TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others

Receptacle grounding

Issues unrelated to specific categories below

Moderator: TenantNet

Receptacle grounding

Postby Babobo » Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:08 pm

In my 1960s apartment, there's no ground wire in light switch or outlet receptacles. There's a metal box and metal conduit that's presumably grounded. To bring things to current standards I'm adding a ground wire from the box to any new switch or outlet I install, but I noticed the super never did that when he replaced light switches. Does anyone's super or electrician add a ground wire when there's not one? I'm wondering whether my super isn't doing the right thing or if he's typical or both.
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:57 pm

Re: Receptacle grounding

Postby TenantNet » Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:57 pm

Not an electrician, licensed or otherwise, but do have some experience - many years ago - in the subject area. First, you should consult with an electrician. We can't say if what you propose requires a permit or not. LLs and supers often ignore the permit requirements.

Look to see if the switch or receptacles are connected to the service entrance (with the breakers) using BX cable (often called armored cable). That should comply with electric code.

That should provide a ground back to the breaker box. From the breaker box to the basement, there should be a green cable. (don't confuse that with the neutral - a white cable). The green should then connect to a ground source in the basement, often a water pipe.

As for light switches, I don't think they need a separate ground. The toggle is probably single-pole, single throw, meaning only the hot goes to the switch.

However, for receptacles (I'm assuming you have 15 A 120V) does need a ground, and the BX cable might do that.

But check all this with a qualified source.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
Posts: 9828
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Return to NYC General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests