Why we are not allowed to measure voltage from the neutral wire to the ground wire in an electrical wiring system?

Neutral Wire and Ground Wire

Measuring voltage between the neutral and ground wires in an electrical wiring system is normally discouraged for safety reasons.

The neutral wire is intended to transfer return current from the load back to the power supply, whereas the ground wire is meant to provide a secure path for fault currents in the case of insulation failure or equipment malfunction.

Effect of Voltage Measurement

  • Voltage measurements between the neutral and ground wires can occasionally produce a voltage reading, especially in systems with the unbalanced loads (or) neutral-ground connections.
  • However, during normal operation, this voltage reading may not precisely reflect the potential difference between the neutral or ground conductors.
  • Furthermore, trying to measure the voltage between these conductors may cause unintentional safety risks, such as generating unexpected electrical channels (or) exposing the tester to potential shock hazards.

Effective way to measure Voltage

  • To ensure safety and accuracy, voltage must be measured between the line (hot) and neutral conductors, (or) between the line conductors itself.
  • This gives a more accurate representation of the voltage in the circuit and helps to avoid the safety hazards connected with measuring between the neutral & ground conductors.

If you have concerns about the electrical system’s integrity (or) notice any abnormal voltage readings, you should contact a competent electrician (or) electrical engineer for additional inspection and troubleshooting.