Grounding an Electrical Outlet

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Ground an Outlet that Does not have a Ground Wire

How to Ground an Outlet that Does not have a Ground Wire

Electrical Question: How can I bond ground wires to a receptacle if there isn’t one?

This electrical question came from: David, a Handyman from Union City, NJ
See more about Home Wiring for New Jersey

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question David.

Grounding an Electrical Outlet

Options for Installing Outlets And Ground Wires

Grounding Outlets and Receptacles

  • David, when installing outlets that have a ground prong the outlet must be connected to a ground wire.
  • If a ground wire is not available then a two-wire outlet must be installed.
  • Two-wire outlets may be obtained from most hardware stores, a wholesale electrical distributor in your area, or from several sources on the internet.

Upgrading the Electrical Wiring

  • Upgrading home electrical wiring is always recommended.
  • The qualified electrician will install new electrical cable which will contain a ground wire which will enable the use of three-wire grounded outlets.
  • Plan your upgrade electrical wiring through your local building department and with your knowledgeable electrician who will review your home wiring system and make wise recommendations.


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2 Responses to “Grounding an Electrical Outlet”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    This is a great point that you are making, and yes – where there is a solid metallic conduit, fittings and junction box assembly that is recognized as an approved path for the ground, such as Electrical Metallic Conduit EMT, then a ground wire may be attached using an approved green grounding screw to the provided grounding attachment in the metal box, and the ground wire may be fastened to the ground terminal of the device such as a switch or receptacle.
    Thank you for your comment,

  2. Gary Oliwa says:

    Regarding your answer on grounding an electrical outlet when there isn’t a ground wire present, IF the outlet box is metal (not plastic) and IF the cable coming in is grounded metal jacketed or grounded conduit, then isn’t it OK to connect a wire to the metal box and outlet ground?


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