electrical wiring question

There are two or three concurrent discussions here, I think, and some resulting confusion. How a basic light fixture works in general is one thread. How a badly-wired light might be a hazard is another. And how pulling a neutral from another box is bad is yet another.

A regular light fixture should have only two wires: incoming hot from a switch, and outgoing pseudo-hot back to neutral. No third wire (separate hot or neutral) should be needed.

If the original fixture was wired incoming switched-hot to bulb to ground, I can see the problem. Very bad, but if there are no permits and inspections in the area it’s easy to see how it happened.

If the fixture was properly wired but a true third neutral is needed, that sort of explains what the electrician did… but doesn’t justify it.

Need more info from the OP.

I know that, what I don’t get is how anyone would use the conduit as a neutral.

Or a bare ground wire as a neutral.

To nitpick, if I use an insulated ground wire as a neutral, I would just call the neutral right?

Damn right there are, you people stop getting those other two topics in the way of my hijack. Thanks.

a wire or conduit is a grounding conductor if it connects to a grounding electrode at the meter or the fuse/breaker box.

if the wire is insulated and not connected to eventually the grounding electrode then it isn’t a grounding wire. if the insulated wire is covered with green (or any non-white color) insulation it is not the best to use as a neutral wire but you would have to label it as a neutral wire (wrap it in white tape at the ends). relabeling wires can lead to confusion and is best avoided.

it is not correct to use a grounding wire/conduit to carry any current in a circuit. it should always have near zero volts on it and carry no current except when it does its function as a safety ground.

I’m not explaining myself well today :slight_smile:

Yes yes, AB is right…we need more info on the situation.