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Thread: ground wire clockwise around ground screws

  1. #1
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    Aug 2003
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    ground wire clockwise around ground screws

    Yes, this is a real question! We recently failed an inspection for having the solid #12 ground wire of a MC wrapped counter-clockwise around the 10-32 ground screw to a metal 4"sq box.

    I personally agree with the inspector. The problem is I can't find anything to back it up. I've looked in UL, manufacturer intructions, and NEC of course. I was able to find some manufacturer instructions for devices mentioning wrapping the wire clockwise around the terminal screws. Nothing specific to ground screws.

    Some may ask, who gives a damn? But common kmowledge tells us when tightening the ground screw, the wire will tend to be pushed out when going the opposing direction. Therefore, by wrapping the wire clockwise you are getting a better more reliable connection.

    So, to get to the point. Help me prove it is a code violation to wrap the wire counter-clockwise.

    I'm counting on your help and support in this highly important subject.

  2. #2
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    I'm a one man band, so I can't always be there when I'm inspected, but that's the classic reason why to be there if possible. The average inspector would tell you to fix it and pass it.
    My son is one of the Few, the Proud, the Infidel.
    Sgt. Mickey, 0311 USMC

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by binney View Post
    Yes, this is a real question! We recently failed an inspection for having the solid #12 ground wire of a MC wrapped counter-clockwise around the 10-32 ground screw to a metal 4"sq box.

    I personally agree with the inspector. The problem is I can't find anything to back it up. I've looked in UL, manufacturer intructions, and NEC of course. I was able to find some manufacturer instructions for devices mentioning wrapping the wire clockwise around the terminal screws. Nothing specific to ground screws.

    Some may ask, who gives a damn? But common kmowledge tells us when tightening the ground screw, the wire will tend to be pushed out when going the opposing direction. Therefore, by wrapping the wire clockwise you are getting a better more reliable connection.

    So, to get to the point. Help me prove it is a code violation to wrap the wire counter-clockwise.

    I'm counting on your help and support in this highly important subject.
    I know this used to be an NEC requirement, but can't find it anywhere in current editions. I know because we had an inspector make us fix this problem before, he had a code section in violation and we checked on it and it was there. This had to be back when we were using 1993 or maybe 1996 NEC. May have to dig them out and see if I can find the section.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by binney View Post
    Yes, this is a real question! We recently failed an inspection for having the solid #12 ground wire of a MC wrapped counter-clockwise around the 10-32 ground screw to a metal 4"sq box.

    I personally agree with the inspector. The problem is I can't find anything to back it up. I've looked in UL, manufacturer intructions, and NEC of course. I was able to find some manufacturer instructions for devices mentioning wrapping the wire clockwise around the terminal screws. Nothing specific to ground screws.

    Some may ask, who gives a damn? But common kmowledge tells us when tightening the ground screw, the wire will tend to be pushed out when going the opposing direction. Therefore, by wrapping the wire clockwise you are getting a better more reliable connection.

    So, to get to the point. Help me prove it is a code violation to wrap the wire counter-clockwise.

    I'm counting on your help and support in this highly important subject.
    While I agree with your comments, I can't find an NEC violation either. The only related thing I see is 110.14(A) and it is silent on the direction.
    Just how close is this inspector looking to catch this?

  5. #5
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    Look in article 110.14 Exhibit 110.3
    gusco

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by guschash View Post
    Look in article 110.14 Exhibit 110.3
    Exhibits are not code.

    About the only ode cite would be 110.3(B) assuming the directions to a device specify it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwire View Post
    Exhibits are not code.

    About the only ode cite would be 110.3(B) assuming the directions to a device specify it.
    As far as I know the 10-32 ground screws are not listed products....you can't have 110.3(B) instructions for a product that is not listed
    Don, Illinois
    "It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority." B Franklin

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by don_resqcapt19 View Post
    As far as I know the 10-32 ground screws are not listed products....you can't have 110.3(B) instructions for a product that is not listed
    I agree, that is why I said 'assuming the directions to a device specify it'.

    I have yet to see a grounding screw or a 10/32 clamp screw come with directions.

    I

  9. #9
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    Mike P. Columbus Ohio
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    110.12 is the only thing that I think that he could hang his hat on. I think that we may agree that workmanlike would be clockwise. That said it is chicken^^^^ to fail someone on this IF the wire is secure.
    Inspector Mike
    ESI

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jxofaltrds View Post
    110.12 is the only thing that I think that he could hang his hat on. I think that we may agree that workmanlike would be clockwise. That said it is chicken^^^^ to fail someone on this IF the wire is secure.
    Agreed. However, counterclockwise does not automatically represent a non-workmanlike manner. Once tightened, the screw will hold the wire exactly the same, regardless of the direction of the loop.

    The issue is having the loop open up while tightening, not after it is tight. If someone has a preferred method for holding the loop closed while tightening the screw, then loop direction is irrelavent.

    Failing an inspection because a wire is not fully clamped by the screw is one thing, but failing it simply by direction is not appropriate. Don't get me wrong. I am a firm believer in clockwise looping, but this inspector overstepped his authority with a fail that is not within the scope of the NEC (unless local amendment prevails).

    On the otherhand, seeing counterclockwise looping would actually be a sign that the rest of the job should be looked at a little closer.....but it is not enough to fail a job.

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