139 – More on Neutrals

Homeowner's Friend Podcast

This show answers the two questions posed in the last show, that is:

1/ What happens when you “loose” a grouind

2/ If the neutral is the other conductor for both power feed legs, why is it not larger in capacity to handle the current from both legs?


2 thoughts on “139 – More on Neutrals

  1. The ground bus is grounded to earth using a buried electrode and is also bonded to the neutral bus which is connected to the service neutral. If you lose the service neutral, you are still grounded to earth. Isn’t this true? So, was your parents system not grounded and the lesson learned here is, “losing your neutral on a non-grounded system can have dire consequences but on a grounded system not so”?

  2. You would think so, but the ground has more resistance than the copper neutral conductor. Grounds are not perfect, in their best case.. This resistance will allow the neutral to float to some voltage level, which is what causes the problem. This is a common problem – even a viewer on you-tube had the same problem, though at the top of the SE – bad neutral bond between his and the power company wires. His lights were getting brighter when particular loads turned on – that was his first clue. Luckily, he caught it early enough to save most equipment from being destroyed! Remember, grounds are not current carrying – they are only for safety. The neutral is needed to handle the current. The ground is for any stray voltage – without any significant current. Breakers and GFI’s should protect you from that.

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