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Questions tagged [grounding]

Grounding (also called earthing) refers to the practice of providing an un-energized path back to the main neutral. This is done to allow any electrical faults to flow into that circuit, instead of anyone touching the fault. Use with the [electrical] tag.

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32 votes
5 answers
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Is it ok to have mixed grounds and neutrals on bars in a breaker box?

So to continue my line of electrical questioning (and perhaps narrow down my flickering light problem), I took a look through the two panels in this house. There is a 200amp main service in the ...
MarkD's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
326k views

Where does the ground wire go in a 3-prong dryer cord configuration?

We moved to a new place where the dryer connection is 3-prong instead of 4-prong. The dryer was originally 4-prong, so we bought a 3-prong cord and installed it. It works fine, except I am not ...
Confluence's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
83k views

Is an explicit ground wire required through steel conduit?

We just bought a Chicago-area house and found that there's no ground wire in some of the recently re-wired areas. I thought that the national electrical code requires a ground wire for new ...
glenviewjeff's user avatar
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20 votes
4 answers
154k views

I have a 3-pronged receptacle but no ground wire connected to it. Is this ok?

I removed the plates from outlets to paint walls and noticed that some of my electric boxes have ground wires connected to outlets while others do not have a green wire at all. Is this ok? I know ...
user443854's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
406k views

How should I connect the ground wire for my light fixture?

I am replacing a light fixture in my bathroom and have the following setup: The electrical box is plastic The wire coming from supply has black (hot), white (neutral) and copper (ground). The light ...
SwDevMan81's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
31k views

How do I add grounding to my old electrical wiring?

This old house is (50's) is wired with cloth covered 12/2 Romex with no ground and all metal boxes. Can I just run a 12 ga or 14 ga solid wire between boxes and then to the ground bus of my service ...
scott's user avatar
  • 73
47 votes
7 answers
283k views

Why does this receptacle have the ground tied to the neutral?

I was replacing some outlets in my house with tamper-resistant ones, and came across one where the white and ground were wired together, as seen in this picture. Why? Is that okay or appropriate ...
Scott Stafford's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
272k views

Is it okay to have an ungrounded light fixture?

I recently moved into an older home (built in 1968) and have been replacing some of the older light fixtures. We pulled down one of the lights and found that there is a ground running into the box but ...
rynmrtn's user avatar
  • 349
10 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why am I getting shocked by a water heater?

Background: I live in Metro Manila, Philippines where the electric distribution company, Meralco, delivers split-phase power to residential buildings. Our old (1980s) Meralco service drop consists ...
Darwin Bautista's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
60k views

Can I safely ground a light fixture if the ceiling box has two hot and one neutral wire (no ground wire)

Checking for dupes, I saw this question, but the situation appears different as my box is metal, among other things. I'm fairly new to electrical projects, so bear with me. I recently installed a new ...
Jaydles's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
120k views

How do I know what size grounding conductor is required?

Is there an international standard that specifies the size of the grounding conductor to bond a metallic part of the installation to a grounding bar?. And to connect the grounding bar to the ...
user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
265k views

How do I properly ground my subpanel that only has one neutral/ground bar?

I am adding a sub panel in an unattached building. My sub panel has the connection for the 2 hot wires coming from the source panel (a 40 amp double breaker) In addition it has one neutral/ground bar ...
javelong's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
80k views

No Ground Wires - Can I connect a wire to the metal box for ground?

I want to install new z-wave light switches that require a ground, but it appears that none of the electrical boxes in my house have ground wires and the previous light switches didn't use a ground. ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 73
7 votes
2 answers
11k views

How can I determine if my outlets can easily be grounded?

I'm not sure what to do here. I just moved into a building and my outlets are all 2 prong outlets. Here is what I know of for sure: All the outlets are 2 prong outlets The bathroom outlet has the red/...
myermian's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
3k views

Grounding a 3-prong dryer receptacle

I just bought a house, and my new washer/dryer is being delivered tomorrow. I have the older style 3-prong 240V outlet, which I know I'm allowed to still use. I also have a 2-prong 120V outlet next to ...
Rick's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
15k views

2 prong to 3 prong outlet help

I don't know too much about replacing outlets, only what I've read online or through YouTube videos. The house was built in the early 50s. Some outlets have been replaced (brand new kitchen) but some ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
4 answers
34k views

Dryer Outlet - 4 prong to 3 prong

Our new dryer has 3 prongs vs. 4. We are changing to the new 3 prong dryer outlet, but want to make sure we are grounding. The wires coming from the wall our white, red & black - the the copper ...
Molly's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
209 views

Is it possible to add a retorfit ground wire to a (3-wire) Type SE, Style U cable from another branch?

Would it be possible to add #10AWG GROUND from another branch (hot-water heater 30A circuit) in order to retrofit ground and replace a 3-wire receptacle with a 4-wire one to be able to use it for an ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 193
2 votes
1 answer
680 views

Installation of a GFCI without a ground wire

I'm installing a GFCI plug in a house built prior to 1962. The receptacle box is plastic and has only a 'HOT' & 'Neutral' wire coming into it. Do I need a ground wire to properly install the GFCI? ...
Doug's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
4k views

Can I run a new ground wire from junction box in attic down the wall to replace 2 prong outlet

I have an older home where some of the house has updated electrical and some doesn't. In a few rooms I still have several of the 2 prong outlets with no ground wire in the box and I want to replace ...
ctorx's user avatar
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1 vote
8 answers
45k views

Since neutral is connected to ground how is current kept off of ground?

If neutral is connected to ground and current desires ground then I would think it would go to ground. But my understanding is that it is kept off of ground until it's "upstream" of the breaker box, ...
Doug's user avatar
  • 39
1 vote
4 answers
29k views

Can I run a sub-panel with only 3 conductors?

I am going to be adding a 3-wire fed subpanel to a dwelling. My understanding of the plan of attack is attached below (Please forgive my crappy, minimalistic MS-Paint schematics). As you'll notice, ...
Gabe Evans's user avatar
27 votes
4 answers
9k views

Why don't electrical receptacles have more than one ground?

All modern receptacles have places for additional hot/neutral wires so you can add more outlets in series, but they all have a single screw or hole for the ground wire. Why don't they have two ground ...
cds333's user avatar
  • 393
24 votes
3 answers
21k views

Why don't I have ground wiring on any of my outlets?

My house in California was built in 1989 (I believe) And in the last 5 years I've replaced at least 20 outlets myself (successfully), and noticed there were never any ground wires to connect to the ...
Outdated Computer Tech's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
21k views

What are these orange outlets directly attached to my breaker box?

I haven't noticed these over the years I've owned my home. Only recently I happened to look down and think "huh, that's odd, why are those outlets colored bright orange." I have, over the ...
William's user avatar
  • 559
11 votes
6 answers
37k views

Acceptable ground to neutral voltage?

First of all I'm pretty sure I know the theory behind the effect. I know about the inductive and capacitive coupling, about 3-phase balance problems and about ground bounce, so this question isn't ...
AndrejaKo's user avatar
  • 539
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

How can I ground old 2-prong receptacles? (120V)

I have several old receptacles that are 2-prong. There is armored cable running from the breaker panel to each receptacle. What do I need to do in order to install and properly ground new 3-prong ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 6,441
6 votes
4 answers
6k views

Cloth-covered NM questions

My 50s era ranch home is wired using cloth-covered NM, as you can see in these photos (taken in a basement closet located under the stairwell where the NM is run exposed): Should I be suspicious of ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
114k views

Is it ok to use a ground rod at a subpanel instead of a fourth wire?

I understand running the neutral wire back to the main service panel and not bonding the subpanel... but running the equipment ground back to the main panel seems to get conflicting answers. If ...
Roko100's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is an acceptable way to ground receptacles branched off of an old 2-wire electrical circuit?

I have a house built in the '50s, and some of the runs are done with what appear to be original 12/2 cloth-sheathed wire without a grounding conductor (just hot and neutral). I'm looking to install ...
Ross Edfort's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
753 views

Where should shielded data cables be grounded?

In the comments on this question (Using PEX as wire conduit), the issue of grounding shielded data cables on one end vs both ends came up. For any arrangement of cables (ex. single cable, multiple ...
Hari's user avatar
  • 2,210
4 votes
3 answers
686 views

Can outlet circuit ground wires be connected to the panel ground wire?

Introduction My house initially had many outlets grounded to the copper plumbing using ground pipe clamps like this one which I know are no longer allowed via code: I have gone through and replaced ...
Eric F's user avatar
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4 votes
6 answers
21k views

Why is the neutral tied to ground in my home's electrical panel? [duplicate]

What keeps the Electric from shorting to ground? On my electric panel the Neutral is tied to the ground. The ground is a bare copper wire run back to my water main. a. Electricity chooses the path ...
Darin Friesen's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
954 views

8 AWG solid EGC in raceway for 100 amp subpanel

I'm adding a 100 amp subpanel to my detached garage and have a question about the EGC I've already pulled through the underground LFNC-B raceway. Taking the advice from a similar post on this forum, I ...
Jon's user avatar
  • 33
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Ground a dryer converting to a 3-prong cord - manufacturer hardware missing

I need to change the cord on an electric dryer from 4-prong to 3-prong. My questions concern 1) what to do with the ground when moving to the 3-prong dryer and 2) how to test whether the installation ...
techxorcist's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

100a Subpanel - Detached Garage Plan Review with Schematic

Previous Conversation below. Here is the revised plan - which now includes #6 Bare Copper wire throughout the run from main panel to new sub panel. Is this plan good to go at this point? Would you ...
YellowBear's user avatar
3 votes
7 answers
94k views

Grounding requirements for main panel and subpanel

I recently had my main service professionally upgraded to 200A and had a 60A subpanel installed in my master suite to support future additions. All work passed city inspection, for whatever that's ...
ErikR's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
4 answers
11k views

Looking for or adding a ground to an existing NEMA 10-30 socket

I have an unused older 3-wire dryer socket (NEMA 10-30R) in my garage, I would like to upgrade this to a NEMA 14-30 socket with an separate ground. I'll be using this for an EVSE unit for electrical ...
kbyrd's user avatar
  • 349
3 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is it bad to have multiple grounding electrodes?

I think this question gets close to answering my question, but I am not quite sure. I have a detached structure, powered by a feeder from the main panel where the ground and neutral are bonded. The ...
Hari's user avatar
  • 2,210
2 votes
1 answer
79k views

Where do I attach the grounding conductor to my bedroom light fixture?

I have a problem, I broke the center piece that holds the glass part on my light fixture in my room. I purchased a replacement and removed the two screws holding my fixture on to the ceiling. Now I ...
Lisa's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
2 answers
7k views

Suitability of flexible metallic conduit serving as ground

EDIT: The attached photo is the most easily accessible example of the conduit used in the entire house. This shows the conduit attached to the garbage disposal with the previously mentioned 3/4 set ...
bobfandango's user avatar
  • 1,401
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Rewiring Garage, building grounds

I'm rewiring my garage from in my opinion is an odd setup. In my house panel (200A split phase) there is a 20A breaker there is a junction somewhere ( I haven't traced it out yet which branches this ...
mreff555's user avatar
  • 1,287
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can I use the metal cladding of a cable as ground for this range installation?

I have a pre-existing #6-3 cable (without ground) with metal cladding on a 50-A two-pole circuit that was wired into a range. As shown in the photo, this cable has only black, red, and white ...
rhymes_with_dorange's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
218 views

Retrofit ground wire from water main ground

I am replacing an old oven. It is currently wired with 3 wire (AL SE cable) and has no dedicated ground run. I would like to install a proper 4 wire outlet for the new range. Am I allowed to use the ...
justing's user avatar
  • 203
1 vote
2 answers
3k views

Installing grounded light fixture on box with no ground conductor

I'm installing a brand new motion activated security light to an existing box on my garage. After removing the old light, I notice it only has white/black wiring while the new light fixture has of ...
Gary Quantz's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
126 views

On a outdoor subpanel can the grounding rod wire be bonded directly to the inside of the metal electric panel?

On an outdoor sub panel with grounding rods can I bond the grounding rod's wire directly to the inside of the metal electric panel, and then attach all the other ground wires to a grounding bar. The ...
Commander David's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
254 views

Surge Arrester/Surge Protection Device (SPD) Type 2 Installation and its external Short Circuit Protection Device

BACKGROUND I live in a small town where it is difficult to find certified electricians. In fact, electrician certification is not common for residential installations. I did find some experienced ...
Daniel Denny Dillan's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
79 views

How do i ground a new overhead light fixture? I'm replacing a 2 wire fixture with a new 3 wire fixture wich includes a ground wire

How do I ground a new overhead light fixture? I'm replacing a 2 wire fixture with no grounding wire with a new 3 wire fixture which includes a ground wire.
Michael O'Haver's user avatar
29 votes
3 answers
11k views

How did my ground and neutral become energized by a short in the buried main line?

Long post, because I'm not sure what information is critical. The ultimate question is what, if anything, I need to do to ensure there are no hazardous conditions in my home. Friday night, the ...
Larry's user avatar
  • 407
27 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why am I getting shocked touching an outdoor faucet?

In a farm setting, my brother asked me what could cause him to get a shock from an outdoor hose bib at the pump house? He was prepping for freezing weather and disconnecting hoses from hose bibs. ...
George Anderson's user avatar