I just replaced my dishwasher, and noticed that the old unit had two wire connections: black-to-black wire and white-to-white wire. The ground wire from the home was exposed and wrapped around a screw on the unit.

Now, my new unit has a green wire for ground. Is it okay to simply connect the exposed ground wire to the green wire on the unit? The alternative would be to re-strip all of the wires so that the ground is not exposed (but, I'd rather not).


  • The big question is where does this exposed ground wire go?? If it simply attaches to a water pipe that is NOT a valid or safe grounding source anymore. This is why using a pipe for a ground was removed from the code a long time ago. – Speedy Petey Dec 14 '14 at 23:06
  • From the OP comments below there was concern that the bare ground wire may be insulated in the romex. In most cases the ground wire in romex is a bare wire. It dosent need to be taped just connected to the green screw in the dishwasher junction box or wire nutted to the insulated green wire in the junction. – Ed Beal Feb 22 '18 at 15:42

grounding in a home IS exposed. Consider every metal water line, gas line - in older homes those were used as the grounding mechanism. The ground is connected to the metal body of appliances, tools etc. In case of short in the system the current will pass through the body of the appliance through the ground wire to the panel and then to the dedicated ground rod.

What you should do is check to see that the wire is actually grounded. If you can read 110V on a meter when one lead it connected to the 'hot' lead and the other meter lead is connected to the ground - then usually indicates good ground.

  • Confirmed. Thanks for the tip. Definitely a ground. I was just unclear if I should be wrapping it with electrical tape to prevent it from being exposed to other wires (though the other wires are insulated). – nramraj Dec 14 '14 at 22:47
  • First off, the ground rod has NOTHING to do with fault clearing. So it should play no role in this conversation. Second, simply reading 120V on a meter from a hot source to something grounded does NOT mean that is a "good" or valid ground. – Speedy Petey Dec 14 '14 at 23:04
  • Speedy, Note that I noted that a completed circuit through the hot and a wire thought to be grounded could be tested by seeing if it completed the circuit. I said it "usually indicates a good ground. My point was to determine for the average homeowner if the wire was indeed connected to ground. His main concern was the lack of insulation, to which I pointed out - the very nature of exposed surfaces on grounded systems. No where did he ask about fault clearing and unless he was an electrician would I expect such a question. – Chileab Construction Dec 14 '14 at 23:15
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    The fact that the wire is bare is of absolutely no consequence. It's the fact that it may be an unsafe or illegitimate ground that matters. Once we know where the wire goes we can know for sure. – Speedy Petey Dec 15 '14 at 2:12
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    Yes Speedy, I have never heard of fault clearing, that is why I asked - to learn. I of course know that one function of a breaker is to open the circuit in the advent of direct short in the circuit. I also know that the path of the current if routed to ground wire goes to ground - usually through the ground rod. I agree with the importance of knowing that the ground wire actually goes to ground - and I tried to stress that point. Would you please enlighten us as how you would verify a ground wire is 'legitimate'. – Chileab Construction Dec 15 '14 at 8:22

Residential Dishwashers are connected with a cord. The ground wire is the most important wire because it is intended to keep people safe from shock hazards. Unlike the NM cables (romex) that runs throughout your home cords come with an insulated ground. Some dishwashers have a ground wire and some have a grounding screw that the green wire of the cord needs to connect to. The main thing here is to make sure you are grounded. Grounds come insulated and non insulated but they both preform the same function. Insulation on a ground wire is intended to keep that wire from touching live parts or electrical systems. I am not sure how your dishwasher is connected. Does it have a cord that plugs into an receptacle or is it connected to a piece of romex?

  • My dishwasher doesn't have a plug. It has has a green insulated ground wire that is already wrapped around the ground screw. The existing cord from the home has an exposed ground wire. I'm fairly certain that wire has to be connected to the green grounding wire on the dishwasher. I'm just not sure if I strip the cable from my home further down, I'll find that the ground is insulated. But, I'm not even sure if that matters at all. Can I just connect the exposed ground from my home cable to the dishwasher's green ground? – nramraj Dec 14 '14 at 19:43
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    Not all residential DW's are cord connected. Not even close. – Speedy Petey Dec 14 '14 at 23:05
  • @SpeedyPetey: In case someone reads this outside the USA, it may be worth noting that in some countries (perhaps in most countries with single-phase 220-240 VAC mains electricity supplies) household dishwashers are invariably plug-in appliances. – RedGrittyBrick Dec 15 '14 at 14:43
  • That is why I said "not all". I see more and more DWs with cord and plug these days, especially higher end models, but not nearly all. Some even come with a removable cord that is very similar to a PC power cord. – Speedy Petey Dec 15 '14 at 19:17

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