21-08, 01:05 PM
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OK, I see, after re reading the OP, the grounding wire was connected to the neutral, duh. I agree, this is never acceptable, but done to fool testing equipment.
 
 

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