grounding vs non grounding switch?

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Old 03-02-11, 11:29 AM
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grounding vs non grounding switch?

need a switch that has two 3-ways. found it at pass and seymour website (legrand). there are two listed:

693W non-grounding
693WG grounding

pictures show green ground wire on the WG. called to find out difference. does the other one have a ground screw but no wire? the guy said that it would not have ground screw. find it hard to believe that it doesn't have any ground means since most boxes in residential construction I would think are plastic, and therefore the switch should be grounded? asked if the wire could be removed and my ground attached directly (having their wire off the switch just means more wire to shove back into the box) he didn't know. anyone tell me more about the usual differences in grounding vs non grounding switches? do the non-grounding usually still have ground screw? if not, would seem code violation to mount in plastic box? actually think switches in metal box have to be grounded separately from the screw connect to box unless box is surface mounted? and even if surface mount, you have to remove the plastic washer that hold screw on switch, correct?
 
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Old 03-02-11, 12:06 PM
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The non-grounding switch is okay if used with a plastic face plate. For a metal face plate you'll need the grounding switch.
 
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Old 03-02-11, 12:46 PM
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I m going to disagree with Ben. Article 404.9(B) requires the switch to be grounded, NEC 2008. This is a change from prior editions. The switch needs to be grounded regardless of the faceplate material.
 
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Old 03-02-11, 01:10 PM
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so that is what I don't understand- how can they make a switch that is non-grounding? I even asked the pass and seymour tech guy about it being violation of code for switch to not be grounded-he said no?

I guess even with plastic cover a worst case scenario would be that hot comes in contact with switch body and energizes it. then you touch the screws that hold cover on (and paint scraped off) while somehow grounded (such as standing on basement concrete floor in bare feet?)and -zap!

so I am correct that only place a non grounding switch would be oK is with metal box, flush mounted, and plastic washers removed? I think I remember this from wiring a house, for pros by pros book.

so you think the non grounding still has screw but just not the green wire pre attached? or think the green wire on grounding could be removed and my wire attached? I have seen one before that just had green wire connected with spade connector to the green screw. to this is not common switch (3-way, 3-way) so noone has in stock have to be ordered. not cheap either, thinking like $30 for one!
 
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Old 03-02-11, 01:55 PM
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The non-grounding switch does not have the ground screw on the yoke. They are for replacement use only where no grounding means exist. The faceplate needs to be non-conductive or the switch needs GFI protection.
 
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Old 03-02-11, 02:11 PM
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I see, some older homes may not have ground wire. but why do they make two separate switches? why not just make one with ground and if you can't use it cause you don't have ground wire in home wiring, just don't use it?
 
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Old 03-02-11, 03:12 PM
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Don't know where this fits in but I have seen receptacles from Leviton with plastic yolks. Maybe the non-grounding switches have plastic yolks.
 
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Old 03-02-11, 05:01 PM
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The grounding has a spring that touches the screw to ground the box for you while the non-grounding does not. Let's not forget that this switch is actually made by slater.
 
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Old 03-02-11, 06:43 PM
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pcboss hit the nail on the head.

The non-grounding switch does not have the ground screw on the yoke. They are for replacement use only where no grounding means exist.
These non-grounded switches are still manufactured today for the same reason non-grounded receptacles are still made. There are definitely applications for them as replacements in some older homes without grounding conductors. There was a time, however, when it was accepted practice to ground just the metal box and the device mounting screws grounded the switch yoke, but we know that is no longer an approved method of grounding a device. Back then, you had to look high and low to find a switch with a ground screw on the yoke, even at supply houses. Codes change and methods and materials eventually catch up with the changes.
 
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