Can two hot wires share a neutral?

Author: Schuyler Wilderman PhD  |  Last update: Saturday, November 20, 2021

(Basically, two hot wires are sharing a neutral wire

neutral wire
Definitions. Ground or earth in a mains (AC power) electrical wiring system is a conductor that provides a low-impedance path to the earth to prevent hazardous voltages from appearing on equipment (high voltage spikes). ... Neutral is a circuit conductor that normally completes the circuit back to the source.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Ground_and_neutral
.) This circuit has also been referred to as: ... Common Neutral Circuit. Shared Neutral Circuit.

How many hots can share a neutral?

It is NOT permitted to share a neutral in any other situation. If you were to share a neutral with two breakers on the same leg of a panel, both circuits could draw the breaker limit (lets say 15A) making the shared neutral as much as 30A return current!

Can you tie neutrals together from different circuits?

Neutral wires from different circuits are NOT tied together except at the neutral buss in the panel. Neutral wires carry current. If you tie neutral wires together from different circuits then you run the risk of overloading the neutral wire, which could cause a fire.

Why are there two hot wires?

The reason for multiple hot/neutral wires for one outlet is that the outlets are daisy-chained together. This means hot/neutral is only coming from one of the wires and it is being sent to the other wire.

Can a neutral wire be hot?

If the neutral is disconnected anywhere between the light bulb and the panel, then the neutral from the light to the point of the break in the neutral will become hot (and the device will be unpowered, because no current will be flowing through it). Look for a disconnected neutral.

I show and explain a shared neutral 2 separate circuits wiring a outlet 2 circuits in 1 outlet

What can make a neutral wire become hot?

Why Is A Neutral Wire Hot?
  • A neutral wire is hot because of a wrong wire, wrong readings, open neutral and low resistance.
  • Until you identify the neutral wire with a multimeter, you have to consider the possibility that the neutral wire is actually the live wire.

Why am I getting 120 volts on my neutral?

If you have a neutral wire removed from the neutral bus bar in your panel it is possible to see 120VAC on that wire if the circuit breaker for that circuit is turned on and there is a load connected to the circuit and load device is also turned on.

Can two hot wires be connected together?

Connect all your hots together, and all your negatives, you increase amps. The same can be done with two power supplies, connecting hots together and negatives together increases amps.

Can both wires be hot?

As a further test, place the prongs of the multimeter's wires on the bare metal on the ends of the two black wires. You will get a reading if one wire is hot and the other isn't. However, if both wires are hot, the reading will be zero. ... The easiest and safest way is to use a multimeter to test for current.

Can there be two hot wires?

The wire from the other switch is almost certainly the line hot. If so, it will be always hot no matter what position either of the switches is in. This is electrically the same as having a separate wire going to each switch from a common line hot.

Can you overload neutral wire?

Super Moderator. You can as you have planned. It's called a multi wire branch circuit (MWBC). It requires the use a double pole breaker so that you have 240 volts between the hots.

How many double breakers are allowed?

According to the NEC, a panel can have at most 42 breakers, and a tandem breaker counts as two.

Does the neutral need to be the same size?

The “neutral” wire should ALWAYS be the same size as the “hot” wire. That said, that isn't alway true either, as there is the case of a 220/120 vac appliance, such as an electric stove/oven. The cord on those will have a smaller neutral.

What happens if you mix up hot and neutral wires?

This happens when the hot and neutral wires get flipped around at an outlet, or upstream from an outlet. Reversed polarity creates a potential shock hazard, but it's usually an easy repair. Any $5 electrical tester will alert you to this condition, assuming you have a properly grounded three-prong outlet.

Which wire is positive if both are black?

If the multi-colored wire is black and red, the black wire is the negative wire, while the red one is positive. If both wires are black but one has a white stripe, the striped wire is negative, while the plain black wire is positive. Look in the owner manual to determine which wires are negative in a car.

Which wire is hot and which is neutral?

Here's a rundown of electrical wires: The black wire is the "hot" wire, it carries the electricity from the breaker panel into the switch or light source. The white wire is the "neutral" wire, it takes any unused electricity and current and sends it back to the breaker panel.

Why do I have 50 volts on my neutral?

It's simple. Since switches have no neutrals, you're measuring voltage across the switch. The wire from the switch to the lamp is not a neutral, but connected to neutral via the light - a resistor, and that explains why you're getting only 50 volts. If you remove the lamp, it will read 0 volts.

Why do I have 60 volts on my neutral?

Sounds like your ground wire is disconnected and that is throwing off all your measurements. You should have on each end 3 wires - hot/neutral/ground. Disconnect all 3 from the panel and all 3 from the receptacle (which you already did, but just clarifying for this test).

Should neutral to ground have voltage?

Under load conditions, there should be some neutral-ground voltage - 2 V or a little bit less is pretty typical. If neutral-ground voltage is 0 V - again assuming that there is load on the circuit - then check for a neutral-ground connection in the receptacle, whether accidental or intentional.

Why is neutral wire not hot?

The power wire that is grounded is called the “neutral” wire because it is not dangerous with respect to exposed metal parts or plumbing. The “hot” wire gets its name because it is dangerous. The grounding of the neutral wire is not related to the operation of electrical equipment but is required for reasons of safety.

Do you switch the neutral or the hot?

The neutral wire is connected to ground at the breaker box, which is connected to physical ground nearby. If you switch the hot line and leave the neutral, then the whole device will be at neutral potential. That's OK. If you switch the neutral, then the whole device will be at hot potential.

Can a neutral wire shock?

Yes, you can. The neutral carrys the unbalanced load. I've gotten shocked from a 100 watt light bulb on the neutral side. You can get shocked from the ground wire as well if there is a fault, or some other issues...

Can neutral wire be smaller than hot?

The neutral (grounded conductor) cannot be smaller than the required size of the GEC (per table 250.66) and is not required to be larger than the largest ungrounded conductor.

Does neutral wire have to be same size as hot wire?

The grounded neutral conductor of a 4-wire, 3-phase system supplying nonlinear loads must be the same size as the ungrounded phase conductors. The Code considers the grounded neutral conductor a current-carrying conductor due to the harmonic currents generated by these loads.

Can you parallel neutral wire?

Parallel conductor installations are covered in NEC 310.10(H) and are permitted for each phase, polarity, neutral, or grounded conductor in sizes 1/0 AWG and larger. ... (2) Consist of the same conductor material. (3) Be the same size in circular mil area.

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