disconnected neutral

Well inspected my first house with a disconnected neutral at the weatherhead after 20 years of inspections. It was amazing that everything was functioning with no visible signs of over heating. I guess it was lucky that the service was updated in 2005 including a grounding electrod and a ground to the public water supply/both acting as neutrals in this case.
This was a full operating house with all the everyday electrical toys, tv s you name it, it was plugged in. My electrical part of the inspection ended fast, I shut the main off and had the agent call the owner to get an electrician out there fast. I also put in the report a qualified electrician must evaluate all wiring for possible damage due to that condition.

I noted the exact thing a year or two ago. Everything appeared to work properly inside the home, the service equipment was grounded to the water pipe.

On another inspection, the water supply pipe was replaced by the ground wasn’t re-attached. Again, everything appeared to work properly inside the home.

Go figure.

I had Realtor notify homeowner to call the utility ASAP.

Might have had a different outcome if the house were supplied by a well.

With a public water system and metallic water pipes a small amount of current is likely always flowing on the pipe.

Just a question on that remark Robert. I do alot of homes with private wells, most have plastic pipe that leaves the house and goes underground. As a standard I always suggest upgrading to the two ground electrodes along with the water griound as alot of houses in this area are from the 40s and only had the galvanized well pipe as the ground, but since have upgraded to plastic not taking grounding into account. It appears many houses are still depending on water always being in these well supply pipes for any kind of ground at all. How does water hold up as a safe ground?

A 10’ metal water pipe in contact with the earth is considered a grounding electrode and must be including in the service grounding electrode system. It’s the only electrode that is required to be supplemented with at least one other electrode, typically that would be 2-8’ ground rods. The reason that it requires supplementation is that if the the metallic water pipe is changed to plastic then the system would still have one electrode, the two ground rods.

That would have been a good one to check the voltage on the two circuits for any surging. If the draw is about the same then you won’t necessarily get any difference on the two circuits. I lost the nuetral connection at the pole near my house and one of my circuits jumped to 195 volts and fried every power strip and transformer on it.