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#76380 - 01/21/01 11:10 AM Grounding Switches...Why?
ZoysGig Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/01
Posts: 6

What is the reason for this code, sorry dont have the article in front of me, but why should I ground a wall switch?

This has bugged me since it was added to the NEC. If the intention was to protect people from a shocking experience, I would say that a situation where one might get a shock from a plate screw is rare.

If it is the intention to protect me, the one working on or with the device, again I dont see the benefit.

In my 14 years in the trade I have seen maybe 2 cases where the strap of a switch had become energized. Both instances occured with "very" old push botton switches that simply failed due to their age. How does this code protect me from this, it cant. The code is 60 years to late to be of any help here.

Also I find that following this code causes more potential for a short and or shock while working on the device. Yes...your saying "Well just turn of the circuit", this is fine but we all know that this isnt always practical. Its always exciting to have, say 4 switches, all ganged together with 1 single ground wire, that is always to short to be of anyhelp.

Im sorry I just think this code is more of a hassle than a help.

Hmmm, bet the device manufacturers get 1 cent more per device to have that pretty green screw added to it.

Oh well,......Could you atleast tail a ground for each device in a gangable box....the next apprentice I see tailing only one might have to spend the day with a razor knife and the scrap pile...

Thanks for listening

2014 / 2011 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#76381 - 01/21/01 02:29 PM Re: Grounding Switches...Why?
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Hey, i've made a few $$$ on the ol' scrap pile, don't knock it......i once worked a job, romex & plastic, we did'nt ground switches, but we did use nylon 6-32 plate screws, the end result, no exposed metal.... even the inspector got a chuckle ...

#76382 - 01/21/01 04:53 PM Re: Grounding Switches...Why?
Bennie R. Palmer Offline

Registered: 11/09/00
Posts: 72
Loc: Milwaukie, OR 97267 USA
I get hammered by the code book experts, when I protest indiscriminate grounding. The grounded conductor and equipment ground wire is one half of a lethal circuit.
Domestic electricity has been around for approx. 100 years. Switches did not require a grounded yoke until the last of the century. They performed without a major problem, for 90 years.
Read the code making panel comments on the cycle prior to passing this rule. It was a complete reversal from the next cycle. What happened in the 3 years? Someone's wife probably received a static shock, and it was thought grounding would prevent the occurrence. I don't know the logic.


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