I live in an old apartment and am installing a dimmer switch for the
dining room- When I pulled the plate off the old light switch I see
that there is no existing ground. The new switch I bought from the
store obviously comes with a ground. My question- what do I do with
the new ground? Should I try to attach it to the back of the switch
housing in the wall? Should I clip it off? Is it safe to leave it
loose? Should I just cap it?
Any help would be very much appreciated!
If the box is metal, it will have a 10/32" threaded hole in the back. You
can attach the wire there. You can also get grounding clips to attach to the
side of the box. If the existing cable in NM with no ground, this is all
moot and it doesn't matter what you do with it
Thanks to all of you for the advice!
I turned off the electricity before I did anything and I put the screw
cap on the ground (green wire) before replacing everything. the dimmer
works and all is good!
RBM (remove this) wrote:
If it is a metal box, the box is likely grounded. (There are some simple
tests you can perform to check this.)
If the box is grounded you will have a "gud enuf" ground just by installing
the dimmer with it's supplied screws. If you like to worry, you can
install a ground screw in the box and connect the green wire to it.
What you are doing is extremely dangerous. Unless you are a certified
and licensed electrician, you should have never removed the plate.
There is electricity in that box and it can and will kill you. Call a
licensed electrician immediately. DO NOT touch that switch or
anything near it. If you have children, pets, or a wife, nail the
door shut to the room where the switch is located, or better yet, move
to a motel until the electricians arrive and do the repair. No matter
what you do, call the electric company immediately and tell them to
disconnect your electrical service to your home, until the electrician
arrives and safely secures that dangerous exposed switch. In the
future, NEVER, EVER touch any electrical equipment again. Your life
is in danger and the lives of all members of your family. One wrong
move, and you could be fried to a crisp, and possibly burn down your
Please get professional assistance now. Do not delay !
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