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Old 01-08-2013, 05:21 PM   #1
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


hi, I'm replacing the 3 light switches in my entrance way. the 3 light switches are in the same triple size phenolic looking box. (two 3 ways and one single). the switches I'm removing had no ground screw. the new switches have a ground screw. all the grounds from the six romex wires entering the box tie together with a crimp connection. I'd really rather not add any addditionl clutter in the box if it's not necessary. Can I replace the switches and not bother with the ground screw or is that a violation since the new switches have the ground screw. Thanks

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Old 01-08-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


All devices are required to be connected to the ground.

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Old 01-08-2013, 07:20 PM   #3
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


Yeah, you have to ground them. The screws that hold the cover plate on are in contact with the switch body. If the body of the switch becomes energized, the cover plated screws will also become energized. Ask me how I know this...
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:04 PM   #4
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


Does at least one of the ground wires crimped together extend past the crimp at least a half inch? You would crimp three pigtails (short lengths) to that end stub (total of 4 wire ends) to connect up the ground screws of the switches.

If the switches did not have green ground screws then you would squash the end of the respective pigtail between the mounting strip (yoke) of the switch and the lip of the box where it is screwed on.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:27 PM   #5
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


ok , there is no excess wire beyond the crimp where the six grounds are crimped together. If i have to add 3 more grounds for the switches that makes 9 wires to be twisted together. is there a wire nut approved for nine each nbr 14 ga wires? For that matter can 9 wires be crimped together with a barrel splice. thanks again.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:12 PM   #6
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


Nine wires can be connected together in smaller groups for example five of the nine wires in one bundle and the other four in another bundle with a #14 pigtail between the two bundles.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:45 PM   #7
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


Couldn't one ground wire be looped/daisy chained between all three switches and just have one wire to attach to the existing crimp? Maybe cut one of the existing ground wire with enough length to install a crimp to join the two cut wires plus the new wire for the switches (this of course would shorten up the one ground wire however much the overlap is with the crimp).
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:01 PM   #8
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


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Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Couldn't one ground wire be looped/daisy chained between all three switches and just have one wire to attach to the existing crimp? Maybe cut one of the existing ground wire with enough length to install a crimp to join the two cut wires plus the new wire for the switches (this of course would shorten up the one ground wire however much the overlap is with the crimp).
removed for bad info. Thanks for correcting guys!

Last edited by info2x; 01-11-2013 at 11:33 AM. Reason: bad info
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:32 AM   #9
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


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I would think not considering that would require multiple wires to be secured by one screw terminal which I don't believe to be good practice.


one continuous piece of wire, around all the ground screws. Very common.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


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one continuous piece of wire, around all the ground screws. Very common.
Sometimes called "rabbit ears", from what I understand.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:38 PM   #11
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


If you're in Canada you're in luck, no grounding of light switches required.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:04 PM   #12
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


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Nine wires can be connected together in smaller groups for example five of the nine wires in one bundle and the other four in another bundle with a #14 pigtail between the two bundles.
I sure did not know that and thank you. I just assumed they all had to be bound together in one fat lump. I guess any current flowing within the wire group can only originate from a single wire from the circuit breaker anyway. So does the option of splitting the bundle up into more than one group with a jumper also apply to a group of neutrals or a group of hots within the same large box? By the way, on closer inspection this is how I actaully found the six ground wires. gee does this look right?
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #13
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


Simple twisting is not good enough, so in the picture as shown, the sixth ground wire wrapped around the bundle of the other five is not adequately attached. It must be included in a crimp or wire nut.

Yes you could split up hot wires or neutral wires into separate bundles.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:16 PM   #14
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


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Nine wires can be connected together in smaller groups for example five of the nine wires in one bundle and the other four in another bundle with a #14 pigtail between the two bundles.
Another approach would be to use an Ideal connector.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:58 PM   #15
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is ground screw on light switch necessary


TBH I never really bother, as long as the box is grounded properly the switch will also be grounded. Though I think the point of it is when the switch is not screwed into the box (ex: middle of construction) then it is still grounded.

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If you're in Canada you're in luck, no grounding of light switches required.
That is good to know, probably why I never done it myself. Lot of the stuff I've learned was from just seeing how others did it when I took something apart.

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