I'm trying to replace an old exhaust fan/light combo in my basement bathroom and am a little unsure on how to proceed. The fan/light combo requires ground but I have only 2 wire(black and white) coming from house. This wire comes from a junction box(see pic) that includes 4NM wire without any ground. The first wire coming into the box from panel passed through another junction box(see 2nd pic) upstream that appears to be grounded however. Because this 2nd box is grounded and my breaker is a GFCI/AFCI combination am I fully protected and can I ignore green ground wires in fan/light unit? Thanks.
It is my opinion that, assuming everything was installed to code when installed, that you may replace the light/fan unit without providing a ground and leavig the green screw on the new unit empty.
More inspection (do upstream cables have built in ground wires?) is needed to determine whether the junction box was indeed grounded as of today. A wire running to a clamp on a pipe does not qualify as grounding any cable or junction box to code.
Ground fault circuit interrupters will provide near perfect protection to persons against electrocution with or without grounding.
A ground wire may be run from any equipment wanting grounding down to the panel where the breaker for the respective branch circuit is located. This wire may follow the circuit wiring exactly, approximately, or vaguely. Should this wire first reach a fat ground wire (grounding electrode conductor) from the main panel to a ground rod or cold water pipe, it may end and be clamped on there. This kind of ground does not qualify the circuit to be added onto or extended.
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