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How To Ground An Outlet
Dear Mr. Electrician: Tell me how to ground an outlet. Answer: Learning how to ground an outlet depends a lot on your wiring methods. For instance, plastic outlet boxes have different grounding requirements than metal outlet boxes. NOTE: Some text links below go to applicable products on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Table of Contents: HOW TO GROUND AN OUTLET WITH NON-METALLIC CABLE GROUNDING SWITCHES AND OUTLETS WITH BX AND MC ARMORED CABLE GROUNDING WITH METAL CONDUIT SELF-GROUNDING SWITCHES AND OUTLETS OTHER GROUNDING METHODS Anything made of metal in your home that has electricity flowing through it must be grounded. Some of the methods shown below can be used to add a ground wire when changing from a two-prong to a three-prong outlet. There are many photos of how to ground an outlet or a switch. HOW TO GROUND AN OUTLET WITH NON-METALLIC CABLE The uninsulated equipment grounding conductor inside of Type NM-B Non-Metallic Cable (Romex) must be connected to the grounding terminal bar at the power source such as the main electrical panel. The other end of the equipment grounding conductor must be connected to all metal boxes, switches, outlets, appliances, or equipment in order to be effective at creating safer operating conditions while using electricity. Only one wire can go under the green grounding screw terminal on an outlet or switch. All other equipment grounding conductors must be spliced together with a grounding pigtail wire using an approved wire connector of some sort. Crimp sleeves are used by many electricians when working on new installations to connect all of the equipment grounding conductors together along with a pigtail. When installed properly the crimps are a very good ground connection. Wires must be twisted tightly together before crimping. I use my Klein Linesman Pliers with the built-in crimping notch to make good solid crimps and I don't need to carry an extra tool. The downside to crimped ground wires is that they are difficult to take apart if needed. No code requirements exist to attach a ground wire to a non-metallic electrical box. Only metal boxes need to be grounded. However, the grounding wires in a plastic outlet or switch box should not be cut back so short that they are difficult to work with. You must allow enough slack so that all wires in an electrical box can extend at least three inches out the front (Article 300.14). A metal electrical box must have a separate grounding pigtail connected to it, which is then connected to all of the ground wires in that box. Looping the feed wire ground around the grounding screw and using the end for a pigtail connection has been disallowed, beginning with the 2020 National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) article 250.148(C). The green twist-on wire connectors are for grounding conductors only due to the pigtail hole in the top. They are very convenient for splicing wires with a pigtail. One grounding conductor is left much longer than the others. The shorter wire ends are twisted around the longer wire using pliers, about six inches...