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Old 07-28-2012, 08:44 AM   #1
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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.

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Old 07-28-2012, 08:53 AM   #2
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Grounding question


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.

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Old 07-28-2012, 09:17 AM   #3
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Grounding question


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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.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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Grounding question


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Originally Posted by Raym50 View Post
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.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:27 AM   #5
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Grounding question


Wonder if the OP is in Chicago, don't they have to run pipe in houses?
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:27 AM   #6
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Grounding question


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
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)
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:32 AM   #7
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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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Old 07-28-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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I would very shocked if no equipment ground was installed.
Good one. . .
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:45 AM   #9
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Good one. . .
thanks.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:14 AM   #10
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Grounding question


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.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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Grounding question


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?
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:28 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:31 AM   #13
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Grounding question


OK, so what do I do with the green ground wire coming from the new lutron light switch?
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:33 AM   #14
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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.

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Old 07-28-2012, 10:42 AM   #15
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Grounding question


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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