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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default light switches missing ground wire

    I have a 30 year old house and I am in the process of replacing some light switches. I have replaced several before in the past (different house) fine but this time I discovered that the ground wire is not attached to the switch in all of the ones I have looked at so far. The ground wire is there and connected to other ground wires from other wire runs but just not to the switch. Is there a reason why you would not want to connect the switch to the ground wire as well?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: light switches missing ground wire

    Do you have plastic boxes or metal boxes? If they are metal boxes is the ground wire attached to a grounding screw in the back of the box?

    Given my last sentence being the case then some devices have an extra clip around one of the device attachment screws that makes them self grounding and you should be able to see this clip on your switches.

    If they are in plastic boxes then yes, they need the ground wire attached to the device to meet current code as well as code from 30 years ago……………. (At least, 30 years ago we were attaching the ground wire to switches installed in plastic boxes. Code required or not.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: light switches missing ground wire

    The boxes are those really old brown ones. (fiberglass material maybe?) So they are not the conductive boxes.

    I figured that it was not right, thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: light switches missing ground wire

    Quote Originally Posted by vastator View Post
    The boxes are those really old brown ones................................
    I must have installed thousands of those "really old" brown ones.

    Guess that makes me?.................... LOL!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,486

    Default Re: light switches missing ground wire

    Quote Originally Posted by kentvw View Post
    I must have installed thousands of those "really old" brown ones.

    Guess that makes me?.................... LOL!
    Brown?

    Vastator, not that it matters, the brown boxes are made of bakolite, still non-conductive, still need the ground wire to the switch.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: light switches missing ground wire

    Many an old old timer never bothered with the ground wire. Thank god some just left it in the box.
    Common practice in PA was to wind it around a Romex clamp if available.

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