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Old 04-16-2017, 09:34 AM  
dglass4321
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Default Grounding Switches

We started a refresh of our 22 year old kitchen. We are having the cabinets refinished, new appliances, LED lighting and new flooring. I'm replacing the old white outlets and switches with black ones to compliment the granite. I'm finding that all the new switches have a ground screw. Why is this necessary? I understand about grounding outlets but why switches? It seems like it is unnecessary since a switch isn't a complete circuit.


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Old 04-16-2017, 12:08 PM  
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Not the classic scientific answer, but since there is current present, there has to be a way to ground it. And AFAIK all components (fixtures, boxes, etc.) need to be grounded throughout the circuit.


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Old 04-16-2017, 12:27 PM  
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Every switch has a hot lead connected to it.

Between melamine and plastic boxes, there were metal boxes and there was a ground connection through the metal frame of the switch, the screw to the box, however this only worked if the box was bonded and/or there was a grnd. conductor present.

So, plastic boxes, wet hands=murphy's law. Code are designed to protect you, from you.
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:31 PM  
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I can understand all of that but I guess I was unclear on the topic. I neglected to mention that none of the old switches had grounding lugs. I installed them myself 22 years ago when we built the house. And they aren't an odd brand; they are Levitron Decora switches that I bought at Home Depot and they do not have grounding lugs. Obviously during the past 22 years it became a requirement. What is frustrating is that very few of the switch boxes have a ground wire present and the boxes are plastic so what am I supposed to ground to!
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:35 PM  
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You could add a short piece of wire but also take note that the box has a piece of steel that runs up one end to connect the ground to the switch when the switch is screwed in place.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:37 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dglass4321 View Post
I can understand all of that but I guess I was unclear on the topic. I neglected to mention that none of the old switches had grounding lugs. I installed them myself 22 years ago when we built the house. And they aren't an odd brand; they are Levitron Decora switches that I bought at Home Depot and they do not have grounding lugs. Obviously during the past 22 years it became a requirement. What is frustrating is that very few of the switch boxes have a ground wire present and the boxes are plastic so what am I supposed to ground to!
If there is no grnd conductor present, then you just ignore it, because you cannot and are not required to correct the uncorrectable.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:43 PM  
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If there is no grnd conductor present, then you just ignore it, because you cannot and are not required to correct the uncorrectable.
House 22 years old, has a ground.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:53 PM  
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House 22 years old, has a ground.
From post #4; "What is frustrating is that very few of the switch boxes have a ground wire present and the boxes are plastic so what am I supposed to ground to!"
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:01 PM  
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From post #4; "What is frustrating is that very few of the switch boxes have a ground wire present and the boxes are plastic so what am I supposed to ground to!"
If the original switches didn't have a ground screw it would be reasonable for some one to wrap the screw in the box and cut the extra wire off. Then the ground strap will do the job.
If there is no ground there, non of this will matter much.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:09 PM  
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q1: so 22 years ago, you installed plastic boxes?
q2: is there a bare ground wire in the wire runs (white, black, bare or green)?


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