I'm installing a dimmer switch to replace a wall light switch (in the
USA). The house was built in the 1960s and the junction box is metal
and grounded. However, the ground wire from each cable (NM romex
cable) entering the box is connected directly to the box (no pigtail.)
The new dimmer switch has pigtails, including the ground wire. Is it
ok to connect a short green (stranded) wire to the box, and then use a
wire nut to connect this to the green dimmer pigtail? (Today, normal
practice is to connect the ground wire from each cable entering the box
to a wirenut, then use a pigtail to ground to the box, but this is not
possible with my existing wiring.)
Also, the dimmer pigtails are stranded wire. Is there a recommended way
to connect solid to stranded wire in wire nuts?
Please tell us how the Equipment Grounding Conductors (EGCs) from each
cable is connected to the box. If that was not done with a reliable
method then you will need to rework the box. If in doubt you should do
a ground return impedance test using a Suretest or a good meter and a
dummy load such as portable hair dryer. Unless you are fully conversant
with the manual test technique you can actually start a fire attempting
it so don't try to wing it.
Almost. Connect a short green, or bare, *solid* wire to the box, and use a
wire nut to connect it to the stranded green pigtail from the dimmer.
Not possible, or not easy? :-)
Strip about 1/8" (3mm) more insulation off of the stranded wire than off of
the solid wire. Twist the strands together. Put the wires side-by-side with
the cut ends of the *insulation* lined up (so that the end of the stranded
wire projects about 1/8" past the end of the solid wire). Screw the wire nut
on good and tight.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt.
And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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