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#21 Posted : Saturday, November 15, 2008 2:59:58 PM(UTC)

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Joined: 9/1/2008(UTC)
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Fixed appliances on three-wire circuits

In the USA, the cases of some ovens and clothes dryers were grounded through their neutral wires, as a measure to conserve copper during the Second World War. This practice was removed from the NEC in the 1996 edition, but existing installations may still allow the case grounding of such appliances to be connected to the neutral conductor. Note that the NEC may be amended by local regulations in each state and city. This practice arose from the three wire system used to supply both 120 volt and 240 volt loads. Because ovens and dryers have components that use both 120 and 240 volts there is often some current on the neutral wire. This differs from the protective grounding wire, which only carries current under fault conditions. Using the neutral conductor for grounding the equipment enclosure was considered safe since the devices were permanently wired to the supply and so the neutral was unlikely to be broken without also breaking both supply conductors. Also, the unbalanced current due to lamps and small motors in the appliance was small compared to the rating of the conductors, and so unlikely to cause a large voltage drop in the neutral conductor.
Earl Dryer  
#22 Posted : Thursday, November 20, 2008 4:50:45 PM(UTC)
Earl Dryer

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Joined: 4/28/2008(UTC)
Posts: 29

Icehouse, you are exactly right on 3 wire systems and potential differences of such systems, that is why you sometimes get shocked when you touch a neutral and something grounded. I just thought it was odd that L1 to Chassis was 170v and L2 to chassis was was 70v and neutral to chassis was 50v. Don,t guess I will ever know,cannot get back to play with it.
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