Do ground wires have to be in a box?


Old 08-09-03, 02:30 PM
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Do ground wires have to be in a box?

I'm renovating an older home that was not built with a "green wire" safety ground system. I will be retrofitting at least a few of the receptacles and fixtures with a safety ground by fishing a ground wire to the boxes, and then connecting them to earth ground. I have a few questions:

1) If I need to connect two (or more) separate ground wires together in the attic or crawl space (using a wire nut, of course), do I need to enclose this connection inside of a box?

2) Can I use bare, uninsulated wire, or do I have to use insulated (with a green jacket) wire?

3) Does the ground wire have to be clamped at the box entrance, or can I just fish it through an empty nail hole or an open knockout hole?

4) Is it OK to ground to a metal cold water pipe, or does the latest code require a direct connection to a ground rod? If so, I assume it's OK to connect to the pipe at multiple locations, or should I ground it at just one spot?

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Old 08-09-03, 03:40 PM
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1)Yes, all connections need to be made inside of a junction box, which will need to remain accessible (cannot be hidden inside of a wall, etc.)

2)You can use bare or green insulated wire.

3)All wires entering a box must come thru the intended wire knockouts and proper clamps.

4)You must bring your circuit grounds back to the panel. It is often dangerous to connect these to water pipes.

If you are going to the trouble of running new ground wires to the various outlets, you'd be much better off to just run some new 12/2 romex to each location. Then you would have new wiring and all the ground wires would be contained within the cable sheath. Just something you might want to consider.
Old 08-10-03, 12:36 PM
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Thanks! That was exactly what I needed to know!
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