Quick 3-way switch question

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Old 08-20-18, 09:03 PM
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Question Quick 3-way switch question

Hi - just a simple question while replacing a very old 3-way switch. The old switch has no green ground screw. There are two cables coming into the metal electrical box. The ground wires from each cable go into a copper-colored clip, and then a pig tail goes from the copper clip to a silver clip on the metal box.

The new switch has a green grounding screw. Rather than undoing the existing grounded wires (that go to the metal clip), can I just ground the new switch to another green screw that I add to the box? Or do all of the grounds have to go to the same place?
 
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Old 08-20-18, 10:06 PM
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If the box is metal..... an additional ground to the switch is not necessary.
You could add a ground wire to a second green screw in the box if desired.
 
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Old 09-09-18, 08:04 PM
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1. Out of curiosity, why donít you need to ground the switch if the box is metal? By no means am I disagreeing, just trying to learn.

2. If I do decide to ground the switch to the box with a separate wire, it can be on its own, right?....and doesnít need to be tied into the other grounds right?
 
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Old 09-09-18, 08:15 PM
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The switch saddle is grounded through the contact with the box and most switch togels are non conductive plastic. But IIRC if the cover plate is metal it must have a ground wire.

Yes, a seperate wire to the box can be used.
 
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Old 09-09-18, 08:27 PM
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Ahhh, gotcha. Thereís actually a plastic spacer under the outletís screw to make it sit flush, so in that case the metal of the switch saddle doesnít actually touch the metal of the box. Eh, Iíll just ground the switch to box to be on the safe side...no biggie.
 
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Old 09-09-18, 09:13 PM
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Always better to be safe than sorry.

The biggest reason for ground screws on devices is the use of plastic boxes in which case they must be hard wire grounded.
 
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