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joecitizen

10:05AM | 03/29/05
Member Since: 03/28/05
9 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
In old houses wired for 2 prong outlets with no ground wire, why is it not possible to install a 3 prong outlet and tie the ground of that outlet to the neutral wire since both a neutral wire and ground wire go back to the ground bar in an electic box anyway on a normal 3 prong outlet? I was doing some research on replacing 2 prong outlets and was just curious as to why you couldnt just tie the ground to the neutral since the end point for both is the same

Tom O

12:36PM | 03/29/05
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
The basic reason is so that you do not kill yourself or someone else.

Imagine doing what you said. Now picture that white wire becoming broken somewhere upstream of the outlet. Your equipment ground is connected to this white wire at the outlet. you plug in a grounded tool, pull the trigger & die. The current path is into the tool through the black wire back out through the white, but it cannot complete the circuit because it is broken, so back into the tool via the ground wire, thus energizing the case of the tool.

If you'll send me your e-mail address, I'll send you a 2 prong FAQ sheet.

[email protected]

Tom


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