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Thread: Self-grounding receptacle

  1. #1
    DIY Member dhla's Avatar
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    Default Self-grounding receptacle

    I have a question about a self-grounding receptacle.

    I have found the exact product I wish to install... it is a specialized receptacle and one of the features is that it is self-grounding.

    My understanding, which may be faulty, is that instead of connecting the ground wire in the traditional manner, I need to ground to the receptacle box itself. Presumably, the box needs to be metal?

    What happens if the box is one of the blue remodel boxes? How do I deal with a self-grounding receptacle in that situation?

    There is no option to use a different type of receptacle. The only one with the other features I want happens to be self-grounding.

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhla View Post
    I have found the exact product I wish to install... it is a specialized receptacle and one of the features is that it is self-grounding.
    What happens if the box is one of the blue remodel boxes?
    How do I deal with a self-grounding receptacle in that situation?
    You loose the ability to self ground.
    Hook up the wires the same as any three wire recpt.

    What are these features you want other than extra cost?

  3. #3
    DIY Member dhla's Avatar
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    It's a surge protecting receptacle that is wired like a GFCI. It's a long story, but the "next" outlet in line is a clock-outlet used for a flat screen, and given that the receptacle is both tamper resistant and has line/load, it should provide some form of surge protection to the next receptacle in line, namely the clock outlet. In addition, I put a whole-house surge protector on the panel, so I should be in good shape. The model is Leviton T5280.

    So I can still hook up the "normal" ground and all will be well??

    If so, thank you for the confirmation.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If the recepticle has a ground screw, use it. If it doesn't, then you need a metal box, connect the ground to the box and ensure that the screws used to mount the device are tight to the box. Seems to me a self-grounding recepticle is mostly a joke - it is a secondary connection at best. A GFCI doesn't need a ground, but most surge suppressors are severely compromised if they don't have that connection. A good surge suppressor limits spikes between hot-neutral, neutral-ground, and hot-ground. WIthout the ground, they often can't bleed off that current and won't perform their stated function. If the TV has a 3-pronged plug, you may void the warranty if it doesn't have a true ground. From a safety standpoint (not equipment life), using a GFCI to supply an ungrounded outlet is okay. Some devices really need the ground, though.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Member dhla's Avatar
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    There is a ground wire right now to the "regular" receptacle. There is a ground screw on the self-grounding receptacle. But box is a blue plastic box. So wanted to know if I pigtail the ground to the ground screw, am I ok that this surge receptacle will be in a blue box?

  6. #6
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    I use a small UPS/surge on my LCD TV
    It was almost free after rebate/sale, less $$ then the Levitron
    Of course that won't work if its mounted on a wall

    Just use the ground screw

    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You can use a pigtail to extend the ground that is in the cable to the device. A plastic box does no good if you ground it nor does it provide a ground for a self-grounding device. But, assuming your supply has a ground lead, you should run it to the devices installed in the box, either indirectly through a metal box, or directly with either.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhla View Post
    It's a surge protecting receptacle that is wired like a GFCI. It's a long story, but the "next" outlet in line is a clock-outlet used for a flat screen, and given that the receptacle is both tamper resistant and has line/load, it should provide some form of surge protection to the next receptacle in line, namely the clock outlet. In addition, I put a whole-house surge protector on the panel, so I should be in good shape. The model is Leviton T5280.

    So I can still hook up the "normal" ground and all will be well??

    If so, thank you for the confirmation.
    I see what your getting at. Yes, if you hook this device up properly it will function.
    There is no need for a metal box.

  9. #9
    Engineer Furd's Avatar
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    The only difference between a "self-grounding" receptacle an one that isn't self-grounding is a little piece of spring wire that is secured to the frame (yoke) of the receptacle and presses against the mounting screw. Use the ground screw on the receptacle.

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