X10 switches - using ground instead of neutral

That's got to be one of the worst "ideas" I've ever heard!
Wouldn't it be better to get switches that don't require a neutral? See
formatting link

Reply to
Mark Thomas
Loading thread data ...
Lets see a ground is a non-current carrying conductor some times called the safety ground. A neutral is the grounded conductor.
Not in my house.
Reply to
SQLit
In addition, the RX switches won't handle inductive loads.
BUT, I agree with everyone else, don't substitute the ground for a neutral wire.....
Martin Custer
formatting link

Reply to
AutomatedOutlet.com
"Reg" wrote
Really stupid idea. It violates code because it can create a lethal voltage on metal parts of other electrical items in the circuit.
Reply to
B Fuhrmann
Ya know, I have kinda' wondered about that too. If you look in your panel, you will find that all 110v circuits have one leg tied to the neutral (white) which is in turn tied to the ground bar with the other leg (black) tied to the feed from the circuit breaker. Soooo... if the "ground" conductor is the same gauge wire as the feed, what is the REAL difference between the ground connector and the neutral at the switch box??? What an I missing???
Reply to
Gemini

I read an article that says you can substitute ground for
neutral when wiring an x10 switch. Something tells me if this
workaround was a good idea I'd have heard more about it. Comments
anyone?
Reply to
Reg
That's the plan. My understanding is that the neutral-less switches come with a few disadvantages
- Somewhat less reliable (varies with the installation and may not matter, however) - Can't use on fluorescent lights - Not pollable
Do I have this right? Thanks again for the input.
Reply to
Reg
You're missing the electrical code requirements that specify that the neutral is to be bonded to ground at the service panel ONLY. The ground is a safety conductor only. The REAL difference? Not much, but an illegal installation that violates codes can invalidate your insurance so it's just not worth doing.
From:Gemini snipped-for-privacy@nowhere.net
Reply to
BruceR
You can. But it goes against almost every electrical code, for valid reasons.
Of course many people used to put pennies in fuseboxes too. Some got away with it, some didn't.
Do you want to take the chance, of being one of the ones who didn't get away with it ?
Gypsy
Reply to
Gypsy
ground/earth
The neutral and ground are only guaranteed to be at exactly the same potential where they're tied together at the fusebox. Everywhere else, Ohms law (V=IR) says that, if the wires are carrying current, they're not at ground potential, depending on the resistance of the wires and the amount of current being carried. In a properly wired house, only the neutral wires carry current, so only the neutral wires are at non-ground potential.
The electrical codes insist that the safety ground wires not be used to carry current during normal operation, not only for the very good reason you state, but also because lots of things will become at least a little bit hot/live any time the safety ground wires are carrying significant current.
--Rich
Reply to
rcochran
Hi
The Neutral and ground are at the same potential , but the ground/earth wire is there for protecting users and it directs fault currents to earth so to trip the circuit breaker or blow a fuse..
If you use the ground/earth wire for a neutral AND you loose your main earth connection ALL metal devices that are grounded/earthed may become hot/ Live!!!! Not a good idea......
HTH Frank
Reply to
Frank Mc Alinden
Sorry to jump in late here - getting caught up on the newsgroups.
While I fully agree that it is not a good idea to wire into neutral for X10 ground, it is wrong that the neutral is not used to carry current under normal conditons. A lot of electronic equipment with three-prong plugs have noise surpression capacitors tied from both "blades" to the ground prong. This induces a small current in the ground lead that is carried back to the panel. It also causes the unfortunate condition that if the ground lead opens for any reason, the metal equipment case floats at half line voltage through the capacitor divider. While low current, it can give a surprising shock when one is not expecting it.
The neutral lead in a X10 switch provides a return signal path when the load is open. The current involved is similar to that caused by the noise filter in electronic equipment plugged into the wall. And it can cause the same surprise should the neutral open for any reason.
Jeff
Reply to
Jeffvolp
Sorry to jump in late here - getting caught up on the newsgroups.
While I fully agree that it is not a good idea to wire into neutral for X10 ground, it is wrong that the neutral is not used to carry current under normal conditons. A lot of electronic equipment with three-prong plugs have noise surpression capacitors tied from both "blades" to the ground prong. This induces a small current in the ground lead that is carried back to the panel. It also causes the unfortunate condition that if the ground lead opens for any reason, the metal equipment case floats at half line voltage through the capacitor divider. While low current, it can give a surprising shock when one is not expecting it.
The neutral lead in a X10 switch provides a return signal path when the load is open. The current involved is similar to that caused by the noise filter in electronic equipment plugged into the wall. And it can cause the same surprise should the neutral open for any reason.
Jeff
Reply to
Jeffvolp

Site Timeline

Cabling-Design.com Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.