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Old 12-11-2011, 09:23 PM   #1
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Valid reasons why ground wires in a j-box would not be spliced together?


I recently bought my first house, built in the 1950's.

#1 - Underneath the basement stairs there's a round plastic junction box with some 14-2 going in and 14-2 going out. It looked to me like there could have been a light fixture there at some point. I decided to install a pull string light to the box and when I opened it up the neutrals and hots were spliced together just fine but the grounds were just floating there in the breeze. This box is in the middle of a circuit with various other lights/outlets on it, by the way. (I did go ahead and splice the grounds together). The light and the rest of the circuit work. Maybe I should try wiring in an outlet instead and then use a receptacle tester on it?

#2 - I also came across a similar situation in my kitchen where there's a GFCI and then a switch to the light above the sink. 14-2 coming into the box and then 14-2 going up to the light. Both ground wires in the 14-2 just floating in the breeze. (I spliced the grounds from the 14-2 to the outlet and switch, so four grounds total spliced together; GFCI wired to protect the light switch downstream and tests correctly with my receptacle tester).

I couldn't think of any scenario that would require the grounds to just be sitting there doing nothing but maybe someone smarter than me can.

Thanks,

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Old 12-11-2011, 09:43 PM   #2
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Valid reasons why ground wires in a j-box would not be spliced together?


twist them together and wire nut them

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Old 12-11-2011, 10:14 PM   #3
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Valid reasons why ground wires in a j-box would not be spliced together?


Some people just do the minimum amount of work needed to get something to work.

Grounds should be tied together and connected to fixtures, switches, outlets.

I would check all the new wiring in that house for similar surprises.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:03 PM   #4
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Valid reasons why ground wires in a j-box would not be spliced together?


That might be a sign that your grounds go nowhere and the person knew this and didn't care to take the 5 seconds to connect them.

Trace everything back to their origin: is the house-electrical groudned at all?
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:44 AM   #5
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Valid reasons why ground wires in a j-box would not be spliced together?


When I bought the house it had a 60 amp panel so as part of the sale the seller agreed to upgrade it to 100 amp service. There is a ground that connects to the water entry point in the house and then goes back to the panel and into a spike outside. Since the city inspected it my hope is that everything was done properly on the service end.

The only thing I can think of is that both of these boxes are plastic so maybe the person was just so dumb that they figured since it was plastic there was no way to ground it.

Needless to say this ruined my whole Sunday and will probably consume many days to follow as I obsess about whether or not I'm living inside of a potential tinder box. I wanted to see if I could put an AFCI on this circuit for some peace of mind but the hot for the breaker enters the panel with a half dozen other wires from a conduit run and I haven't taken the time to figure out what's what.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:25 AM   #6
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Valid reasons why ground wires in a j-box would not be spliced together?


This might be a possibility- though I doubt it: they wren't wrapped with a nut but just squished together. None of the grounds in this house were properly connected - they were just losely twisted together.

I think people don't understand the purpose of the ground - and don't think about it and if it works without the gorund then why bother? . . . like it's a mystery element of excess.

We're just all being paranoid - for no reason - completely insane we are.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:42 AM   #7
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Valid reasons why ground wires in a j-box would not be spliced together?


There's never a reason not to have all grounding wires continuously connected.

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