my neighbor is using my neutral wire, is he stealing my electricity?


I know this is crazy, but I live in a duplex, that at one point was combined to be a big house, and now it's a duplex again. So the electricity at one point had 2 meters, then it had one meter, now it has 2 meters again.
The electrical works perfect, but now I am trying to add another electrical outlet. However, I found out that my neighbor, who is on a different electrical meter, is feeding off my neutral wire. He is not feeding off my hot wire, just the neutral. This has been going on for over 15 years. I can move the neutral over to his meter, but it will take me a few hours. As long as he is not feeding off my electricty, I don't care, What do you think I should do?
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Stan wrote:

Call an electrician. You and your neighbor obviously need one. Seriously, if you don't understand hot and neutral and they work you need to get someone who does.
--
Art

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I understand hot and neutral. I even changed a whole circuit breaker from fuse to breakers. Let me tell you what I did so far.....
First, my meter and my neighbors meter are right next to each other. I opened up my meter and noticed that I have 6 neutral wires running out. (I should only have 3.) Then I opened my neighbors meter and he had zero neutral wires running out. (He should have 3.) I followed 3 of the neutral wires and it went to his unit. However, to make sure, i disconnected all six of my neutral wires. I then went to his unit and found out that 1/4 of his circuit was dead. However, the other 3/4 are still getting the neutral from somewhere. I don't know where. It's strange because although 3/4 of his circuits are still working, all the neutrals from both units are disconnected. I then checked my house and all the electricity was dead. After this I hooked up his 3 neutral wires all his electricity is back to normal. Then I hooked up my 3 neutral and my electricity is back to normal also.
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Don't do this again. If any of those neutrals were part of a multi-wire branch circuit (Edison circuit), by disconnecting the neutral while the circuit was still hot, you just fried all the equipment on the circuit.
Cheers, Wayne
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wrote:

I understand hot and neutral. I even changed a whole circuit breaker from fuse to breakers. Let me tell you what I did so far.....
First, my meter and my neighbors meter are right next to each other. I opened up my meter and noticed that I have 6 neutral wires running out. (I should only have 3.) Then I opened my neighbors meter and he had zero neutral wires running out. (He should have 3.) I followed 3 of the neutral wires and it went to his unit. However, to make sure, i disconnected all six of my neutral wires. I then went to his unit and found out that 1/4 of his circuit was dead. However, the other 3/4 are still getting the neutral from somewhere. I don't know where. It's strange because although 3/4 of his circuits are still working, all the neutrals from both units are disconnected. I then checked my house and all the electricity was dead. After this I hooked up his 3 neutral wires all his electricity is back to normal. Then I hooked up my 3 neutral and my electricity is back to normal also.
__________________________________________ __________________________________________
Entirely different universe than mine. In the universe I live, the resident, servicing electrician or whoever, cannot open a meter that measures the electrical use of a residence or business. The electricity provider owns that equipment. Its all AC, there is no grounding or neutral at the meter itself.
The universe I live in, the grounding and neutral are provided after the meter.
What you're saying is all alien to me.
--
Dave



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On Wed, 26 Aug 2009 22:33:29 -0500, "Grasshopper" <NONE> wrote:

You cannot open a meter in any location I know of, without violating both the agreement between you and the supplier, and usually local/state laws. Tampering with the meter (opening it constitutes tampering) is a criminal offense. Not the best move.

Why three? Two hot, one neutral.

See the above on tampering with power meters...

See the above on why three.

OK, clearly you jumped off the deep end. And, into water the depth of which was unknown to you. Disconnecting neutrals can easily damage the applicances on the power system as there is nothing to ensure that they receive the proper loads.

How did you find 25% of his circuits were dead? Like breaking into the meters, did you break into his house?

There is nothing to indicate that. What you did was possibly damage his appliances due to unbalanced voltages resulting from an open neutral.

The only thing clear here is that you have no clue how power supplied to residential circuits works. You are dangerous, I do hope you don't kill someone, or burn down someone's house.

Well, 'normal' is relative. You don't say what, where or how you reconnected the neutrals.
You are a lucky man, you survived (I think) this little adventure. Lifting the neutrals on a live circuit can be fatal, I hope you realized that. They are only neutrals as long as they are connected (properly) and once you lift them, they become hot conductors, and can have line voltages on them.

Alien? Hell, the OP is one lucky bastard-I'm amazed he lived to tell the story, and as soon as the meter reader sees the damaged meter seals he'll regret opening the boxes. At a minimum they will send a line truck to open, inspect for tampering, reseal, and recalibrate and that will be a charge for item!
(Grasshopper: your newsreader needs to be properly configured to handle quotes in replies... It is virtually impossible to see where the OP posted, and you replied. There are standards for posting, sadly it appears that MSFT hs violated these rules. I'd recommend you get a copy of either Agent, or Thunderbird, and scrap OE...)
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Stan wrote:

You're question implies that you don't understand hot and neutral. You certainly you don't understand how this is wired, you just admitted it. Get an electrician.
--
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Stan wrote:

If someone gets killed in those units guess who goes to jail.
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wrote:

And Stan:
Last I remember, neutral is not metered. Not to say what you have is OK, it is not (in fact it is outragous to have it wired that way) but I would not say it was stealing your power. Have an electrican come and fix the wiring--no this is not a typical home improvement, and yes you will be cutting his power when you do this.
Caution: if you do this yourself, you take the risk of causing serious damage to electrical devices on the circuts in question. Use an electrican, who must have access to both breaker panels, and cooperation with the other resident(s).
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Tampering with someones electricity supply would get you in big trouble where I live.
I supect you don't have the equipment to test the end result properly.
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