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Presumably you don't have a GFCI/RCD?.Ok thanks for that Nigel.
But tell us, what exactly does it mean if it works just as well for the House AC as it does for the generators (since it did, no problem)?
why did I not have the problem you mention?
Well 1982 is fairly modern, I would expect that to have GFCI/RCD, at least of some kind.I understand you are saying that the house AC should have Earth bound to Neutral? (And yes, the Oscilloscoipe has a three prong, grounded plug)
Perhaps my 1982 home does not due to older electrical code?
Or worse, could there be a problem with my homes wiring?
Earth and Neutral, at least in the UK, are connected together at the sub-station - and depending on the circumstances the earth at the house may be via an earth spike, or via PME (where essentially the earth is connected to the incoming neutral.
If you have a PME type earth, then the GFCI/RCD 'may' not be triggered by connecting the scope to neutral, but in the case of an earth spike it almost certainly should be (due to the small voltage drop across the neutral cable).