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Grounding versus Bonding



250.146 Connecting Receptacle Grounding Terminal to Box

Receptacles must have their grounding contacts connected to an effective ground-fault current path by bonding the receptacle's grounding terminal to a metal box, unless the receptacle's grounding terminal is grounded (bonded) to an effective ground-fault current path by one of the methods provided in (A) through (D). See 406.3 for additional details. Figure 250.186

Author's Comment: The NEC does not restrict the position of the receptacle grounding terminal; it can be up, down, or sideways. All Code proposals to specify the mounting position of receptacles have been rejected. Figure 250.187
(A) Surface-Mounted Box. Where the box is mounted on the surface, direct metal-to-metal contact between the device yoke and the box can serve as the effective ground-fault current path. To ensure an effective ground-fault current path between the receptacle and metal box, at least one of the insulating retaining washers on the yoke screw must be removed. Figure 250.188

Receptacles secured to a metal cover [406.4(C)] must have the receptacle's grounding terminal bonded to the box, unless the box and cover are listed as providing continuity between the box and the receptacle. Figure 250.189

(B) Self-Grounding Receptacles. Receptacle yokes designed and listed as self-grounding can be used to establish the effective ground-fault current path between the device yoke and a metal outlet box. Figure 250.190

Author's Comment: Outlet boxes cannot be set back more than 1⁄4 in. from the finished mounting surface [314.20].

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