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Old 07-01-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
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I'm going to switch out an old metal gang box in the basement. It only has one source in Romex 12/2 direct from main box and has two wires out: 12/2 and another in metal sheathing. I want to get rid of the metal sheathing line which isn't quite long enough to minor adjustment I want to make and then from that I'm going on to two more outlets.

But I'm spooked by what I found in the metal gang box that I went to take down: Normally, in a simple straight through connection as this junction box I would just connect all blacks, all whites, and all grounds, using plastic gangbox.
But this metal box was connected as follows: All 3 blacks together; 2 whites (source in and through Romex); and white from outgoing metal sheathed is connected with all three grounds and that's all.
I would like to replace MC cable with Romex and just connect all whites, blacks, grounds together respectively like I normally do, but not if there is a reason for what I found in this box.
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James
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiegoJames View Post
... an old metal gang box in the basement. It only has one source in Romex 12/2 direct from main box and has two wires out: 12/2 and another in metal sheathing.

But this metal box was connected as follows: All 3 blacks together; 2 whites (source in and through Romex);
The above, in BOLD, is ambiguous. Is the Romex the source, or not?

Sounds like you have Romex (12/2) feeding the box, and 4-wires - BBWW -inside one piece of MC feeding other outlets/ ??
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:42 AM   #3
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The white should be connected with all the other whites.
Your initial assumption was correct. Match all the wires by colour.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:11 AM   #4
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to sirsparksalot: yes, the source is the romex. and there are two outs, one is romex and one is the metal sheathed.

joed: It was connected so strangely that I had to ask to make sure I wasn't undoing something that was supposed to be different. I'm redoing it and connecting it like any other simple junction box.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiegoJames
white from outgoing metal sheathed is connected with all three grounds
Are you saying the white and bare ground wires are connected together?
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:10 PM   #6
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If you still have the BX cable aka metal sheaded cable you have to use the metal junciton box this is the typical way to get the grounding "conductor " working properly and watch the connectors to make sure they are tight if loose you may not get good grounding connection at all.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #7
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follow up to dgfit and frenchelectrician


dgfit: Yes, I found the white from the metal clad cable connected to all the grounds instead of the other whites.

frenchelectrician: this is what I suspected, that the white to the grounds had to do with grounding the metal clad, and it did have a metal box.

But I got rid of the metal clad and the metal box and it's just a normal junction box with all whites, blacks, and grounds nutted to each other respectively.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
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dgfit: Yes, I found the white from the metal clad cable connected to all the grounds instead of the other whites.
I'm a DIYer so don't take anything I say as advice - I'm here to learn and my comments here are to test my understanding as much as anything else. I welcome any corrections to this.

If I understand correctly, assuming the white wire was being used correctly as the neutral conductor of the circuit, and assuming the metal sheatihng was correctly bonded to the equipment grounding system then the setup you found could have been dangerous in that it would allow normal circuit current to travel the entire equipment grounding system (water pipes, all other equipment cabinets, etc.). If for any reason the normal neutral conductor on this circuit back to the panel was lost then all of the current would be traveling over the equipment grounding system.

I would have made the same change you did, but given that there was one instance of such a setup I would go looking for others to make sure there were no additional safety issues.
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