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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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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
33 votes
2 answers
9k views

Why is my garage grounded ONLY when it rains?

My garage is not connected to my house and it's on a circuit that contains a few outlets inside the house as well. I found out the first time I tried to charge my PHEV that the entire circuit isn't ...
Andy Barnes's user avatar
32 votes
5 answers
497k views

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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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
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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
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27 votes
2 answers
8k views

The main ground on my house sparks when an appliance is turned on

When turning on high amp appliances like an air compressor or dust fan, the attachment of the ground from the meter box to the water main (pic) sparks occasionally for a second or so. A separate ...
Laramie's user avatar
  • 435
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
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
22 votes
4 answers
11k views

Is it OK to create a third prong ground from a cold water pipe, for a 2-wire circuit?

When or is it NEC code compliant to upgrade a 2-wire circuit, by adding a third prong equipment ground from a nearby cold water pipe? A different case of borrowing a ground from a nearby circuit is ...
Bryce's user avatar
  • 10.9k
20 votes
9 answers
34k views

I live in an older home without ground wiring. Is it safe to install 3-prong GFCI with only a hot and neutral?

I live in an older home that doesn't have any ground wiring. Is it safe to just install 3-prong GFCI outlets and use devices and appliances that expect a ground wire connection when I just have the ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 319
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
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
  • 1,283
19 votes
2 answers
4k views

Sketchy looking electrical outlet

I am updating older beige outlets to new white ones around my house. I saw this one has the grounding wire stabbed into the back and white wire not connected. What the heck is going on here? Any ...
Armstrong's user avatar
  • 191
19 votes
4 answers
7k views

Buying a home with 2 prong outlets but the bathroom has 3 prong outets

I'm looking at a home for my family and trying to assess the amount of work needed (no home-inspection is present). I saw that most of the electrical ports have 2 prong outlets and am worried that I ...
gran_profaci's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
6k views

Can ground attached to neutral fool a receptacle tester?

I'm using a basic outlet tester like the one from picture below. Let's say someone wired the ground to the neutral in some outlet, to provide a fake ground. What would the tester report? Would it be "...
fernacolo's user avatar
  • 331
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
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
  • 131
12 votes
3 answers
21k views

Is it safe to use the ground as a neutral when other grounds are available?

I moved into a new house and was working on making a three way switch work properly when I came across some creative wiring. The traveling wire between the switches was only two wires, and the ground ...
yesennes's user avatar
  • 263
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Should a device with a non-polarized plug touching hot and ground trip a breaker?

I have the following: a NEMA 5-20 receptable (typical 20amp grounded receptacle) mounted in an exposed work cover on a metal box fed with 12ga conductors through EMF. a typical string of holiday ...
Joshua Taylor's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can I use a hose clamp to ground a wire to EMT?

Question: What are the rules for how to attach a wire to an already grounded EMT conduit? Can I use stainless steel host clamp and tighten down? Background: I was installing a metal box for a light ...
KJ7LNW's user avatar
  • 1,205
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does NEC allow a metal box to carry the ground connection between separate conductors?

I found this box: You can see that most of the conductors have their grounds crimped together in the deep part of the box. A box extension was added to this at some point, so it is rather deep, but ...
Ryan Mortensen'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
12 votes
2 answers
742 views

Can I use a *ground wire only* conduit for copper data cables?

Hypothetical question. I won't self-answer. The purpose is to inform potential answers on another person's question. Suppose I have a shed with a 200A subpanel, with 3-wire feed that was installed ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
5k views

Why is 'Ground' important?

I'm failing to understand why ground wires are important in electrical outlets. They don't protect me if I shove a knife into the outlet. Without a GFCI, the circuit doesn't "know" there is ...
Tyler M's user avatar
  • 1,070
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is this outlet safely grounded?

I was replacing one of the outlets in the kitchen in my home and I noticed the ground wire goes to a screw on the back plate of the outlet box, and a green ground wire runs from the same screw on the ...
z0nktastic's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
6k views

Safe way to remove paint from ground wire?

I'm addressing an item on our house's inspection report where a GFCI outlet had been ungrounded. I turned off power at the breaker box, popped the outlet cover off and found the ground wire neatly ...
Chris Forrence's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
4k views

Does a neutral-to-ground voltage of 0.0 indicate a bootleg ground?

As described here (for example), in a correctly-wired receptacle, there will be a small potential difference between the neutral and ground wires that increases slightly with increasing load. I'm ...
dlf's user avatar
  • 647
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

I have 11V between neutral and ground, how can I isolate the problem and solve it?

I am in Indonesia and the local electricity company is bad and there is no actual electrician around. People just connect wires together. So with this in mind I recently ripped out my wires (unearthed)...
thelawnet's user avatar
  • 598
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
11 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is an ungrounded GFCI outlet safer than a plumbing-grounded non-GFCI outlet?

I'm in the United States. I have a handful of three-prong outlets that have been grounded to the underground water main just as it enters the crawlspace. All of the ground wires are home runs to the ...
ArgentoSapiens's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is there a proper earth ground point in this switch box?

During humid, wet days, the phases of our house(two units) electrical system drift from another. Both phases go to each unit. One phase might be 90 volts while the other phase is 130 volts. After a ...
Chuck Carlson'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
  • 1,450
10 votes
1 answer
16k views

What do I do with the ground wire in a smoke detector install?

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 ...
mreff555's user avatar
  • 1,287
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
10 votes
2 answers
4k views

Had ground rod connection added to my electric panel, should old ground to copper water pipe be disconnected?

My 1970 house with slab foundation originally had a connection to the copper water line as the only ground. I had a pair of ground rods 6' 6" apart added and would like to disconnect the ground to the ...
Jim Stewart's user avatar
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
9 votes
2 answers
6k views

How to electrically ground a gas furnace connected with an armoured cable

My gas furnace will not turn on. I verified 120V where the armoured cable enters the furance, so I was going to continue testing for voltage before and after the transformer (with the door safety ...
Julius Seizure's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
906 views

Outlets not grounded? Remedy?

For some months, I'm renting an apartment in the Canary Islands. It looks like the plugs are not grounded. For example, when I connect my laptop, a ThinkPad T420si, then I feel an unpleasant sensation ...
feklee's user avatar
  • 221
9 votes
2 answers
5k views

Add grounding to a 9th floor apartment in country with no electric code at all

I live in a 9th floor 1940s-era apartment in a country with no electrical code and no professional licensing for electricians. My 'electrician,' such as he is, is a security guard who does wiring on ...
Jack B's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
4 answers
26k views

How do you ground residential network equipment?

I needed to run some Cat5e UTP network cables and decided to add network outlets to most rooms, run new phone wiring and RG6 as well. Much of what I've seen and read about residential and small ...
OrganicLawnDIY's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
526 views

Do the EGC and GEC both terminate at grounding bar in new sub-panel in detached building (garage)?

Edit: My rough location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA There are a million questions and youtube videos on the topic, and I'm sure one of them clearly answers this question because it seems so ...
shoelessone's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Green striped wire placement when changing from 3 prong to 4 on dryer

I recently moved into a new house which accepts a 4 prong dryer cord. My dryer, a Kenmore 110.66922501, is currently wired for 3. As wired for 3 prong, the neutral connection on the dryer has an ...
Trick's user avatar
  • 93
9 votes
4 answers
9k views

How to add a gfci and surge protector to pool pump line?

I want to add a gfci and surge protector to the 240v circuit for my pool pump. The 12 guage power wires (red and black) and ground (green) run from the corner of yard directly to the main breaker ...
DOC's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
7 answers
4k views

What happens when a ground fault occurs inside the main electrical panel before circuit breakers?

I am aware of what happens if a ground fault occurs outside of the electrical panel. For example, if a live wire were to touch the metal enclosure of some appliance, provided that the enclosure is ...
Baldrick's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

No ground wire or GFCI for a dishwasher

I recently purchased an apartment in New York City built ~2006, and we started renovating the kitchen. After I unhooked the dishwasher (an older Bosch model) I found that there was only a hot and ...
lchi's user avatar
  • 103
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Alternative GFCI Wiring in Strict 240V Scenario?

I have a strict 240V wiring situation (i.e., two hots + ground, no neutral) with a hot tub as the only load on the circuit. Now, I think it’s very prudent (and generally mandated) to have a local ...
DIYnot's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can I use green wire in a residential wall box?

This is a 1985 home wired with typical NM-B wire and plastic wall boxes. I have a few light switches around the house that have no ground connection. There are ground wires in the box, but the ...
smitelli's user avatar
  • 611
8 votes
5 answers
135k views

Is it okay to connect 2 ground wires to a single ground screw?

I have 2 ground wires that I can get around the ground screw on an outlet. Is it okay to do this or do I need to use a pigtail to join the wires and have only one wire attach to the ground screw?
Ken NEwberry's user avatar
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
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

My PoE adapter has a separate grounding wire - how do I wire it?

I am trying to add a power-over-ethernet adapter to my set-up. It has a small ground wire (yellow-green sleeve) with a small metal circle at its end going out of it which I assume I should connect ...
Dwarf Vader's user avatar

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