How to attach a gound on an open ended box?


Old 04-29-04, 10:32 AM
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How to attach a gound on an open ended box?

I'm a first time home owner and am in the middle of replacing all the outlets and grounding. However, I have run into a slight problem. Normally I would drill and attach a ground to the back of the metal box but on some boxes there is no backing. They are open ended and provide outlets on the oppsite wall/room. I am not sure what is the best way or how I can attach a grounding wire.

I have tried to drill to the side of the box but am having a difficult time geting the hole drilled. Is there a trick to doing it or is there another easier way?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, new_home_owner
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Old 04-29-04, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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You should not be doing what you are doing, for a variety of reasons

Modern electrical boxes have a threaded screw hole ready to accept a grounding screw. You can buy the screws and preattached grounding wires at most home improvement stores.

It is against code to drill a hole in a box and attach a wire with a sheet metal or similar screw.

All of that aside, do you know that the boxes you have are grounded? If the boxes are not properly grounded than you should not be installing grounded outlets. Installing grounded outlets on non-grounded, non-GFCI circuits makes the outlets more dangerous than leaving them as two prong ungrounded outlets.

If the boxes are not grounded then you must either ground the boxes properly, or install either a GFCI breaker on the circuit or install a GFCI outlet at the beginning of the circuit and run the downstream outlets off the load side of the GFCI outlet.
Old 04-29-04, 10:55 AM
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Hmmm... I was told the system was grounded, is there a way for me to tell?

I am using a outlet tester and it has not come up as "open ground" on any of the outlet I have already installed. The metal boxes are connected with flex conduits and the wires running throught those. I think I am describing that correctly.

As for the grounding wire, I am using the premade ground wires with attached green screws. The house was built in the 40s so it does not have predrilled holes in the boxes. Aside from the above question, is this still acceptable or should I stop drilling holes?

Thanks for the quick reply and advice so far.

I'm learning as I go...
Old 04-29-04, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
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A box without a back?? That sends up some warning flares.
Old 04-29-04, 11:39 AM
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I don't know if I am describing the setup correctly. There are multiple place in my home where there are outlets on opposite sides of a wall (2 adjacent rooms) and they used this kind of "box". Basically, if you remove the outlets on both sides of the box, you get a hole going from one room to the next. The metal runs from wall surface to wall surface (top, bottom, right, and left) so there are no exposed wall/flamable material.

Maybe that description is a little better.
Old 04-29-04, 06:06 PM
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Sounds like 2 extension rings rigged up together. If this is the case, and they are not being used in the manner they are "listed" for, it would appear to be a code violation.

Have you seen those green grounding clips? The kind that slips over one of the sidewalls of the metal box. Those might be a little easier than trying to drill holes. If you were going to make your own holes, they would need to be threaded to accept a 10/32 green grounding screw.
Old 04-30-04, 07:21 AM
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Thanks for pointing me to the grounding clips...

I will check them out this weekend.

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