What To Do With The Ground Wire
By Dave Rongey - Summary:
Grounding Wall Outlets and Light Switches: What to do When there is Nothing to Attach the Ground Wire, Grounding Wall Outlets and Light Switches, Ground Wires and Ungrounded Fixtures and Boxes, Bonding the Ground Wire.
Where and How to Attach a Ground Wire
- I understand that on a porcelain ceiling lamp holder cooper wiring devices you do not need a ground wire and there is no place for it.
- I am not wiring to anything that is metal, and the devices are porcelain and plastic blue boxes.
- What do I do with the ground wire that is in the Romex electrical cable?
- Do I just trash it or should I attach it to the screws that are attaching the porcelain fixture to the blue round box?
Thanks for the help just not sure what to do with ground could use nut just to put on it, heck I don’t know.
This electrical wiring question came from: Bob, a Homeowner from Gibson, Tennessee.
Additional Comments: I love this site because it is a big help to us who are unsure and it helps us with safety issues. Thank you for your help.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Bob, This is a very good question.
How to Ground Wall Outlets Light Switches and Fixtures
Application: Wiring Outlets and Light Fixtures.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Grounding Wall Outlets and Light Switches
- Bonding the Ground Wire Whenever Possible
- The ground wire is the most important wire of any electrical circuit because it protects the circuit components by providing a path to earth ground if an electrical fault should occur.
- All ground wires are part of the EGS or Equipment Grounding System which is bonded at the main electrical panel.
- At the main panel, the equipment grounding system has one or more main connections which bond the electrical system to earth ground to provide a low resistance path to ground.
- Ground wires are typically attached to a ground screw or screw terminal connection on either the light fixture, receptacle outlet, or electrical devices or components including the electrical junction box, or ground lead wire from light fixtures and other the electrical devices which provide a connection for the ground wire.
What to do When there is Nothing to Attach the Ground Wire
- Ground Wires and Ungrounded Fixtures and Boxes
- When you have a ground wire and there is no place to attach it then place a wire connector over the end, coil up the ground wire and push it back into the electrical junction box.
- IMPORTANT: Never cut the ground wire off.
- Devices such as a porcelain lamp holder may not have a place to attach a ground wire because the fixture is not made of a metallic material which can conduct electricity.
Additional Resources about Grounding
Electrical Grounding Methods and Requirements
- Listing of electrical codes for grounding with examples of electrical grounding codes for home electrical wiring.
The Following will assist you with Grounding:
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
- Electrical Junction Boxes for Home Wiring
- Understanding electrical junction boxes and what they are used for. Home electrical wiring is the process of installing electrical wire to a location that will serve electrical devices or an appliance. One very important component is the box where the wire will be installed. The type and size of the home wiring electrical boxes will depend upon the circuit size, application and its location.
This link is helpful as a Homeowner
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.
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