I'm installing exposed EMT conduit in my garage. The whole system will
be in the conduit, which will be used for the ground. I'm unclear on
whether I'm required to run ground pigtails from outlets and switches
to the back of the boxes. It seems pointless since the ground screw on
the outlet/switch is screwed into the same physical piece of metal that
makes up the mounting flange that screws into the box. I believe I'm
okay to leave it off with the outlets because the packaging they come
in says "grounding", is that right? How about the switches, should they
say "grounding" too (these ones don't)? Thanks for any advice.
The inspector specifically told me I could use the conduit as ground.
If you don't, do you run a ground wire for every circuit? I'm running
as many as 4 pairs through some sections. Running 4 more ground wires
would be killer. It would force me to double up conduit or go to
I found outlets that specifically said that they were properly grounded
when attached to a grounded box. Is there an equivalent thing for
switches? I couldn't find it. Some boxes are just so darned packed
with stuff that not having to deal with ground wires makes a big
difference. (those #@^&# GFCI's take up tons of voume!)
What's the point of grounding a switch anyway?
Not sure about your jurisdiction but am of opinion that use of the
conduit as the grounding conductor is not now acceptable in most
places in North America. So in addition to the current carrying
conductor live, neutral etc. a grounding wire should also be run and
incidentally 'grounded' to each junction box etc. in approved manner.
Could be an insurance liability issue if something happened, for the
sake of omitting a single conductor! Quite apart from safety, be
careful not to invalidate your insurance.
Conduit as the EGC is recognized by the NEC, and in fact if the
conduit installation is done properly, there are studies suggesting it
is a better conductor than a copper wire EGC. Of course, that's the
rub, each conduit connection has to be made up properly, while a
copper wire EGC is continuous from box to box.
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