I have a 20 amp circuit and a 15 amp circuit coming together in a 2-gang box. I have to connect all the ground wires together. Is it ok that I am connecting 14 gauge wire to 12 gauge wire for the ground connections?

  • A more comprehensive description, or a picture would be helpful. – Brad Gilbert Jun 5 '14 at 17:03

Assuming US here.

As long as there are both 12 gauge and 14 gauge grounds going back to the (same) electrical panel, that will be fine. The reason for this, is that if something shorts out, it will take the "path of least resistance" to ground. If there is at LEAST a 12 gauge and a 14 gauge path to ground, the 20 A and 15 A circuit will each have "big enough" paths to ground. (actually, now the path to ground is even bigger, assuming that the two circuits don't short at the same time).

  • Is it a bad idea because of the creation of ground loops (for noise)? What if they are coming from separate electrical panels, or can circuits from separate panels not be shared in a single box? – Pigrew Jun 6 '14 at 19:21
  • No it is not a bad idea because it is code required. IMO "ground loops" are highly over played, especially in a residential setting. They are essentially a non-issue but are used as a scape goat for other problems. – Speedy Petey Jun 6 '14 at 20:15
  • Ground loops do frequently exist between say, your cable/satellite ground and electrical ground. But not so much two electrical grounds. It shouldn't be an issue. – Grant Jun 6 '14 at 22:18

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