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Old 02-26-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
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Grounding light switches


I've been slowly going over the wiring at home and while most of the boxes have ground wires available (but not hooked up), there is one that doesn't. The box right next to it does. Can I just use wire nuts and a jumper to run the ground from one box to the other, or do each set of wires need their own separate ground?

Also, I've noticed that a few receptacles have two black wires and another dark colored one that are all presumably hot. The old backstab only receptacles I'm replacing had four slots for wires, but the receptacles that I'm replacing them with have only two nuts for sidewiring. Is there any preference for which hot wire I should terminate or does that not matter?


Last edited by omgwtfbyobbq; 02-26-2011 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:56 AM   #2
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Grounding light switches


When two or three wires (including ground wires) want to go under the same screw, you cut a short length of wire (pigtail) of the same kind and color and connect just that to the screw. Then wire nut together the three or four loose ends.

Avoid using the back holes where the wire is not specifically clamped in place using another screw on the side.

The framework (yoke) of switches and receptacles needs to be grounded. Use either a green screw provided or squash the ground wire between the yoke and the box with a special clip (for doing such grounding and sold separately) in between. Metal boxes must also be grounded, either with their own ground wires or pigtails, or having a grounded switch or receptacle yoke screwed on using one of those special clips.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-26-2011 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:10 PM   #3
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Grounding light switches


That makes sense, thanks!

Can I do the opposite (instead of a union, split a wire) to run a ground wire from one box to another a couple inches away?
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