The electrician ran 14/3 to a metal box. There is no grounding post on the Kiddie i12010s smoke detector. Can I just cap the ground and call it done? Doesn’t seem right but I’m not sure how to proceed. smoke detector

  • What does that red wire connect to on the other side of the 14/3 cable? Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 21:45
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    It is a travel wire between units so they all alarm when one does. It’s not connected to the panel.
    – mreff555
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


That looks like a plastic box to me. If it is metal, code requires that the box be grounded. If all the external parts of the smoke detector are plastic then a ground is not required (the same is true with light fixtures).

I don’t usually cap bare grounds. I just tuck them in the box (the entire length is conductive, so I don’t see the point). If it makes you feel better, put a cap on it and tuck it in the box.

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    Defiantly plastic. It is blue (where not painted) and has drywall spacing nubs (left side of photo).
    – hildred
    Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 0:18
  • Ok you said metal in the question so I was not sure. But I would just tuck it in the box.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 0:32
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    I guess the point of capping a ground wire could be so it won't find its way into a small hole (e.g. a backstab?) Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 10:41
  • I do this professionally and do not use them in 45+ years I have not had a issue. Most electricians do the same it is rare to see a nut on a unused ground. But as I mentioned if it makes you feel better do it.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 13:13
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    No it is not required the only time I do anything with unused connectors is usually tape a spare set in the panel to keep them together. A un used red wire in a math room fixture I usually will tape or nut at both ends but that is more a courtesy than a requirement.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 20:52

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