Too Many Ground Wires?

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  #1  
Old 10-14-05, 05:28 PM
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Too Many Ground Wires?

I am extending an existing two-wire circuit with a lengthy three-wire cable before branching for light fixtures and receptacles. The two hot wires of the three-wire cable connect with the existing circuit in two different places: one after a switched light fixture and the other after an unswitched receptacle. I am using short lengths of two-wire cable to go from these two places to a common point at the start of the three-wire cable. Is there any reason I need to connect both ground (i.e., white) wires from the existing circuit to the ground wire of the three-wire cable extension? Or, any reason I should not?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-14-05, 06:35 PM
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A white wire is NEVER a 'ground' wire and should never be connected to a (bare) ground wire EXCEPT inside the main electrical panel. Beyond that, I am not clear what you are doing so will let others reply to the basic question.
 
  #3  
Old 10-14-05, 06:42 PM
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Your terminology is incorrect. You are confusing ground wires (the bare or green insulated wires that DO NOT normally carry current) with grounded wires (the insulated white wires that carry return current.

Correcting your post for that still yields a problem (as I read it). You cannot connect to the circuit in two different places. The current flowing through your cable in each direction must be equal. All your connections need to be made at the same place.

You must replace the wire all the way back to the most appropriate place in the circuit where you have both switched and unswitched power with the three wire cable. I am thinking that this is probably the switch.
 

Last edited by racraft; 10-14-05 at 07:00 PM.
  #4  
Old 10-14-05, 07:10 PM
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And that switched and unswtiched power must come fromthe same breaker or from two breakers that are on opposite sides of the service. And if it was me they would be linked so that they both trip at the same time.
 
  #5  
Old 10-15-05, 10:12 AM
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Thank you all for your comments. I had a mental lapse in calling the white wire ‘ground’ rather than ‘grounded’. However, I call the green or bare wire a ‘grounding’ wire to distinguish from the bare ‘ground’ wire going from the service equipment to ground. In any case, I do appreciate the difference.

I agree I should go to the switch to get both switched and unswitched lines, but it is more difficult to access and I was looking for something easier. Thanks for your help.
 
  #6  
Old 10-15-05, 01:23 PM
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You MUST go to the switch. No choice here if you want to run one three conductor line (plus ground). You can run two completely separate two conductor lines (plus ground), but they must remain completely separate.
 
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