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Old 01-05-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire


I'm new here. I apologize in advance if a similar question was answered somewhere already.

Question: Would adding a ground clip, as shown in the attached photo, satisfy code and increase safety? (The wiring diagram is for a similar timer with a ground wire.)

Details: I bought an electronic countdown timer from ebay. (GE5100E30-71D) It has a line, load, and neutral wire. It does NOT have a ground wire. The timer will be mounted in a non-metallic box and control a bathroom ventilation fan.

My understanding is that all switches should be grounded. I've been adding pigtails and grounding the switches as I replace them. We're changing the colour anyway.
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire-countdown_timer_gnd_clip.jpg  
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post
My understanding is that all switches should be grounded.
If the UL listed device does NOT have a grounding terminal?

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Old 01-05-2012, 03:08 PM   #3
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire


I think the ground clip is a good idea
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire


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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
If the UL listed device does NOT have a grounding terminal?
No ground terminal. See photo of back.

Maybe this timer is an older model? When did the code change to require switch grounding? My 20 y/o house has ground wires in the boxes, but none were connected to the switches. Well...the old switches didn't have ground screws either.

I bought a similar timer for another room and it did have a ground wire. I've seen other timers with two black wires and a ground wire. The dimmers I installed also had ground wires.
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire-countdown_timer_gnd_clip_rear.jpg  

Last edited by Hiro; 01-05-2012 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:48 PM   #5
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire


The timer is designed and tested to be used with out ground.
But some codes require that a ground be available at the j box.

So what is your concern ?
It would be safe to use with out a ground,
or it would not have been listed.

But if one is avaiable thats fine too !

NO PROBS !

Last edited by dmxtothemax; 01-05-2012 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #6
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
The timer is designed and tested to be used with out ground.
But some codes require that a ground be available at the j box.

So what is your concern ?
It would be safe to use with out a ground,
or it would not have been listed.

But if one is avaiable thats fine too !

NO PROBS !
First concern is always safety. Second is code compliance, which helps with the first concern. I'm giving it extra consideration because the device is in a bathroom, but at this point it seems as good as it could be.
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:20 PM   #7
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire


I would imagine that if an earth is available at the box,
And you use a switch that is double insulated,
and rated as such.
Then there should be no problems code wise.

If the plate is metal and the box is earthed
the screws are metal
then the plate would also be earthed.

So is safe !
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
I would imagine that if an earth is available at the box,
And you use a switch that is double insulated,
and rated as such.
Then there should be no problems code wise.

If the plate is metal and the box is earthed
the screws are metal
then the plate would also be earthed.

So is safe !
OK. I found a motion detecting switch in a retail store that was wired the same way; without ground. They must be OK and code compliant.

The box isn't metal, it's...something dark brown. Adding the ground clip is only a minor inconvenience, but maybe it's also over-kill.

By the way, if a lamp post is buried in the actual ground, is there any need to attach a system ground wire to it?
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:24 PM   #9
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post
OK. I found a motion detecting switch in a retail store that was wired the same way; without ground. They must be OK and code compliant.

The box isn't metal, it's...something dark brown. Adding the ground clip is only a minor inconvenience, but maybe it's also over-kill.

By the way, if a lamp post is buried in the actual ground, is there any need to attach a system ground wire to it?
If the switch is double insulated and rated as such,
then an earth might not be needed.
But if it gives you more peace of mind then go for it !

Most electricains would say a proper earth wire is
a safer way to do it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:21 PM   #10
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Electronic Timer, No Ground Wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
Most electricains would say a proper earth wire is
a safer way to do it.
Right. Plus, it's possible to create a "ground loop" condition, I guess. So, yeah, I used a ground clip on the lamp post, too, just to be thorough. heh

The one place I haven't used the ground clips are on the metal boxes in the finished part of the basement for which they were intended.

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