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Connecting Receptacle Grounding Terminal to Box
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Top 50 NEC Rules
Connecting Receptacle Grounding Terminal to Box
By Mike Holt
Receptacles must have their grounding contacts
to an effective ground-fault current path by bonding the receptacle's
grounding terminal to a metal box, unless the receptacle's grounding
terminal is grounded (bonded) to an effective ground-fault current path
by one of the methods provided in (A) through (D). See 406.3 for
The NEC doesn't restrict the position of the receptacle grounding
terminal; it can be up, down, or sideways. All proposals to specify the
mounting position of receptacles have been rejected.
(A) Surface-Mounted Box. Where the box is mounted on the
surface, direct metal-to-metal contact between the device yoke and the
box can serve as the effective ground-fault current path. To ensure an
effective ground-fault current path between the receptacle and metal
box, at least one of the insulating retaining washers on the yoke screw
must be removed.
Receptacles secured to a metal cover [406.4(C)] must have the
receptacle's grounding terminal bonded to the box, unless the box and
cover are listed as providing continuity between the box and the
(B) Self-Grounding Receptacles. Receptacle yokes designed and
listed as self-grounding can be used to establish the effective
ground-fault current path between the device yoke and a metal outlet
box. Note: Outlet boxes cannot be set back more than 1/4-inch
from the finished mounting surface [314.20].
(C) Floor Boxes. Listed floor boxes are permitted to
the bonding path between the device yoke and a grounded (bonded) outlet
(D) Isolated Ground Receptacles. Isolated ground receptacles
have the grounding terminal insulated from its metal mounting yoke.
Therefore, the grounding terminal of an isolated ground receptacle must
be connected to an equipment grounding (bonding) conductor that
the effective ground-fault current path to the power source.
Isolated ground receptacles must be identified by an orange triangle
located on the face of the receptacle [406.2(D)]. Sometimes the entire
receptacle is orange, with the triangle molded into the plastic face in
a color other than orange.
Editor's note: This information was extracted from Mike
the National Electrical Code
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What's Wrong Here?
By Joe Tedesco
Think you know how this installation violates the
NEC? Visit EC&M's
Web site to see the answer.
Hint: Don't overlook the obvious on this one
By Mike Holt
Q. When a lighting and appliance panelboard is
fed from the secondary of a 3-phase transformer, is the panelboard
required to have a main breaker installed in it?
Visit EC&M's Web
site to see the answer.
By Steven Owen
Q. When installing a high-impedance grounded
neutral system for a 480V, 3-phase electrical system, the following
question arises. Where is the proper location for the grounding
- Between the equipment bonding jumper and the system neutral.
- Between the main bonding jumper and the system neutral.
- Between the transformer secondary and the first disconnecting
- Between the grounding electrode conductor and the system
Web site for the answer and explanation.
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