Are there proper electricians on here? I probably need to call one but may not be able to for a few weeks and wasn’t sure if something I noticed in a recently purchased house is urgent or not.
The house has a smart switch that requires a neutral. The switch is at the end of the run and controls an outlet (unnecessarily in my opinion). The outlet has a switch loop given the hot from the panel reaches it before the switch that controls it. I’ll call this circuit 1.
In the same box is a hot, neutral, and incredibly short bare ground from a different circuit. The hot wire is capped, and the ground is cut extremely short such that it seems unusable. I’ll call this circuit 2.
Both circuits are 15 amps.
The problem: the neutral wire from circuit 2 is used in the smart switch, with the hot and load from circuit 1.
I’m not an electrician, but this strikes me as a problem, correct?
To fix can’t I just use a wire nut to pigtail the hot (white wire given switch loop) and load together (both circuit 1) so the outlet is always on? Then connect the hot from circuit 2 to the switch, leaving the neutral form circuit 2 connected so the smart switch can still work without an actual load connected.
The other issue is the ground wire of circuit 2 is unusably short. Can I leave the ground from circuit 1 connected?
Attached a drawing if that’s more clear.