Sanderson, Jack L. and Finneran, Jim. "Special Report: Floating
Neutrals - How to Check Continuity of Ground and a Checklist for Determining
the Problems." Fire Findings, Vol. 3, Issue No. 1, Winter 1995, p 7.
Abstract: This article explains floating neutral problems and
how electrical power is distributed to a house. A floating neutral occurs
when the path from the utility pole to the fuse box or breaker panel is
broken. This break can cause higher voltage to enter the house. As a result,
household appliances designed to operate on 120 volts can sometimes experience
as much as 240 volts. The article explains, in detail, how this process
When an investigator determines that an appliance has started a fire,
the electrical service supplying the appliance should also be examined.
Some appliances are unable to operate with a higher voltage. The fire may
have started in the appliance, but a floating neutral situation and higher
voltage to the appliance could have been the cause.
For more information, contact:
Fire Findings L.L.C.
2026 Plaza Dr.
PO Box 8637
Benton Harbor, MI 49023
Voice: (269) 925-2200
Fax: (269) 925-2204