National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Thursday, July 11, 2019


I need a neutral to make 277v LED lights work. The city park poles have 3 phase 480v. I’m wondering if I can run a ground rod into the j boxes to ground the poles and drop a phase to use it as a neutral by hooking it up the the previous ground wires that go to the point of service. Is this allowed by the NEC?

Matthew Greb


Hey Matthew thanks for your question. No, you can't make a Neutral Conductor out of a phase conductor. You don't mention if the 480 volt system is grounded or not. If it is, or if it can be, then possibly a neutral conductor can be extended from the grounding point to where you need it for the 277 volt LED lighting. If not, a transformer can be installed with a grounded secondary to provide a neutral conductor connection. See the definition of Neutral Conductor and Neutral Point in Article 100 for more information.

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