Home/Garage electrical question - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 2:24 PM Thread Starter
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Home/Garage electrical question

In my shop the lighting fixtures are run along rafters. The wiring and the fixtures are all encased in conduit and metal fixture boxes. Are these conduits and boxes connected to ground (I'm assuming the building was built to code)?

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 2:34 PM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

Yes they should be.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 2:36 PM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

If using outlet plugs to power the lights the recepticles are grounded to metal mounting flange and that mounts to the metal box connected to the conduit. If hard wired you will have to pull the covers off and inspect or check for continuity between the ground buss in the panel and the conduit.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 4:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

I'll double check the wiring inside the fixture box in question.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 9:52 PM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

When I wired my shop I used the metal conduit and boxes as the ground path back to the load center. The city inspectors (2) argued amounts themselves in front of me as to whether or not it was code.
They ultimately decided it was legal and signed off.
Phew....
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 7:05 AM
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Electricity will take the path of least resistance back to ground. A ground wire back to the breaker box, from there to a ground rod into the earth would be best. Grounding through the conduit will work but isn’t the best practice.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 8:33 AM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

There needs to be a hard ground wired from box to box. While the conduit can create a ground, if the mechanical connection becomes disconnected or loose, then you lose ground to the remaining boxes in the circuit.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 8:41 AM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

Yes but you can't use it for the grounding circuit. There should also be a grounding (green or bare) wire inside the conduit that would carry current in the case of a fault instead of you being the wire to ground.. That's why we have three prong plugs....
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 8:58 AM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

It really depends on what the Housing Authority in your area says and maybe how long it's bee how it is but I've seen too many conduit connections that have come apart to depend on the conduit only for being the ground.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 9:02 AM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

In the 80-10's we used EMT conduit for ground and used a green pigtail with green ground screw to the junction box to recep/switch/fixture, I no longer do elec. work but texted the elec. contractor that works with me if it's still done this way, curious myself now


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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 9:12 AM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

There is no guarantee that the conduit will run all the way back to the main AC panel especially if it runs through walls. A normal 120v 3 wire (hot, neutral and ground) will tie back at the box. The neutral and ground become one in the AC breaker box and are connected to an earth ground. Relying on a conduit for ground is dangerous not to mention could cause ground loops which has negative effects on electronics. Always rely on your neutral and ground wires for protection.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 11:04 AM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

Elec. cont. friend said it's no longer legal, IMO I'm sure it was when your garage was built in less it's new, I'd OHM it out and see if it's good or run a separate ground wire to be on the safe side


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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 11:22 AM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelrick View Post
Elec. cont. friend said it's no longer legal, IMO I'm sure it was when your garage was built in less it's new, I'd OHM it out and see if it's good or run a separate ground wire to be on the safe side
I just went through this when my house was built 2 years ago. Code in my county (Hernando County Florida) required the ground be tied via a grounding pigtail (greenie screwed into the box itself and tied to the active ground which goes all the way back to the main/sub panel) in each and every metal/junction box. Conduit is no longer considered a "safe" ground because of corrosion.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 12:08 PM
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

Grounding is argued everywhere. I helped a friend wire his house, and the inspector made him ground his plastic boxes. "I says in the code book that all boxes must be grounded.", the inspector replied. And they wonder why people get upset with inspectors.

I personally had issues one time. I changed my service to my new garage and fed the house from the garage because I needed to upgrade the house panel, too. I installed a ground rod for the new panel at the garage. I ran underground conductors and a separate copper ground for the house feed. I put a new sub-panel in the house and separated the grounds and neutral in that panel. I also grounded the water pipes. My mistake was to leave the old ground rod at the house. The inspector said that you can only have one ground rod on the system. My thinking is that you can't have enough grounds if you get a lightning strike, but I was wrong according to the inspector. I then said the water line ground is a second ground. He still would not listen to reason, so I had to remove the house ground rod from the house panel. Allow me to repeat myself, and they wonder why people get upset with inspectors. That wasn't the only issue, but I digress...

Rich, I would run a separate ground in the conduit.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 3:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Home/Garage electrical question

To be clear, the wiring in the conduit is three strand wire so there IS a ground wire (this building is only about 10-15 years old). My question was only if the housings and conduits are typically connected to the ground circuit. I haven't actually looked inside the terminal box yet but I'm guessing the ground circuit is connected to the box and conduit as well if that is normal and correct practice. The building was wired by a contractor and our local inspectors are pretty strict.

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