Questions tagged [grounding]

Grounding, also earthing, refers to the practice of providing a direct conductive path to the physical ground for an electric short to a chassis. Tag questions involving the installation or retrofitting of grounding with this.

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34
votes
7answers
152k 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
311k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
125k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
144k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k 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 "...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
226k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
130k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
292k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
795 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

What is a 'grounded neutral' and how bad is it?

I bought an electrical device a few months ago. A few weeks ago, it failed, complete with the release of magic smoke. I contacted the company, and they've had me mail it to them and have been ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it code to nut off a ground wire instead of connecting it? [duplicate]

I was replacing a standard light switch and noticed that the current light switch’s ground wire (green) was not being connected to anything. It was connected to the switch on one end and to a wirenut ...
7
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Does a device with a two prong plug need surge protection?

I have an iPhone and iPad whose power adapters are both two-prong. Since I cannot ground them in a surge protector, is it necessary that these devices even be used with a surge protector?
7
votes
2answers
10k 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/...
7
votes
1answer
43k views

Is there a length limit on grounding conductor to ground rod?

My service panel is over a concrete patio, it was improperly grounded in the crawlspace. I cannot drive a proper ground rod in the crawlspace so I would like to drive one into the earth on the side ...
7
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
17k views

Can I extend an electrical ground wire with a copper wire crimp?

I am working with an electrical socket and I need extra length on the ground wire. It doesn't seem unreasonable that I can attach an extra three inches to the existing one and attach it with a copper ...
7
votes
2answers
533 views

What do I need to provide the cable company with for grounding, when wiring my own house?

I'm planing to do my own electrical wiring for a new house, and the cable company needs something to attach their ground wire to when they mount the demarcation box. I'd like a clean looking install, ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Dimmer switch not connected to ground

I know just the basics of electricity and am trying to replace an older dimmer switch that broke with a new very similar switch. The old switch is not connected to ground. The new switch has the ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Can you run a ground wire from stove directly to ground pole in the ground [duplicate]

Directly to ground pole outside drove into ground
6
votes
3answers
10k views

How can I add a grounding conductor to my early 20th century electrical system?

I live in a old house (built in 1918), and because their was no electricity back then, all electricity was added after, and weird enough, nothing has a ground. So, I'm having problem with my washing ...
6
votes
5answers
19k views

Does a grounding wire from a breaker panel to an outside grounding rod need to be in conduit?

I've got a breaker panel in my detached garage (it is not a sub-panel, but is a primary forked off just past the meter). The panel seems to be wired correctly- the neutral and ground bars are tied ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Should I bond a water softener's in/out pipes?

Our house was built in 1997. The pipes are copper (including the city water supply pipe). Some time after the house was built, the previous owners installed a water softener. The softener parts are ...
6
votes
1answer
16k views

How can I determine if my receptacles are grounded, and how can I fix it if they are not?

My upstairs office has 3-prong outlets, but according to my surge suppressor, they are not grounded. I took one of the sockets off to inspect how it was wired, and it seems to have a ground wire ...
6
votes
4answers
19k views

What could cause the ground wire on my baseboard heater to burn?

On the photo below, you can see that the ground wire as burned. Description of what i know: the wire is connected on a 240V line to my baseboard heater the wire seems to be a AWG 14/2 I don't know ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to use grounded European plug of coffee maker correctly in middle east countries?

I have bought a coffee maker with a European plug which doesn't have a grounding pin like our plugs here in Israel have. Here is a picture of the splitter I use and the European power plug: As seen ...
6
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

Could bad grounding cause sparks and fire when connecting the cable box and TV?

I just moved into a home built in 1955. During inspection, it was noted that none of the outlets were grounded even though they had three prong outlets installed. Per our agreement, the owner ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it OK to have ground wire connected to breaker box wall instead of neutral bus?

After having issues with lights flickering, I noticed the main 100A breaker was warm and arcing slightly. Instead of just replacing the breaker, I decided to call in a electrician to install a larger ...
6
votes
1answer
472 views

Strange outlet behavior

I am going to be updating electrical outlets in my house, so today I checked them all with the 3 lamp tester. Only a few are properly grounded and others not. One outlet is showing strange behavior. ...
6
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
438 views

Buzzing on laptop, stove and other electrical devices in Canary Islands

I have a friend who has moved to the Canary Islands (Spain) for a while. She has told me that there is a buzzing that she feels when she touches many of the electrical devices. I noted something ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I obtain grounding from a different outlet?

I have a room with 2 ungrounded (2-prong) outlets and 1 switched grounded (3-prong) outlet. This has not been a serious inconvenience so far, as most of the equipment I wish to connect has ungrounded ...
5
votes
3answers
918 views

grounded outlets and code compliance

I live in a residential unit in Oakland, CA and I am curious what the rules are about grounded outlets. Is grounded power required? My outlets are 3-prong and an outlet tester reads that there is ...
5
votes
4answers
48k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
36k 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?
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Checking light switch for grounding problems

I have a light switch in my building that frequently gives me a "shock" when I push it. The shock seems to come from the two mounting screws. It has a photoelectric sensor that turns the light off ...
5
votes
2answers
35k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the grounding requirements for a panel fed from another panel?

I have a 60 amp subpanel in my garage and plan to add a second 30 amp subpanel to an out-building 130 ft away (fed from the 60 amp). I Plan to run 6 AWG 4-wire from the 60 amp to the 30 amp in 1 1/2 ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

What can I do about a severed grounding wire?

After doing some yard cleanup, I realized that my panel ground wire was severed. I went to Home Depot and was told that they only carried a temporary solution (see attached photo) and that I should ...