house wired without separate ground - problem?

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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:

That's true.

In normal cases there are not enough current that can pass through the person body to cause a significant danger.
Even though the is a lot of current going on the neutral wire, the potential difference between the neutral wire and the "real" ground is quite low. Typically in normal operation (all wiring OK) up to few volts, transients to higher voltages.
When the voltage difference between ground and the neutral is just few volts, not much current can flow between a person that touches them both. The human body and skin has considerable resistance, especially on low voltages.
The dangerous voltage differences exist and dangerous currents can only flow when the neutral gets broken...
Wiring where grounded outlets gets only two wires (live and combinet neutral+ground) used to be quite common practice in several European countries (for example Finland) for a quit long time. At some point the regulations changed demanding separate neutral and ground wires to outlets in most cases.
-- Tomi Engdahl (http://www.iki.fi/then /) Take a look at my electronics web links and documents at http://www.epanorama.net /
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Nate Those boot leg ground connections are a real danger. If any part of the neutral conductor fails the metal shell of any grounded appliance downstream of the open conductor will be energized through the connected loads to 120 volts. Removing the bootleg grounds and installing ground fault circuit interuptor protection on the affected circuits should be your first order of business. That will provide safety to humans but not to solid state electronics until you can upgrade the wiring.
Have your home warranty contract reviewed by a competent attorney. If it has coverage for concealed defect it may cover the steps I have outlined.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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