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Old 09-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #1
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


I have a switch box that has 3 light switches, all fed from different AC circuits. I'm adding a 4th switch for a 3-way switch to my kitchen lights. All of the existing switches are on switch legs where the switch connects the white and black of a single NM cable. I have 14-3 pulled into the new 4-gang box for the 3-way switch.

When I pulled the existing switches out, the ground from each switch leg was connected to the ground terminal on the switch but the grounds were not all connected together. Should they be? Or should the specifically not be? Uninsulated ground wires in a box pretty much have to be assumed that they will touch so I can't imagine it is unsafe to connect them all together. What is the right way to do this?

Thanks,

Dale
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:38 PM   #2
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


Connect them together and then to the switches.
Are they all 14 gage?

If so, it does not matter which ground goes where.
If you have a #12, make sure it goes to the switch with #12 on it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:32 PM   #3
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


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Originally Posted by dalepres
I have a switch box that has 3 light switches, all fed from different AC circuits. I'm adding a 4th switch for a 3-way switch to my kitchen lights. All of the existing switches are on switch legs where the switch connects the white and black of a single NM cable. I have 14-3 pulled into the new 4-gang box for the 3-way switch.

When I pulled the existing switches out, the ground from each switch leg was connected to the ground terminal on the switch but the grounds were not all connected together. Should they be? Or should the specifically not be? Uninsulated ground wires in a box pretty much have to be assumed that they will touch so I can't imagine it is unsafe to connect them all together. What is the right way to do this?

Thanks,

Dale
From what you have posted I don't think the ground are bonded to the box either, am I correct? If not, you should purchase a newer box that has a grounding screw in it. That way, the box will be grounded even when you open it up. Just my preference
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:45 PM   #4
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


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From what you have posted I don't think the ground are bonded to the box either, am I correct? If not, you should purchase a newer box that has a grounding screw in it. That way, the box will be grounded even when you open it up. Just my preference
Might be a plastic box.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


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Might be a plastic box.
Oh yea, please excuse me. I've never done any resi, only commercial. And there are no plastic boxes in commercial.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:08 PM   #6
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


I remember you said you did commercial and not much resi. Just pointing it out. A lot of the time you’ll find resi stuff is simple and cheap…er I mean inexpensive.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:49 PM   #7
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


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I remember you said you did commercial and not much resi. Just pointing it out. A lot of the time you’ll find resi stuff is simple and cheap…er I mean inexpensive.
Well I always felt that resi was much more simple then commercial, but I haven't gotten a chance to do any work in that field. This site makes it sound like so much fun
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:15 AM   #8
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


I think resi is simpler too. I like doing commercial more myself.

“This site makes it sound like so much fun”……Define fun

Somedays I'd rather be pulling 300MCM
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:18 PM   #9
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


It's a plastic box; all 14 gauge.

One more question. One of the switches is for switching an outlet and nothing else. I'd like to eliminate that one. Can I connect the wires in a wire nut and do away with that switch?

Thanks for the help so far.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:05 PM   #10
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


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It's a plastic box; all 14 gauge.

One more question. One of the switches is for switching an outlet and nothing else. I'd like to eliminate that one. Can I connect the wires in a wire nut and do away with that switch?

Thanks for the help so far.
Yes. You can bypass the switch, if it is not the only source for a switched light source in the room.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:00 PM   #11
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


I do have a switched light in the ceiling fan so that helps. That outlet has powered my wife's PC for about 12 years. I'll be happy to be rid of the switch.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:05 PM   #12
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


Oh, to ground the switches, because a couple of the cables were pretty short, just a couple of inches outside the box, I combined them all into a single blue wire nut and a ground from that running to the switches in series - looping through the first one and continuing on to the next one and then on to the last.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:58 AM   #13
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Grounding multiple circuits/switches in one box


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Oh, to ground the switches, because a couple of the cables were pretty short, just a couple of inches outside the box, I combined them all into a single blue wire nut and a ground from that running to the switches in series - looping through the first one and continuing on to the next one and then on to the last.
Works fine!
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