I am finishing an office in my basement and have never worked with
Romex before. I always did the conduit and wire method. I installed
outlets in an office I built and hooked the circuit to a hot line.
When I checked the outlets they all said open ground except the last
one in line and it showed correctly wired. That one has the ground
wire connected right to the outlets grren screw. The outlets in
between the correct one and where I hooked into the power all say open
ground. I just twisted the ground wire together and continued down the
line. I take it that is incorrect? Please advise.
Um, lessee- you didn't use metal conduit, you didn't put the ground wire
from each run under the romex clamp on the box (assuming it was a metal
box), you didn't pigtail the ground off to the screw on all but the last
Where did you expect those outlets to ground TO? If you used the now-typical
blue plastic boxes, those outlets are pretty well isolated from any ground
Go back to each box, undo the wirenut on the ground wire, add a pigtail to
the green screw on the outlet, and reapply the wirenut. Assuming you got the
polarity right on the outlets, your tester should show green lights.
Twisting them together is fine using a wire nut but there needs to be a
pigtail connection to the green screw or the outlet remains ungrounded. The
fact that the last outlet is grounded indicates you have otherwise proper
Wire nut is required even on the bare wire as there should be no open ends
of bare wire in the box. This may not be enforced in your area as crimp
connectors have become more widely used.
When wiring a box with Romex you leave ten inches of bare Equipment
Grounding Conductor (EGC) to each cable. You wrap one around the box
bonding screw and one around the grounding screw on the receptacle or
other device and then you splice them together. If there are multiple
devices in the box you splice a four inch pig tail or jumper for each
device in with the EGCs and then connect the jumpers to the individual
device grounding screws. The EGC from the power source is looped around
the box bonding screw prior to the splice.
If you no longer have enough wire to loop then splice the EGCs from each
cable to jumpers for each device and one for the box.
I notice it says you must use lineman's pliers for twisting wires together.
However, I've watched several electricians stick two wires into a wirenut
and twist them together without twisting them together with pliers first.
Other electricians do use the pliers first then slap the wirenut on. Is one
method better than the other?
[I wrote the FAQ]
The real answer is follow the instructions on the box. There are some
wirenuts these days that should not be pretwisted. If there are
no instructions, twist the wires first with pliers - that is the
standard way, unless the instructions tell you otherwise.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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