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Thread: No ground wire in my light box

  1. #1
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    Nov 2020
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    No ground wire in my light box

    I live in 100+ year old building in New York City. I’m installing a Caseta Smart Dimmer Switch, but there is no ground wire in the box. Everything is metal. My local hardware shop, with some really smart guys, said I should attach the ground on the dimmer switch to the bolt in the back of my light box. A friend said Ali could simply cap the ground wire and not worry about it. Is there any consensus about the best option? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by bramhubbell View Post
    I live in 100+ year old building in New York City. I’m installing a Caseta Smart Dimmer Switch, but there is no ground wire in the box. Everything is metal. My local hardware shop, with some really smart guys, said I should attach the ground on the dimmer switch to the bolt in the back of my light box. A friend said Ali could simply cap the ground wire and not worry about it. Is there any consensus about the best option? Thanks in advance.
    Attaching the ground wire to an ungrounded box doesn't accomplish anything. You need to determine if the metal box is grounded. The most common way to ground the box is a ground wire in the cables. It would be attached to a ground screw (don't use the mounting screw) in the box. It sounds like you don't have this option.

    Another method for grounding would be a conduit that runs all the way back to the a bonded distribution panel. The conduit can go to other boxes as long as you have a continuous path to the panel.

    If there is no option for a ground screw (don't use the mounting screw or drill holes in the box) the metal mounting plate on the dimmer will act as the ground.

    In any case, because the mounting plate for the dimmer is metal, you need to use a screwless plate or plastic mounting screws for a traditional plate.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    1

    No ground wire in plastic box - new dimmer buzzes

    Hello,I just installed 1 Lutron Toggler LED+ Dimmer 3-Way Switch (since the lights I wanted to dim were controlled by 2 switches.) It works great! ...except that it buzzes loudly when in use. Also the fuse box buzzes when I use the dimmer.The box in the wall is plastic, not metal. The previous non-dimmer toggle switch I removed had no grounding wire, nor does one appear to be present in the plastic box.I followed the directions and tied off the green ground wire coming from the new dimmer with the twist wire connector provided in the box. I'm wondering if the dimmer would stop buzzing if I grounded the dimmer properly, but the box is plastic and there doesn't appear to be a ground wire present in the box.Any ideas?Thank you so much in advance.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    322
    It sounds like you have some pretty goofy wiring going on- plastic box + fuse box. I would expect some kind of neutral interaction or something. That is not an issue grounding would fix. I would highly recommend you find a local, experienced, licensed electrician to look at your whole electrical system.
    Evan Kirkhart- Home Electronics Solutions
    Santa Barbara, CA
    evan@homeelectronics.solutions

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