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Electrical Conduit and Ground Wires

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Methods for Grounding Metallic Electrical Conduits – In some installations there will be bonding devices that will be required for proper bonding. So as long as these measures are in place then this should not have an effect on the performance of the GFCI outlet.

Metallic Electrical Conduit and Grounding Methods

Electrical Question: Do I need a ground wire even though everything is in conduit?
Could that be the reason a couple of my GFCI outlets keep popping?

This electrical question came from: Chad, a Handyman from Franklin Park, Illinois

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your Electrical Wiring Question Chad.
Great Question about grounding metal conduits Chad.

Methods for Grounding Metallic Electrical Conduits

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4 Responses to “Electrical Conduit and Ground Wires”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Robert – Great Question!
    When conduit is properly installed and bonded using approved conduit fittings the conduit serves as the ground path back to the panel. In a case such as this, typically a ground wire is attached to the metal junction box using a green grounding screw where a threaded hole is provided, or a hole may be drilled and tapped for the green ground screw. After installing the grounded receptacles, the integrity of the ground path of the conduit and the metal components of the circuit may be tested with a volt meter by placing one test lead onto a metal component and the other test lead onto the hot side of the circuit. The same test should be done with the hot and ground of the receptacle. If you are testing a GFCI outlet then this test will cause the GFCI outlet to trip, and that is a normal reaction.
    I hope this helps,

  2. Robert Mayfield says:

    I purchased a home that was built in 1965. The copper wiring is ran through conduit but there was no ground wire. The outlets are two prong.

    I want to change all of the outlets to three wire and ground them. Can I ground the new outlets to the conduit? or am I stuck with trying to fish wire through walls?

    Thanks in advance!

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Daniel,
    I must say – I had to smile a little while reading your comment, because I have had several conversations about this very same issue and concern.
    I might add that I have discovered countless receptacles during renovations where this method was installed, needless to say the wiring was…..

    See the expanded answer to this question at: Home Electrical System

  4. Daniel R Engel says:

    Dear Dave:

    When I worked in a steel mill for 20 years and wanted to revise some old outlets at home to grounded outlets, since I was a millwright, some of the industrial electricians taught me what was supposed to be an easy fix. They told me to install the new outlet with the 3 prong receptacle for the ground plug, but to add a ground wire from the neutral to ground on the outlet and I won’t have to rerun all the wiring from the box. This seemed like about 100 hours of work saved in addition to money, so I tried it out on one and plugged in a tester you buy at the building supply…

    See the full discussion about Home Electrical System Grounding