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No Ground Wire in Electric Switch Box?

I was changing a bad light switch on my wall and when I opened it up it only had 2 wires, one copper and one covered in red. There was no ground wire coming out of the metal box.

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When I hooked up the new switch and turned it on it worked, but when I tried to screw it back into the box it sparked a bit. Please help; I don't have one of those ohm readers or anything.

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August 24, 20150 found this helpful

Please use an electrician. You should never work on electrical when it is energized.

The two wires, "one copper and one covered in red", on the switch should both have insulation because both will be current carrying conductors. Again, an electrician can fix this condition for you.

No ground wire coming out of the box is not uncommon. The ground wire may be attached to the box itself and the switch is protected by the screws to the box.

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The sparking may have come from the copper wire touching the grounded box. Although the bare wire is bad, it sounds as though your box is grounded.

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