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Knotical

Electrical Question

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This is for the electrical engineers of the group, or at those who fancy themselves in that group.  I have a couple of motion sensor switches I want to install in my bathrooms.  The problem is that nearly nothing in this house is grounded, as it was built in the 50's.  My question is, is it possible, or simply inadvisable, to connect the ground wire of the switch to the neutral wire, which should ultimately be connected to the main ground out at the power pole?  Is this stupidly dangerous, or actually quite doable?

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18 hours ago, Knotical said:

This is for the electrical engineers of the group, or at those who fancy themselves in that group.  I have a couple of motion sensor switches I want to install in my bathrooms.  The problem is that nearly nothing in this house is grounded, as it was built in the 50's.  My question is, is it possible, or simply inadvisable, to connect the ground wire of the switch to the neutral wire, which should ultimately be connected to the main ground out at the power pole?  Is this stupidly dangerous, or actually quite doable?

The current goes from your power panel to the bathroom where you'll attach the switch. The neutral wire returns the current from the switch to the power panel where the wire goes to ground. The ground wire actually would prevent the object (switch or motion sensor) from being electrified should that path be broken through the neutral wire as the current would seek the nearest ground wire.

 

If you don't have a ground and the return path or neutral wire breaks then someone that touches or even comes in proximity of the switch or sensor would be electrocuted should they themselves be grounded as they would act like the ground wire (assuming feet are on the floor etc) and complete the circuit.

 

If I were you, with children in the house, I'd seek the professional guidance of a licensed electrician.

 

God bless,

William

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On 8/27/2018 at 4:11 PM, William said:

The current goes from your power panel to the bathroom where you'll attach the switch. The neutral wire returns the current from the switch to the power panel where the wire goes to ground. The ground wire actually would prevent the object (switch or motion sensor) from being electrified should that path be broken through the neutral wire as the current would seek the nearest ground wire.

 

If you don't have a ground and the return path or neutral wire breaks then someone that touches or even comes in proximity of the switch or sensor would be electrocuted should they themselves be grounded as they would act like the ground wire (assuming feet are on the floor etc) and complete the circuit.

 

If I were you, with children in the house, I'd seek the professional guidance of a licensed electrician.

 

God bless,

William

William's advise is the safest and the most expensive.  Exception: I you are a member of an assembly that believes and practises the Church Family Concept there should be members of the Trades and one of them will be an Electrician that has enough experience to run a ground wire from either the Steel Water Service Pipe (found in most garages) or from a Copper Coated Steel Ground Rod. 

 

If you choose to do this yourself, hammer the five or six foot Grounding Rod into the dirt, leaving no more than 2 inches above ground and when purchasing your supplies at the Hardware Store be sure to purchase a Grounding Clamp of the correct size (slip it over the top of the Rod to check the size).  These clamps, from m fragile memory, are made of two pieces of steel that are, when clamped into place, on one open corner will lock that side together and the other side bolts together.  On the proper clamp there is a bolt or screw to afix the Ground Wire to.  With Fence Post Staples attach the New Ground to the side of the house on a Stud, located by finding a verticle3 line of nail heads or impression of hidden nail heads.  Run your Ground through the attic to the Top Plate with wire dropping through it and with a Wall Switch or Plug Outlet closesr to your new device.

 

I was a first year Carpenter in the lare fifties and recall many of the houses were built with only the Fuse Box grounded and some I ran across in the seventies through the eighties did not have anything grounded.

 

Most Devices run on Direct (same as Battery) Current and Alternating Current means the Hot Wire swaps back and forth and the source to your Electronic Device, left ungrounded, can e blown anjd possibly start a fire.

 

Good decisions and may YHWH bless you and yours.

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You have to have a ground if you have electricity in your house. The power company bring a ground when it reaches your house. However, its not real difficult to buy a ground rod, and pound it in the ground and connect a 1/8 inch copper wire from the rod to your houses electrical box, but unless you know for sure what your doing do NOT attempt it. However I can't imagine that you have no ground. If you have a GFI plug then you have a ground.

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1 hour ago, Just Mike said:

You have to have a ground if you have electricity in your house. The power company bring a ground when it reaches your house. However, its not real difficult to buy a ground rod, and pound it in the ground and connect a 1/8 inch copper wire from the rod to your houses electrical box, but unless you know for sure what your doing do NOT attempt it. However I can't imagine that you have no ground. If you have a GFI plug then you have a ground.

That is true for modern houses, but mine was built in the 50's, and subsequently added onto, but apparently not at a time where grounding was required.  Most of the house is not grounded.  The only things I can figure that are is the HVAC system on the roof, and the power running to the detached garage (which I will have to have more than one breaker for, but that is another story).

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You can purchase a plug in device that tell you if you have reverse polarity, or the ground is not good at Lowes of Home Depot or some place like them , for under $10. I have wired several houses for friends and use it to make sure my connections were tight and everything is properly done.

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Yes, it'll cause the circuit to work, but it will also set someone up for being electrocuted.

 

It might be expensive, but having someone electrocuted is worse.

 

Get a proper ground installed. If it means re-wiring your house, please do so -- prayerfully ask the Lord for the path to get it done.

 

Isolated grounds are important for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is isolation of the energized circuit from coming into human contact. I used to have a power drill that I inherited from my father that was made in the 50's. It was an all aluminum chassis power drill. If you were in any way grounded when you used it, you'd feel a jolt every time you released the trigger to turn the motor off. Why? Because the collapsing inductive field around the motor loved the metal chassis and because I'm holding the drill, the current would pass through me as well.

 

God bless,

 

-CC

 

 

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