There are 3-conductor cables in my breaker box (???)
UPDATE: If you find yourself gleaning information from this thread, then BE SURE TO READ THE ENTIRE LIST OF POSTINGS. The information here evolves as members add to the detail of the situation. I am quite grateful to all who participated. -llb
I've looked at a lot of circuit breaker panels in my DIY experience, but I've never encountered this... and I'm concerned. Of the several cables leaving the box as part of the original house wiring, TWO of them are 5-conductor cables with insulated black, white, and red wires inside, plus a bare ground.
In both cases, each of the red and black wires is served by a separate 15-Amp breaker, while the common white and the bare ground are connected to their appropriate busses.
My concern is that I seem to recall reading in the past about the inadvisability--perhaps even illegality--of what the writer called a "common ground." It appears to me that such is exactly the case in these four circuits. They are not special 220-volt appliance circuits. Rather each breaker serves some combination of outlets, overhead lights, a ceiling fan,or (egads!) an over-the-stove microwave oven. (One of the new cables I plan to run will serve that microwave.)
Is this situation as dumb as I think it is? I'm renovating our kitchen, and I have to run some new wiring while I have the walls ripped out. Maybe this is a good time to address some flawed past practices in this house.
Thanks. -paul, the latelifebiker
Last edited by latelifebiker; 03-07-2014 at 11:03 AM.