I've been replacing a few light switch in the house. Ran into a small snag. Old house, so there isn't a ground wire in the box for the switch, just the line and load wires. I've connected the new light switch ground wire to the metal box that is holding it, by attaching it to one of the screws that connects to the box.

Is it good enough or shoddy work? Should I still run a ground wire to the box to do it right? I'm not an electrician just a DIYer.

  • thanks, how do I move it?
    – Chris
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 4:19
  • 1
    we'll raise some flags and a modirator will move it. the guys in DIY will want to see some photos of the inside of the box.
    – Jasen
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 7:40
  • Grounding it to the box is great, except that the box itself isn't grounded. You've given the current a larger surface to travel over but still haven't given it a way to get to ground. If the box itself does have a ground wire attached to it (and the other end is properly grounded), then you're good to go.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 13:14
  • Can you post photos of the inside of the box please? Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


You can add a ground wire to the box from the panel that feeds it if you want to. If there is conduit it is using the conduit as the ground. With older homes you are not required to update the wiring in this case add a ground wire if the box is not connected to ground I almost never suggest lighting be updated to add grounds but regularly do suggest receptacles have GFCI protection added and or a ground wire added (the ability to add a separate ground is somewhat new in the past this was not code compliant) So it is up to you.

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