Should the ground be hot when the switch is on

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Old 01-27-19, 09:25 AM
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Should the ground be hot when the switch is on

Trying to connect the new lutron wireless dimmer at home, the old switch only has two black wires connected to it.

I pulled out the bare copper wire from the wallbox, connected it to the green wire on the switch, then capped the two black wires to dimmer.

Everything works, but my question is, when I tested the ground wire, it is hot when the switch is turned on. Is that normal? I thought ground only gets hot when there is a short circuit.

Also In the wallbox, two white wires are twisted together and capped, should neutral be one of those?

thanks!
 
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Old 01-27-19, 09:30 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Yes..... the two white wires are the neutral splice.
Ground is always connected to every metal item in the circuit.
Ground is only a safety path used for direct shorts.


When you tested from hot to ground...... you measured or detected 120v between hot and ground.
Hot to neutral/white should yield the same measurement.
Neutral to ground should always measure as 0.
 
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Old 01-27-19, 09:32 AM
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Thank your , so it does mean there is something wrong with the wiring?

Can I replace a black wire with one white then? Will that solve the hot ground issue?
 
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Old 01-27-19, 09:37 AM
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How did you test the ground wire becoming hot ?
Did you use one of those non-contact tester pens ?
 
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Old 01-27-19, 09:41 AM
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Yes, i used the non-contact klein tools and it beeps like crazy on all three wires when the switch is on.
 
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Old 01-27-19, 09:46 AM
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Ok..... those detectors were designed for only one reason..... to detect high voltage in the area. Your tester is working perfectly as it's telling you that there is high voltage in the area. For testing voltage on wiring.... you need a basic analog meter or a two leaded voltage tester.


Your device is wired correctly connected to the two black wires.
 
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Old 01-27-19, 09:48 AM
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I see, thanks you sir!

so is it okay for me to leave the ground connected to the new dimmer now?

I will go buy a voltage tester...
 
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Old 01-27-19, 09:57 AM
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Yes.... the dimmer stays connected to ground.

Three suggestions..... the Klein is a good unit at a great price.
homedepot.com/p/Sperry-80-480-VAC-DC-4-Range-Voltage-Tester
homedepot.com/p/Gardner-Bender-14-Range-Analog-Meter
homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-Electronic-AC-DC-Voltage-Tester
 
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Old 01-27-19, 10:00 AM
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Thanks a lot, much appreciated!! ��
 
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Old 01-27-19, 04:36 PM
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It is possible you have a open ground. Ground wire should not be detected hot with non-contact tester if it is properly grounded.

Test voltage between ground wire and hot wire with a multi-meter.
You should get 120V. If not, you have a open ground. Non-contact tester will detect voltage induced by current flowing through nearby wire and that wire is not connected to anything.
 
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Old 01-27-19, 05:32 PM
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hmmm, I have ordered a voltage tester, will report back what the finding is when it arrives.

I googled "open ground", and all the results talk about outlet, not switch, which is odd.
 
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