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Raym50 07-28-2012 08:44 AM

Grounding question
 
Hi. My house Was built in 2005. All new electrical. I am now looking to replace the light switches with lutron dimmers and there is no grounding wire in my light switch boxes. Is that possible? It looks like there is a ground wire in my basement connected to the water main or sewer pipe.

Could it be that the actual light switch box (which is metal) is grounded and there is no actual ground wire connected to the switches? My current light switches have a grounding screw, but no wire is connected to it.

Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.

Speedy Petey 07-28-2012 08:53 AM

For a house that new there HAS to be an equipment ground. If the boxes are metal maybe they used AC cable where the sheathing is the ground?

The bond/ground wire to the water pipe is completely irrelevant to the equipment ground in the switch and receptacle boxes.

stickboy1375 07-28-2012 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
For a house that new there HAS to be an equipment ground. If the boxes are metal maybe they used AC cable where the sheathing is the ground?

The bond/ground wire to the water pipe is completely irrelevant to the equipment ground in the switch and receptacle boxes.

I agree, I would very shocked if no equipment ground was installed.

stickboy1375 07-28-2012 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raym50 (Post 976078)
Hi. My house Was built in 2005. All new electrical. I am now looking to replace the light switches with lutron dimmers and there is no grounding wire in my light switch boxes. Is that possible? It looks like there is a ground wire in my basement connected to the water main or sewer pipe.

Could it be that the actual light switch box (which is metal) is grounded and there is no actual ground wire connected to the switches? My current light switches have a grounding screw, but no wire is connected to it.

Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.

Take a picture for the most accurate response to your question.

wirenut1110 07-28-2012 09:27 AM

Wonder if the OP is in Chicago, don't they have to run pipe in houses?

darren 07-28-2012 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 976084)
If the boxes are metal maybe they used AC cable where the sheathing is the ground?

Do they still make cable like that( i assume ac is similar to our bx with an armoured metal outside). All our BX has a bonding conductor in it.

Do you live in the Chicago area and have EMT run all over your house, if so the emt would be your bond(technically it is not a ground but a bond back the grounding conductor)

stickboy1375 07-28-2012 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darren (Post 976096)
Do they still make cable like that( i assume ac is similar to our bx with an armoured metal outside). All our BX has a bonding conductor in it.

AC is still used and sold today.... The BX name is just electrical 'slang' for AC type cable.



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Yoyizit 07-28-2012 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stickboy1375 (Post 976090)
I would very shocked if no equipment ground was installed.

Good one. . .:laughing:

stickboy1375 07-28-2012 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoyizit (Post 976104)
Good one. . .:laughing:

:laughing: thanks. :jester:

kbsparky 07-28-2012 10:14 AM

A house built as recently as yours with metal switch boxes most likely has metal raceway or metallic-sheathed cables that provide the equipment grounding means.

In cases such as this, the metal screws holding the switch in the box may be sufficient for grounding purposes.

However, if you really want to ensure a good grounding connection then install a green screw into the back of the box, and a pigtail jumper from there to the grounding terminal on your switches and dimmers.

Raym50 07-28-2012 10:24 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Thanks all. I appreciate all the feedback. Here are some pictures. THis happens to be a 3 way switch. Do they inform of you anything?

stickboy1375 07-28-2012 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raym50 (Post 976129)
Thanks all. I appreciate all the feedback. Here are some pictures. THis happens to be a 3 way switch. Do they inform of you anything?

YEP, AC type wiring, the outer jacket is the grounding conductor, which bonds the box.

Raym50 07-28-2012 10:31 AM

OK, so what do I do with the green ground wire coming from the new lutron light switch?

stickboy1375 07-28-2012 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raym50 (Post 976137)
OK, so what do I do with the green ground wire coming from the new lutron light switch?

I generally just cap them off and use the 6-32 screws as the bonding method. As a side note, we only ground switches by chance a metal faceplate is installed, if everything were plastic, this would serve no useful purpose.

Raym50 07-28-2012 10:42 AM

Great, thanks. Sorry to sound like a major idiot - but it sounds like so long as the screws are touching the metal box (which they are because the screws go into the metal box), then I'm good?


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