I have a double breaker labelled as 50 amps that runs from my house to
my garage by two 6 gauge stranded wires. It goes to a box in the garage
that has 4 15 amp breakers in it, 2 on each leg. Each of the 6 gauge
wires connect to each leg in the box. I have a grounding rod 6 feet in
the ground as that is a far as it will go, must be rock below it, and
the rod is connected to the neutral / common strip in the box.
Is this setup correct? I can measure 125V on each leg to ground, but
once I put a load on one of the legs, the voltage drops to 70V and the
other leg reads 180V, what is going on here?
Add neutral. Neutral bar at garage connects to ground rod and
panel/ground bar (usually a screw in the ground bar). There can be no
continuous metal connections from the house to garage.
Add neutral and ground. Neutral bar at garage does not connect to
panel/ground bar. Ground wire from house connects to panel/ground bar
and ground rod.
I'm no electrician, and even I can tell this setup ain't kosher. Sounds like
somone had a stone-age 2-wire setup for a 240v circuit (2 hots, one from
each side of the house panel, using each other as the 'neutral'), to run a
welder or something. They then tried to use it for 2 different branch
circuits, which as you found, doesn't really work, especially with
My advice, and your insurance agent would agree- turned the 50-amp ganged
breaker off, and don't use that circuit, until you rewire it all properly.
If previous owner would do hillbilly crap like that, who knows what they did
where you haven't looked yet? I'd have a pro go over all the house wiring.
Agreed.... You have a dangerous situation there. The only
applications where a neutral would not be present is in situations
where only 240 volt appliances were used. But you would still need a
hard-wire ground back to your main panel.
Wow, to be completely honest with you - if you don't understand this
situation straight away, you should hire an electrician.
Your situation requires a relatively simple fix, but asking a NG, when
getting it wrong could mean your house may burn down isn't my idea of very
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