Ungrounded Outlets and Switches


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Old 11-12-08, 08:41 AM
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Ungrounded Outlets and Switches

Moved into a 30 yr old house and am replacing beige outlets and switches. There are bare copper grounds pigtailed in each outlet/switch box, but none of the switches or outlets are tied in to the ground, appears to not have ground terminals on the switches/outlets. The new outlet/switches all have ground terminal screws... Sould they be tied into the bare copper pigtail in the box? What is the risk?
 
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Old 11-12-08, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Obrine11 View Post
Moved into a 30 yr old house and am replacing beige outlets and switches. There are bare copper grounds pigtailed in each outlet/switch box, but none of the switches or outlets are tied in to the ground, appears to not have ground terminals on the switches/outlets.
That's odd that the original receptacles were not connected to the bare copper wires (equipment grounding conductors). There should be a green grounding screw on the original receptacles. Maybe the installer removed them. Are the original receptacles the 3-pong type?

Older switches did not have a means for grounding them like the new ones do.

Originally Posted by Obrine11 View Post
The new outlet/switches all have ground terminal screws... Sould they be tied into the bare copper pigtail in the box? What is the risk?

Yes!! NEC requires it.
 
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Old 11-12-08, 09:43 AM
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Strange -- a 30 year house should be all grounded. If you have metal boxes, use these. Screw to the box, wirenut to the existing grounds, spade to the device:



If you have plastic boxes, use these:



These are Ideal "Term-a-nut" connectors. There are other brands out there or you can make your own with short pieces of wire and wirenuts.
 
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Old 11-12-08, 11:52 AM
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Once removed the receptacles from an interior wall that I was going to remove. Thought it strange that the installer had cut off the ground wire in each box instead of connecting it. Then I realized why. Here in new construction pay is often based on amount completed not hours worked. Framers for instance are paid by the foot.

My guess is the original installer was paid by the receptacle. The receptacles were back stabbed but of course the grounds would have had to be looped and screwed. Then there is the slight increase in time perhaps to push in a receptacle with four wires as opposed to five wires. The installer probably increased his pay by a significant amount by skipping the ground.

But the inspector? TV stations here have documented county building inspector doing their inspections from a moving truck, They just slow to about ten MPH as they pass by. Maybe it's the same for electrical inspectors... if their friends of the contractor.
 
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Old 11-12-08, 07:19 PM
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I was going to revive this old thread, but I found this one.

I'm replacing switches in my 22 year old house. There are ground wires available in the boxes (all plastic in this house), but the existing switches are old enough not to have ground terminals. My understanding of the code is that if I'm replacing a switch and there is no ground wire available in the box, then I am grandfathered from the grounding requirement. But if there is a ground wire available in the box when I replace the switch, I must use it. Is my understanding correct?
 
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Old 11-12-08, 08:55 PM
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I was going to revive this old thread, but I found this one
Good move not reviving the old thread but forum etiquette frowns on hijacking threads also. It gets very confusing when repliers are answering two separate threads. Please post your own thread using an appropriate subject that succinctly sums up your question. And hey, welcome to the forums. Always nice to see new people.
 
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Old 11-12-08, 09:36 PM
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I thought that my question was so closely related to the original that it wouldn't be considered "hijacking" - but regardless I would be glad to start a new post.
 
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Old 11-13-08, 06:20 AM
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Thanks...answer - need to tie in the grounds

Thanks for all the help looks like I need to tie in the outlet grounds to the common ground, sure will be tight in the box though
 
 

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