In Reply to: Re: NEW easy question? posted by Russ Kincaid on 01/25/02 at 7:26 PM:
Hi, Mike and Russ.
I've been a bit overwhelmed with stuff these last few days so I missed a bit, but let me speak about the ground versus neutral matter.
If the two wires for ground (green) and neutral (white) were simply connected together at some point, I believe that there is a violation of the National Electrical Code (NEC) there.
I recently went through a whole situation about this in Boston where the outlets in my son's dormitory room had no ground connection at all, only a hot and a neutral. The immediate consequence was that his PC chassis sat at half-line voltage and yes, he did feel some electical shocks from it.
The ground wire is not supposed to carry any operating current. It is meant to be a safety path against accidents such as a short from hot to chassis or an opening of the neutral wire.
The distiction between ground and neutral isn't a case of government irrationality; it is a very well justified code requirement.