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Old 10-20-2012, 07:46 PM   #1
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


How do I install / use a light switch that requires a ground to operate in a plastic box with no existing ground wire inside

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Old 10-20-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


Could you tell us what makes this switch different?
Is it a timer or lighted switch?

You mentioned a 'ground' which is a green wire---did you mean a neutral?

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Old 10-20-2012, 07:53 PM   #3
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


It's a ge push button countdown timer.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:56 PM   #4
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


The switch requires a red (load conductor), black (hot), and green (ground) to operate.

Last edited by SASHMO; 10-20-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:06 PM   #5
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


Ground can also be an exposed (bare) copper lead---if you have that you should be okay to use it---

As long as the unit does not require a neutral (white)

If you don't have a ground at all---you can't use that switch without rewiring the box
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:23 PM   #6
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


Never heard of a switch requiring a ground to operate. Some of them require neutral. Can you post the make and model number of the switch.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:36 PM   #7
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


Maybe this?

http://www.jascoproducts.com/support...sh-Spanish.pdf
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:00 PM   #8
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


As far as I know the switch by Jascoproducts described in the preceding link will work using a neutral instead of ground connected to the green wire.

The switch appears to use a capacitor to hold the energy needed to operate the switch electronics.

While a ground wire (equipment grounding conductor) may not be used in lieu of a neutral, it also appears to me that the switch manufacturer is either making up or utilizing a loophole whereby the lack of a direct or resistive connection or lack of a connection with resistance less than X ohms between hot and ground means the device is not utilizing ground in lieu of neutral. However a capacitor connected between hot and ground will pass alternating current. For all intents and purposes the switch is using hot and ground to obtain power to operate its internal electronics.

One paragraph in the text linked to states "wait 1 minute." This tells me that a charging process is taking place and it is slow enough that the current flowing between hot and ground (ground fault if you insist) is very small, possibly too small to constitute the violation of using ground in lieu of neutral,
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Last edited by AllanJ; 10-21-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:06 AM   #9
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


AllanJ is right. Is this a UL listed switch? The green on the switch should tie in with the neutral (white) conductors in the box. The grounding conductors in the box should be utilized to carry ground fault for safety. So i'm thinking the electronics in the switch is bonded to the yoke (metal frame around switch) and that is why they require you to tie the switch green wire to the ground in the box.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:08 AM   #10
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


My Lutron occupancy sensors require an earth ground to work....
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:23 AM   #11
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Light switch that requires a ground to operate


It would be unconventional at best to "require" that a green wire be connected to a neutral or bunch of neutrals.

But the switch manufacturer "cleverly?" did not have both a white wire and a green wire coming out of the switch so as to permit connecting the switch innards to either ground or neutral depending on which was not provided in the box. This would also prevent making an unwanted and improper ground-neutral bond in that box PROVIDED that the switch frame (yoke) was not bonded to the green wire or the switch electronics.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 10-21-2012 at 10:30 AM.
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