grounding the switches


Old 01-20-06, 05:46 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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grounding the switches

As part of a remodel, I've got a number of switches to wire in. I'm using grounded metal boxes, with either EMT or NM. Reading the NEC code, I'm still not certain if I need to run a green wire to the switch ground terminal. I read that I need to provide a "means to ground metal faceplates". I've also read an interpetation that says that the 6/32 screws provide adequate grounding when the little square insulator holding the screw is removed and the yoke sits on the metal box ear directly. The switches are not of the "self grounding" type and i'm using non-metalic faceplates. Even so, it seems to me that the faceplate attachment screws are still conductive to the yoke, being steel.
Is there a consensis in practice?
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Old 01-20-06, 06:03 AM
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Location: Central New York State
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Unless you have self grounding switches you need to ground the switches with a wire.
Old 01-20-06, 06:52 AM
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Location: Denver, CO area
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One of the few things in the NEC I disagree with {2005 NEC 404.9 (B)} is one code approved method for grounding switches. Simply stated, it says that a switch mounted with metal screws to a metal box, or a plastic one with a means that grounds at least one of the mounting screws, is considered effectively grounded. This means that even without removing the "tabs" on the screws, as lomg as the screw contacts the yoke on the switch and a grounded metal mab in the box, it's grounded. I've just seen too many loose screws to believe this works all the time. The next best thing is the metel tab that clips on the yoke and makes a spring contact with the screw, but this is normally found only on receptacles.

If it's me doing the work, there is a ground wire to the switch.

Old 01-20-06, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
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Why don't you use self-grounding devices? Aren't they still acceptable instead of a separate jumper? I know something in the code related to this changed in 2002, I think it was that the "direct contact" bit is no longer acceptable unless it's a surface-mounted box.

Leviton 1201-2W is a self-grounding toggle switch. They also make a 3-way, 1203?
BR-15 is a self-grounding duplex receptacle.
Old 01-20-06, 01:25 PM
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thanks for the input. I've got spec grade Decora Levitons, but it appears you get EITHER the grounding screw OR the self grounding. Looks like i'll be using wire.
Old 01-20-06, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Before they started making switches with grounding terminals, we never worried about the plate screws when mounting the switch with a non metallic cover plate on a non-metallic box, and used plastic plate screws when mounting the switches on a metallic box.
Old 01-21-06, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Arkansas
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Box ground

What do you have in the box for a ground? Do you have a ground or is the pipe used as the ground? How old is it? If it is old enough, you can replace non grouning switches with the same. If it was supposed to have grounded switches installed then you have to ground it.

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