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
Tomi Engdahl (http://www.iki.fi/then /)
Take a look at my electronics web links and documents at
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
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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