Shared neutral in home

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Old 04-21-16, 04:36 PM
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Shared neutral in home

I discovered while installing a GFCI that the outlet had a shared neutral--meaning if I pulled the neutral, two outlets on that 110v circuit would both get 220v. I asked an electrician and he said that it was very dangerous, that if a neutral came loose (and we do live in earthquake country), I could have a fire. He said if one outlet has it, then it's likely like that throughout the house (even though I haven't found this wiring when changing other outlets). He says if I want to be safe, my 1900 sq ft. house should be rewired at a cost of roughly $7500. Anyone have any opinions on this situation?
 
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Old 04-21-16, 04:41 PM
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He says if I want to be safe, my 1900 sq ft. house should be rewired at a cost of roughly $7500
No.... not hardly. The neutral splice from a multiwire branch circuit is very important but there is nothing wrong with it. You do not need to rewire your house.

That MWBC neutral will only appear at one place. That's the point where it separates from a three wire cable to two circuits.

Since you now know the location of that splice.... take extra care that it is made up properly.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 05:06 PM
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Your house is served by a multiwire branch circuit. Do you see houses bursting into flames all around you? A loose neutral can cause problems if loose. An earthquake should not loosen a properly installed wire nut.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 05:28 PM
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Sounds like the contractor wants some work and wants your money unless they have a better explanation than this.

I work on all kinds of homes in CA and MWBC's are common.
You see a lot of the following:

2 MWBC in kitchen; DW and disposer shared and 2 small appliance circuits shared.
You might see one more MWBC, which could be laundry plus another circuit.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 05:31 PM
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The one I found is the circuit with the washer/dryer on one side of the wall, and the refrigerator on the other. House was built in 1966.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 05:47 PM
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You mention that your house was built in 1966. Does it have aluminum wiring?
 
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Old 04-21-16, 05:53 PM
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Nope, it's copper wiring.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 06:02 PM
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Thank you all for the info, by the way. It's a relief.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 06:04 PM
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The one I found is the circuit with the washer/dryer on one side of the wall, and the refrigerator on the other.
That is an ok use of a MWBC.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 07:54 PM
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He says if I want to be safe, my 1900 sq ft. house should be rewired at a cost of roughly $7500. Anyone have any opinions on this situation?
My opinion is that his rough estimate is low, way low. You do not have a problem.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 08:14 PM
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Most circuits in a home are not multiwire branch circuits.
 
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