There are a number of common wiring errors found in homes. We would even say that the majority of homes have at least one error. The type of error we are talking about doesn't necessarily mean something won't work. Your lights and outlets and switches can appear just fine - everything working as expected - but inside a junction box somewhere there is a connection that shouldn't be.
What does this cause? Large magnetic fields. Whenever electrical current (flow) travels on a single conductor, it causes a magnetic field. Our electrical cables consist of 3 wires - "hot," "neutral," and "ground." These are also called respectively the ungrounded conductor, grounded conductor, and equipment grounding conductor.
When current flows on the black "hot" wire one direction, we want all of that current returning (and therefore flowing the opposite direction) on the white "neutral" conductor. This opposite flow on two conductors right next to each other causes a magnetic field canceling effect. This is very important!
In home wiring, electricians very often screw together bunches of white "neutral" wires. This is OK as long as the neutrals are all part of the same branch circuit (on the same circuit breaker) and their paths are always joined to their respective hot wires. But often the electrician screws together neutrals from different branch circuits - this is a problem! Not only does this violate National Electrical Code, and causes safety concerns, but it also creates these large magnetic fields.
Current will take all paths, and if neutrals from 2 or more circuits are connected together, any current used on any of those circuits will take all neutral paths back to the breaker panel. When this happens, there is no longer the magnetic field canceling effect, because unequal current is flowing on the cable. 5 amperes (amps) may be going out on a cable, but only 2 amps are coming back, and the other 3 are taking another route. This is what we call "net current" and needs to be detected and fixed.
Give your electricians this page and explain to them: the neutrals of every circuit should be separated - never should there be a connection of neutrals from different circuits. Neutral wires should always follow and never be split from their respective "hot" wire.
Another type of wiring error is a neutral to ground connection. This causes the same issue - net current - current taking multiple paths. According to National Electrical Code, there should be only 1 connection of neutral to ground in a home - at the main service disconnect point. This is usually at the main breaker panel, although sometimes it can be outside on a pole or in the electrical meter column. Neutral/ground might be bonded together outside and also in the main breaker panel - this happens sometimes too.
However, at subpanels, in junction boxes (wiring boxes, outlets, light switches, and fixtures) there should never be a neutral to ground connection. Sub-panels should have an insulated neutral bus bar - separate from ground with the bonding screw removed. We see neutral to grounds frequently in subpanels - this must be fixed. We see them in junction boxes and also in appliances like old electric clothes dryers. Sometimes a neutral wire is simply pinched in a box, or insulation is missing, or a ground wire is touching the neutral connection on an outlet, etc.
Turning on all of your lights and using a Trifield meter is a great way to find neutral-neutral and neutral-ground errors. Work with a good electrician - print out this page - and have him find the error. We can assist with phone consulting to quickly explain methods to the electrician on how to find and fix the errors efficiently.
Fixing errors like this helps people get better. We have seen and heard of remarkable results due to fixing wiring errors. It is a vital thing for everyone to do. It should be done alongside using Stetzerizer Filters to avoid increased magnetic fields due to the current that the filters move.
Customer support service by UserEcho