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Old 11-19-2011, 08:57 AM   #1
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need some advice, quickly!


I was all ready to replace my 2 gang switch box with a three gang making room for another switch. I'm now realizing that my 2 gang box is metal and the new one I bought is plastic. Can I ground all three switches by pig tailing all three grounds together and grounding only on the new switch/grounding screw?

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Old 11-19-2011, 09:08 AM   #2
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If you are going to re-use the old switches, yes. But WHY would you?

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Old 11-19-2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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The actual ground is the (typically bare) copper wire that travels from the panel to the box, generally in the form of two conductor cable plus ground. The grounding screw on the switch, and the grounding screw on the old metal box, are there to provide a convenient way to ground the switch or the box. If you lack a grounding wire from the panel, you cannot achieve a ground no matter how you connect the devices. I cannot tell from your photo if you have a grounding wire coming from the box.

If you do, you can pigtail the grounds from your devices to the grounding wire, adding a pigtail for each switch and outlet. I believe that it is not necessary to ground a plastic box, perhaps one of the electricians in the forum can weigh in on that question.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
If you are going to re-use the old switches, yes. But WHY would you?
I'm not planning on re using the old switches, but on the current ones there's no ground, and I'm not replacing the wire for those other switches so I don't think they have ground.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman
The actual ground is the (typically bare) copper wire that travels from the panel to the box, generally in the form of two conductor cable plus ground. The grounding screw on the switch, and the grounding screw on the old metal box, are there to provide a convenient way to ground the switch or the box. If you lack a grounding wire from the panel, you cannot achieve a ground no matter how you connect the devices. I cannot tell from your photo if you have a grounding wire coming from the box.

If you do, you can pigtail the grounds from your devices to the grounding wire, adding a pigtail for each switch and outlet. I believe that it is not necessary to ground a plastic box, perhaps one of the electricians in the forum can weigh in on that question.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:37 AM   #6
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Your old cable seems to have ground wires; they are the bare copper ones twisted together. TURN OFF POWER TO ALL WIRES IN THE BOX.
1. Make a drawing of which wires go to which switch before you take out the old ones. Perhaps label each wire with masking tape and number them.
2. Put in new box
3. Run cables into box; if plastic, extend the ground wires via short pieces of ground wire to the ground screw on the new switches. If metal, do the same but also run a ground to the box itself. Should be a green grounding screw for this.
4. Put wires on new switches following your wiring diagram from step 1.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:19 AM   #7
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You do not, and cannot, ground a plastic box.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Your old cable seems to have ground wires; they are the bare copper ones twisted together. TURN OFF POWER TO ALL WIRES IN THE BOX.
1. Make a drawing of which wires go to which switch before you take out the old ones. Perhaps label each wire with masking tape and number them.
2. Put in new box
3. Run cables into box; if plastic, extend the ground wires via short pieces of ground wire to the ground screw on the new switches. If metal, do the same but also run a ground to the box itself. Should be a green grounding screw for this.
4. Put wires on new switches following your wiring diagram from step 1.

Kinda what I did except without all the documentation . Now I cant get things working they way they should.

I have two switches, one should control the hall light the other the outside light. There also appears to be a receptical on the same circuit. I can get it where one switch controls the hall light but then the other controls the outside light and the recpetical! I'm driving myself mad here! any advice as to how I can fix?
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:46 PM   #9
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You could add three tails off the grounds and connect one to each switch.

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