enter image description here I am trying to replace a light switch (so it's white and matchs the room, it still works) but the switch in this room is not grounded (there is no ground screw, it's an older switch). There are two ground wires, which as I understand, one goes to the fixture and one comes from supply ( something like that). The wires were capped together.

1 Answer 1


The two bare wires in the box should be twisted together along with another short bare wire (about 4 - 6") called a pigtail, and capped with a wire nut. The other end of the pigtail should be attached to the grounding screw, shown in the picture, on the strap of the switch.

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    If the switch has screw terminals (other than the ground screw) it is important to keep them from coming into contact with any of the bare ground wires when pushing the switch into the junction box. Some electricians wrap electrical tape over the screw terminals for extra safety. Sep 15, 2017 at 2:06
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    I prefer to use green insulated for grounding pigtails. Sep 15, 2017 at 3:26
  • @JimStewart has a good point that reduces the chance of a problem described by AIBreveleri. But the vast majority of modern residential wiring uses bare grounds, so good practice calls for folding bare wires neatly to the back of the box and prophylactic taping.
    – bib
    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:35
  • @bib - Ahem. Vast majority of "US" residential wiring maybe. My understanding is that bare grounds aren't allowed in the UK.
    – AndyT
    Sep 15, 2017 at 15:29
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    @AndyT Good point. But the colors of the wires leads me to believe the questioner is North America based. And we often lag behind our British brethren (and sistren) in adopting good policy and practice.
    – bib
    Sep 15, 2017 at 15:38

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