I'm in the middle of replacing the outlets in my house when I came across the following conundrum: it appears that the grounding wire was connected to the outlet and potentially snapped off when removing it from the wall. Outlet with grounding wire attached

However, when looking at the metal box receptacle, the grounding wire seems to have been clipped to the side. Grounding cable clipped to box

Does this make the box grounded? Can I install the new outlet without the grounding wire, or do I have to remove the wire from the box and extend it with a cap?

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    I don't know if that clip is considered good grounding or if you need a screw into the back of the box. But once you have good grounding, if you use a "self grounding" receptacle and have clean metal-to-metal between receptacle yoke and box (you may need to scrape some paint off) then you do not need a ground wire to the receptacle. Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 21:22
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact I do not think there is any "may need", just scraping.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 21:27
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact That's a standard style grounding clip that makes good compression contact between wire, clip and box inside its central "tunnel".
    – Armand
    Commented Jul 1, 2023 at 6:03

1 Answer 1


As far as grounding the metal box, the ground clip covers it and your work is complete. It's done. Nice finish!

As far as grounding the receptacle, if you want to use an el cheapo receptacle, you will need to get a 10-32 ground screw and screw it into that smallest bole in the back of the box, the one that looks threaded.

If you would prefer to use a commercial / spec grade receptacle - $3 and come in a box - that will have a "self-grounding" feature to let it ground off the metal box like a switch does. GFCIs generally come with that feature.

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