Branch circuit with no ground wire

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Old 08-30-09, 11:20 AM
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Branch circuit with no ground wire

I have a 20a circuit in my garage that powers all of the outlets. Whoever ran it, only used two wire 12awg with no ground. Short of completely re-running it, would it be OK to splice the neutral into the grounding lug on the outlets? I know this definitely wouldn't be up to code, but I'm wondering if it would be safer than no ground at all.
 
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Old 08-30-09, 11:45 AM
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No, NO and NO! There is only one place where neutral and equipment ground can be connected and that is at the Service (main) panel.

Install A GFCI receptacle in the first receptacle in the circuit and connect the rest of the circuit to the LOAD terminals in the GFCI. Mark all receptacles with the included stickers that read No Equipment Ground.
 
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Old 08-30-09, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by mears View Post
I have a 20a circuit in my garage that powers all of the outlets. Whoever ran it, only used two wire 12awg with no ground. Short of completely re-running it, would it be OK to splice the neutral into the grounding lug on the outlets? I know this definitely wouldn't be up to code, but I'm wondering if it would be safer than no ground at all.
Furd tells you correctly...

..consider this ...the neutral or grounded conductor in a 120 volt branch circuit is a current carrying wire. If you connect your ground to it then you just energized your ground pin/terminal of the receptacle. Then you come along and plug a cord into the receptacle to operate an appliance. Now the ground wire in the power cord lets the neutral current flow to the metal of the appliance frame. Now you touch the metal of the appliance....get the picture??

Neutral is rarely allowed to be connected to ground load side of the main panel/service equipment for this reason and it is behind a metal door that keeps you from getting in contact with that bonding.

What you describe doing is called a bootleg ground and is highy dangerous to human safety.
 
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Old 08-31-09, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mears View Post
I'm wondering if it would be safer than no ground at all.
It is actually quite a bit less safe than leaving it with no ground.
 
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