Ground screw on switches

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Old 08-04-06, 04:14 PM
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Ground screw on switches

I was rearranging some switches and found the original installing electrican did not connect up the ground wires to the switches. In some cases he removed the ground screw altogether.

House was new in 1997.

This seems substandard to me or am I missing something? I thought if there was a ground screw you always used it.
Comments please.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 07:08 PM
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If the system is a grounding system, then the grounding wires should be used. Not sure why some installers push back the wire and never hook them up. They should be attached to the frame of the switch with a grounding screw. You may have to purchase a pack of green grounding screws from a supplier to replace the ones missing, but I would definitely hook them up.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 07:14 PM
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Are the boxes metal?
 
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Old 08-04-06, 07:43 PM
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I think I know where petey is going and if I am correct, the devices have to be rated as self grounding if the boxes are metal and you do not wish to use a grounding wire connection.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 08:23 PM
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Not really. As opposed to receptacles, switches can be effectively grounded simply by being installed to a grounded metal box. A ground conductor or "self-grounding" clip is NOT legally required.

404.9 Provisions for General-Use Snap Switches
(A) Faceplates Faceplates provided for snap switches mounted in boxes and other enclosures shall be installed so as to completely cover the opening and, where the switch is flush mounted, seat against the finished surface.
(B) Grounding Snap switches, including dimmer and similar control switches, shall be effectively grounded and shall provide a means to ground metal faceplates, whether or not a metal faceplate is installed. Snap switches shall be considered effectively grounded if either of the following conditions is met:
(1) The switch is mounted with metal screws to a metal box or to a nonmetallic box with integral means for grounding devices.
(2) An equipment grounding conductor or equipment bonding jumper is connected to an equipment grounding termination of the snap switch.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
Not really. As opposed to receptacles, switches can be effectively grounded simply by being installed to a grounded metal box. A ground conductor or "self-grounding" clip is NOT legally required.
.[/I]
Aha. turn about IS fair play. Now it's my time for a fox paw.

I was thinking of receps. Of course petey is correct. My slip.

Ok,now back to petey's question; are the boxes metal??
 
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Old 08-04-06, 08:51 PM
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Now it's my time for a fox paw.
Fox paw???

Do you mean faux pas?
 
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Old 08-04-06, 08:56 PM
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Not in Michigan.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 08:57 PM
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1997 is right around the time frame that switches first started to be required to be grounded. The switches that are missing ground screws most likely came from the factory that way and was common back then. Most didn't even have a hole for the ground screw in them.

As for the installer, he was probably so used to not having a ground screw on a switch he didn't bother to think about hooking them up.

I remember this time frame well, the rule was back then that if the switch had a ground screw you had to ground it and if it didn't you didn't have to ground it. This based on the fact that many contractors still had 1000's of switches with no ground screw and were allowed to get rid of existing stock.

Now if you have metal boxes then that is whole diff. story
 
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Old 08-04-06, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by furd
Fox paw???

Do you mean faux pas?
of course I did.

Faux Pas (pronounced American-fashion, "fox paws") is the story of Randy and his animal friends, most of whom were trained to be studio animal actors the animals you see in movies, commercials and in live stage shows. Most of them are now retired, officially or through lack of opportunity, and eke out an existence as best they can while avoiding being hunted, eaten or sold. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faux_Pas_(web_comic)
just for fun furd...relax.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rich3236
I remember this time frame well, the rule was back then that if the switch had a ground screw you had to ground it and if it didn't you didn't have to ground it. This based on the fact that many contractors still had 1000's of switches with no ground screw and were allowed to get rid of existing stock.
To say nothing of the supply houses.

I remember that time as well.
It was pot luck whether the box of switches you got from the supply house had ground screws or not.
 
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Old 08-05-06, 06:37 AM
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The boxes are NOT metal - all are plastic.
 
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Old 08-05-06, 06:41 AM
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Then considering the year of the house you can leave them as they are.
If you replace any your should ground them.
 
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