I went to install a Lurton 3-way motion sensor lightswitch in a three gang switch box. One of the other switches is a 3-way & the other is a 1-way for the porch light. I found all neutral wires tied together with a wire nut, BUT, all of the ground wires were also tied together with no connection to any of the switches. They are all inside a plastic switch box so none of the switches appeared to be grounded. The single switch box that contains the 3-way motion sensor switch was wired the same way. I can understand the neutral wires connected but each switch SHOULD be individually grounded. I connected each switch in the 3 gang switch box to aground wire (all switches on the same circuit) and now I’m reading 60 VAC on the ground wire of the 3-way Switch that’s connected to the motion sensor 3-way switch installed in the single switch box. That’s not good. Should I retie all of the ground wires and use pigtails to ground each switch?

  • It's often overlooked, but yes they should be grounded. Grounds must be pigtailed so removal of a device doesn't sever the ground for other stuff, Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 3:13

1 Answer 1


Yes, All of the grounds should all be tied together first and firmly bonded together and then from that connection point all the switches should be individually grounded. The neutrals are all tied together and stuffed into the back of the box. Ensure that a ground wire does not come into contact with any of the bare terminals on back of the devices.

  • That’s what I’m doing now. I’m also using insulated wires for pigtails to ensure there are no shorts. I thought it odd that NONE of the switches were grounded. This should solve that problem. Thanks!
    – Sean M.
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 1:43
  • Everything works fine now and the switches are properly grounded. To think that they were ungrounded for 30 years with a metal switch plate is a wonder no one was shocked. Thanks for your help!
    – Sean M.
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 2:48
  • 1
    No switching devices were grounded until about 15-years ago. This a relatively recent phenomenon. Receptacles weren't grounded prior to the early 60's.
    – Paul Logan
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 5:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.