Switch install, who is right

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mark32

Senior Member
Location
Currently in NJ
A very good friend of mine says installing a non self grounding switch in the following manner is ok, I say it is not. There is a metal gem box in a sheetrocked wall, it's recessed the typical amount so the yoke does not contact the box. Again, I don't see this as a compliant install but he's been doing this longer than I have. Also while were at it, another good friend of mine says it's ok to sleeve MC in emt and attach the MC to the emt via a romex to emt "From to". I don't like it but we did it anyway, just like the switch above. Any thoughts?
 

satcom

Senior Member
I may of read it wrong but The switch needs to be the type with a ground spring on the yoke to make sure there is good ground contact
 

satcom

Senior Member
I thought he said the yoke was not seated to the box I hope a metal switch plate never ends up on that set up. Not code just experience with faulted switches tells me to secure the bond
 

mark32

Senior Member
Location
Currently in NJ
I thought he said the yoke was not seated to the box I hope a metal switch plate never ends up on that set up. Not code just experience with faulted switches tells me to secure the bond
You are correct, the yoke does not come in contact with the box and my buddy almost almost uses metal plates. As you've seen here, no egc to the switch is needed.
 

satcom

Senior Member
You are correct, the yoke does not come in contact with the box and my buddy almost almost uses metal plates. As you've seen here, no egc to the switch is needed.
It is not a who is right or wrong issue the code in many cases is min and developed from a process that leaves room for changes from everyone in the industry, many practices by the pure craft are above code specs and there are some in the craft that look at the min code as the rule, there is nothing wrong with going above code in many cases, in my opinion grounding is one of them.
 

hurk27

Senior Member
I thought he said the yoke was not seated to the box I hope a metal switch plate never ends up on that set up. Not code just experience with faulted switches tells me to secure the bond
How many switches have you ever seen heat up a yoke?

The yoke on a switch does not enter the switch like it does on a receptacle for the grounding terminal.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
How many switches have you ever seen heat up a yoke?

The yoke on a switch does not enter the switch like it does on a receptacle for the grounding terminal.
45 years ago I had to trouble shoot a short circuit in a basement in Brooklyn, NY. I finally discovered the SP switch had shorted to the yoke somehow- I have never seen that happen again.
 

hurk27

Senior Member
Interesting, I just failed for this last week. I was told by the EI that I need self grounding switches to do this.
Truthfully I have never seen a self grounding switch in this area, are they even made?

45 years ago I had to trouble shoot a short circuit in a basement in Brooklyn, NY. I finally discovered the SP switch had shorted to the yoke somehow- I have never seen that happen again.
I can see some of the old type switches faulting to the yoke, as some even had open screws facing front, and I have seen some with open contacts, but in the past 25 years or so, molded case switches I can't see it as a problem?
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
The problem I see is that not too many code cycles ago (I forget when the change was) the yoke on a snap switch did not require to be connected to EGC unless there was a metal wall plate installed - then the metal wall plate was required to be grounded and the through the yoke was most likely place this was going to be accomplished.

Now if the yoke is metallic it must be connected to the EGC. Is the mounting screws that are not necessarily causing strong contact because the device is not seated directly to the box sufficient? NEC clearly addresses this issue with a receptacle but does not adress it with a switch. If a switch with the spring loaded screw captive device even exists then I would say it is better choice if you are not going to use a bonding jumper to the switch yoke, but still find no wording in NEC to address the situation.

I have an inspector that wants to see the nonmetallic screw captive washers off of a switch to ensure metal to metal contact between a metal box and yoke if a bonding jumper is not installed to the yoke. I don't feel it is necessary myself but have been doing it anyway.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
The NEC allows the switch to be grounded when using metal screws attached to a grounded metal box. The requirement to remove the plastic washers holding the screws, using switches with self grounding clips or using a bonding jumper are simply not in the NEC when the switch is attached to a box that is metallic and grounded.

404.9 Provisions for General-Use Snap Switches.
(A) Faceplates. Faceplates provided for snap switches mounted in boxes and other enclosures shall be installed so as to completely cover the opening and, where the switch is flush mounted, seat against the finished surface.
(B) Grounding. Snap switches, including dimmer and similar control switches, shall be connected to an equipment grounding conductor and shall provide a means to connect metal faceplates to the equipment grounding conductor, whether or not a metal faceplate is installed. Snap switches shall be considered to be part of an effective ground-fault current path if either of the following conditions is met:
(1) The switch is mounted with metal screws to a metal box or metal cover that is connected to an equipment grounding conductor or to a nonmetallic box with integral means for connecting to an equipment grounding conductor.
(2) An equipment grounding conductor or equipment bonding jumper is connected to an equipment grounding termination of the snap switch.
 

satcom

Senior Member
45 years ago I had to trouble shoot a short circuit in a basement in Brooklyn, NY. I finally discovered the SP switch had shorted to the yoke somehow- I have never seen that happen again.
Never be afraid to use common sense and your trade experienced on all your work, yes at one time some switches had exposed terminals on the front and if there was a mechanical failure and there was a metal switch plate, that was loosely bonded it could energize the plate there are plenty of these switches still in service in older homes.
With the molded switch and plastic covers there is better protection, in the OP a handy box with a gap where the yoke would bond was the issue, and the guy with but but but code says it ok may be right on with the letter of the code, but IMO dead wrong in dealing with some old work.
 

mark32

Senior Member
Location
Currently in NJ
404.9 Provisions for General-Use Snap Switches.
(A) Faceplates. Faceplates provided for snap switches mounted in boxes and other enclosures shall be installed so as to completely cover the opening and, where the switch is flush mounted, seat against the finished surface.
(B) Grounding. Snap switches, including dimmer and similar control switches, shall be connected to an equipment grounding conductor and shall provide a means to connect metal faceplates to the equipment grounding conductor, whether or not a metal faceplate is installed. Snap switches shall be considered to be part of an effective ground-fault current path if either of the following conditions is met:
(1) The switch is mounted with metal screws to a metal box or metal cover that is connected to an equipment grounding conductor or to a nonmetallic box with integral means for connecting to an equipment grounding conductor.
(2) An equipment grounding conductor or equipment bonding jumper is connected to an equipment grounding termination of the snap switch.


The language in 404.9 leaves much to be desired. First in (b) it says a switch shall be connected to an egc then in (1) it just says that a switch needs to be mounted to a metal box with metal screws.

Thanks to Rob for posting the article.
 
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