Wiring a Garage

Household wiring in Canada. I always had a hard time to understand it. Although, in school, I made very high marks in finding V=IR, our P=EV, for purely resistive circuits.  As the years went by, I tried to understand what everyone else wants to understand. Why is the neutral referenced as a ground?

Then, it came to me just in a drawing. It showed, the household wiring system, 3 wires: 2 hot, 1 neutral coming into the house. The neutral is plainly connected to the ground, before entering ( grounding plate is there). All the grounds in the house, are connected to, the neutral.  The neutral has 0 Volts to it. The hot wire has 120 V to it. This has to be, for to obtain a difference in potential.  It can be thought of once again, as a water tap. Stored energy in the tap, open it up, and it does its work and goes down the drain. The drain, to me, is the neutral.  Without the difference to ground at 0 Volts or neutral, nothing would happen. For a stove, or washer, dryer, the two hot wires come up for to make 240 V.  The ground goes back for a safety mechanism in case the wire grounds out on the washer or dryer, so we would not get a shock.  Just as the neutral is to ground at the generating system,  we have to do the same at the house.

Now, to wire a garage, I am just putting 120 V into it. Just to have a few plugs and lights up there. Maybe a garage door opener. I bought a 100 amp panel for future room for a 240 V system. Usually we use 14-2 wire for inside a garage, but for underground it takes special wire. Then, this being a new box, it must be grounded as well outside to a grounding rod.  I was told, somewhere, that the grounding rod cannot be too close to the grounding rod at the house. It is better to consult with a real electrician before doing any work, on any electrical systems.

In the end, it just goes to show, after 24 years, I think I finally figured it out. With the help of some diagrams, and some talk on boards like this. What a school text book could never teach me. But, once again, better to talk to a real electrician about doing anything fancy smancy to your electrical system.. Till then...


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