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Old 03-16-2010, 08:21 PM   #1
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


Is this discussion more about bonding rather than grounding? Or not?

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Old 03-16-2010, 08:48 PM   #2
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


If we're going to be weekend experts (a.k.a. - DIYers) then we should at least use the correct terminology.

The body of the switches (and other devices) are not grounded, they are bonded (using a bare or green wire) ultimately to the neutral bus bar at the main service panel.

The act of grounding is simply driving a rod into the earth and attaching it to the neutral bus bar, through a (usually) bare conductor. Grounding also occurs when utility companies bond the case of a transformer (using a conductor) to the bottom of the pole, underground.

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Old 03-16-2010, 09:14 PM   #3
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


The terms "grounding", "grounding screw", etc. are used in product documentation like this...
http://assets.twacomm.com/assets/pdf/19139.pdf

http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibeCC...minisite=10026
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:16 PM   #4
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


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Originally Posted by jlmran View Post
If we're going to be weekend experts (a.k.a. - DIYers) then we should at least use the correct terminology.

The body of the switches (and other devices) are not grounded, they are bonded (using a bare or green wire) ultimately to the neutral bus bar at the main service panel.

The act of grounding is simply driving a rod into the earth and attaching it to the neutral bus bar, through a (usually) bare conductor. Grounding also occurs when utility companies bond the case of a transformer (using a conductor) to the bottom of the pole, underground.




by stating it is connected to the neutral, while technically correct (but only at the service disconnect),it is going to confuse the daylights out of a lot of folks and possibly cause them to connect the yoke of the switch to the wrong conductor.

the yoke of the switch is connected to the equipment grounding conductor.

and I haven't used a bare GEC in my entire tenure as an electrician.

and since a device that is listed as self grounding, not self bonding, I suggest we stick with the terms that are commonly used where they are used.

Last edited by nap; 03-16-2010 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:18 PM   #5
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


Yeah, also in cables, like "12-2 with ground", etc. But we're better than that because we have a deeper understanding of what is really happening.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:21 PM   #6
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


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the yoke of the switch is connected to the equipment grounding conductor.
Or, more accurately, the yoke of the switch is connected to the equipment bonding conductor.

If this confuses folks then a good shock might allow them to become unconfused.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:23 PM   #7
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


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because all metal parts that might become energized must be grounded. If the yoke of the switch becomes energized, if using a plastic box, it would not trip the breaker.

since the plate screws contact that metal yoke, the screws would then be energized.

so, if you touched the screw and anything that is grounded, you get zapped.
the same (non-desirable) effect would be in an un-grounded metal box! (IMHO)!
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:26 PM   #8
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


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Or, more accurately, the yoke of the switch is connected to the equipment bonding conductor.

If this confuses folks then a good shock might allow them to become unconfused.
It's all Semantics! But, as you suggest. "A good, shock might Allow? them to be UN-confused!!
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:31 PM   #9
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


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You should explain that to the people that built my house *lol* I went around checking all the switches and outlets for ground... they did a good job on the outlets, but not one switch was grounded... been going around doing that myself.... ugh
are the boxes (UN)-Grounded? (But the switches not bonded to the grounding connector!) Then, you might not be up to the latest Code. But you DO have ground protection. And you're fine. Because it's EXISTING!!
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:31 PM   #10
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It's all Semantics! But, as you suggest. "A good, shock might Allow? them to be UN-confused!!
I wouldn't wish injury (or worse) on ANYBODY. But, one should be smart enough to know when enters a realm beyond their capacity. One way to extend one's capacity is to gain education...using correct terminology and concepts.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:43 PM   #11
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I've been upgrading my switches in my house
Wires have a ground, but its grounded to the metal box - wrapped around the wire & under the clamp
As I go around I have added a wire from the grounding screw to the box
I do have quite a few metal face plates in my house
On metal boxes, if the box is Grounded and the switch not (Bonded to the box) you're fine. Because the Band (of the switch) is making contact with the box while it's attached. The main reason (IMHO) why the Code was revised to require the Switch to be bonded to the Grounding conductor, is because of the widespread use of Plastic boxes.!
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:52 PM   #12
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


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Originally Posted by jlmran View Post
If we're going to be weekend experts (a.k.a. - DIYers) then we should at least use the correct terminology.

The body of the switches (and other devices) are not grounded, they are bonded (using a bare or green wire) ultimately to the neutral bus bar at the main service panel.

The act of grounding is simply driving a rod into the earth and attaching it to the neutral bus bar, through a (usually) bare conductor. Grounding also occurs when utility companies bond the case of a transformer (using a conductor) to the bottom of the pole, underground.
I beg to differ. As was discussed in other posts on this thread. A switch, when attached to a Grounded metal box (as in the case of Scuba Dave) is considered Grounded (and in fact, is.) But since the proliferation of plastic boxes, the Code has been revised to require the switch to be also "Bonded" to the Grounding conductor in the box! !
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:55 PM   #13
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


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I beg to differ. As was discussed in other posts on this thread. A switch, when attached to a Grounded metal box (as in the case of Scuba Dave) is considered Grounded (and in fact, is.) But since the proliferation of plastic boxes, the Code has been revised to require the switch to be also "Bonded" to the Grounding conductor in the box! !
This assumes that the NEC is written using correct terminology. I agree...it is semantical.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:00 PM   #14
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


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I wouldn't wish injury (or worse) on ANYBODY. But, one should be smart enough to know when enters a realm beyond their capacity. One way to extend one's capacity is to gain education...using correct terminology and concepts.
I agree with you 100%. But, assuming the work is left to experts. The rest IS semantics. (One of my hobbies, as you can see in my profile.)!
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:01 PM   #15
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Discussion on switch grounding/bonding


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Or, more accurately, the yoke of the switch is connected to the equipment bonding conductor.

If this confuses folks then a good shock might allow them to become unconfused.

NO NO NO

it is attached to the equipment grounding conductor. the EGC is the term the NEC uses and we should not attempt to alter that.

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