Author Topic: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?  (Read 1837 times)

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Offline zdelarosa00

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How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« on: December 24, 2017, 11:37:06 pm »
As the title implies, i am looking how to conect the outlet from a wall panel that has a light switch for the bulb in the room and the ac outlet, the thing is, the bulb was no problem and is already connected, but since this house was not smartly planned, theres just a hot wire running in series that comes from inside of the wall, and i need the least ghetto way of getting a way to connect the ac outlet without the neutral wire, last option is running a new wire, (somehow risky if modified and badly done installation).

I could connect a neutral to the can of the wall (since i have succesffuly used it as ground before), but it just feels like thats the most ghetto and inefficient way to do it.

Any suggestions?
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Online Monkeh

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 11:40:20 pm »
The only valid option is to run wires from an appropriate circuit.
 
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Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2017, 02:54:52 am »
Never use ground as neutral, it's extremely dangerous. Not only do you defeat the safety of having a ground, if the house ground goes open, it will energize every metal appliance in the house.
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Offline hermit

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2017, 03:57:26 am »
How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?

Add a neutral wire.
 
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Offline edavid

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2017, 06:23:19 am »
Get rid of the ceiling light (short the 2 wires) and light switch, and plug a floor lamp into the new outlet.
 
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Offline stj

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2017, 07:31:49 am »
Get rid of the ceiling light (short the 2 wires) and light switch, and plug a floor lamp into the new outlet.

and then find your lighting circuit is fused at 10A - not a good plan.
 

Offline flynwill

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2017, 04:15:49 pm »
Rewire the wiring at the lamp so that it is a hot and neutral running to the wall switch, then use an Insteon switch linked Insteon relay or dimmer module to control the light.  Now you have perfectly legal hot and neutral from which to run your outlet.


 

Offline edavid

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2017, 04:17:09 pm »
Get rid of the ceiling light (short the 2 wires) and light switch, and plug a floor lamp into the new outlet.

and then find your lighting circuit is fused at 10A - not a good plan.

In 120V countries, we don't have lighting circuits.

 

Offline edavid

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2017, 04:21:54 pm »
Rewire the wiring at the lamp so that it is a hot and neutral running to the wall switch, then use an Insteon switch linked Insteon relay or dimmer module to control the light.  Now you have perfectly legal hot and neutral from which to run your outlet.

This will only work if there's a hot wire at the ceiling light.   If they didn't run neutral to the wall switch, they probably didn't run hot to the light.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2017, 10:33:22 pm »
Rewire the wiring at the lamp so that it is a hot and neutral running to the wall switch, then use an Insteon switch linked Insteon relay or dimmer module to control the light.  Now you have perfectly legal hot and neutral from which to run your outlet.
This will only work if there's a hot wire at the ceiling light.   If they didn't run neutral to the wall switch, they probably didn't run hot to the light.
Usually when there's only a hot and a switched hot at a switch, it's because they ran hot and neutral to the light, then ran a two wire cable to the switch.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2017, 11:52:11 pm »
As your cable likely is in conduit ( seeing as the switch mount is metal and is grounded) the easiest is to simply use the existing conduit and the cable in it as a draw wire to pull through 3 new wires, one hot, one switched hot for the light and then a neutral. Preferably pull through a ground wire as well in the bundle, and ground it at the light fixture end. The light fixture you probably will have a live and neutral already, as the light circuits commonly use the fixture side as a loop point to have the lights on a common circuit.
 

Offline zdelarosa00

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 12:19:26 am »
Okay.... [UPDATE] Folks... Aaaaand I ran a Neutral wire... Was simpler than I thought...

Moral of the story... Don't invent mains connections out of thin air...

Follow up question.. Now anyone knows the best way to add a GROUND to the outlet...?
Here.. In the past I was adviced I could use the door frame or the metal can in the wall for it, but I highly doubt this will be as effective as the rather less plausible option of drilling a 1m copper rod into the floor.
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Online Monkeh

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 12:21:00 am »
.. run a ground wire. From the appropriate location.
 
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Offline zdelarosa00

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 12:27:35 am »
But my house has no ground conection :( ... There is no ground wire to connect to.
Space landfill waste consultants say: "If you think you can or if you think you can't you're right" - Always on my way to be a better electronic wizard
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 12:28:17 am »
Well then you'll need that sorting.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2018, 12:30:14 am »
With any case like this, you should refer to the electrical codes applicable to your country, keeping any local codes in mind. People here can tell you any number of things that technically are likely to work, but that doesn't mean they're a good idea to do. Most of us are not familiar with the intimate details of electrical systems in most countries other than our own, even if we are experienced in doing electrical work.
 
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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2018, 03:28:50 am »
Just don't do what I discovered in the attic of older unit.  Someone ran the neutral wire for a receptacle into the attic space and "attached" it, as in twisting the wire, to the metal gas line.  I wasn't sure if it was original wiring from year 1921 or later.

-Steve
 
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Offline hermit

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Re: How to add an AC outlet to the wall lacking a Neutral wire ?
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2018, 03:33:33 am »
When my panel was changed the electrician connected to the cold water pipe and added a jumper at the water meter.  That was the method in place when he started except there was no jumper at the meter.  In addition he ran another line outside and drove a copper stake.  Use a meter to determine where you have ground points now.  The water line is better than nothing but is not the proper solution.  It might be something to put in place until you run a proper ground wire and stake it.
 


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