Proper grounding - converting receptacles to 3-prong

Old 08-31-04, 03:17 PM
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Proper grounding - converting receptacles to 3-prong

I have asked a similar question before and have seen other posts on almost the same question, but want to be sure I have it right:

I'm converting two-prong receptacles to three-prong in my 40 year old house, which is wired with 14-2 romex including a ground wire (which may only be 16 gauge - I'm not sure). My question concerns how to properly ground the three prong receptacles.

As noted, there is a ground wire entering and exiting each junction box. Typically, this seems to be two separate wires as opposed to a single ground wire passing in and out of the box. These two grounds are wrapped under a gray-colored (not green) screw at the back of each J-box. What is best way to ground the new three-prong receptacles? For example, should I connect a ground pigtail to the receptacle and then attempt to get it under the same screw at the back of the J-box that is already holding the existing ground wires? Or is there some kind of clip I can use to connect a ground pigtail to the side of the J-box, leaving the existing ground wires "undisturbed"? (Can such a clip be used without damaging the surrounding drywall?) Basically, I would appreciate advice on a method that will be code-compliant as well as "easiest" from the viewpoint of making necessary connections - the J-boxes are small and hard to work in. Thanks.

Old 08-31-04, 04:27 PM
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there are several manufacturers that sell self grounding receptacles which have a grounding clip attached to the mounting screws of receptacle. this can accomplish what your trying to do without additional wires providing that you have a true ground attached to your metal box.
Old 08-31-04, 04:36 PM
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First, make sure the grounding wires are really grounded. The grounding receptacles are not legal unless grounded (or GFCI protected).

Then be sure to follow the principle of only one wire under a screw. It sounds like that was not previously followed.

You can use the self-grounding receptacles as hex suggests if you want, or you can buy a package of grounding pigtails (green wires attached to green screws).

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