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Do Metal Electrical Boxes Need to Be Grounded? (Explained)

The metal electric boxes are made to ensure excellent security for various electrical wiring applications to make them fireproof, strong crush, or bent free.

Many people choose to use metal electric boxes for durability and a longer life span. In this article, we will discuss whether the metal electrical boxes need to be grounded or not. 

Do metal electrical boxes need to be grounded? 

The metal box should be grounded. Metal electric boxes are commonly used to seal the wiring application throughout the house. Despite the metal, electric boxes should be grounded through a machine screw, clip, or metal conduit to ensure proper safety and avoid any occurrence.

Reading application is one of the most important parts of providing electric supply throughout the house. That is why many people choose to use the electrical box to move wires from one place to another.

Using a metal electrical box is important to ensure proper safety for the electrical wiring. This is why you may need to ground metal electrical boxes.

You may also need to ground the junction boxes which serve as a connecting hub to keep the wires connected. In some cases, you need to ground the metal junction boxes.

This will eventually be beneficial in many ways because the grounding of the electrical or junction boxes transfers excess electricity through the ground where it can be easily and safely dispersed.

In addition to that, no matter how many metal electric boxes you’re using to maintain the wiring application, it is recommended to ground all of them. Whenever you work with electrical applications.

It is always required to have safety measures put in place for an electrical system inside your house. When you use the metal electric box, the best way is to insert a green grounding screw into the threaded hole in the back of the box or enclosure.

This will provide maximum safety for the electrical ground box as well as the house. In addition to that, it will not face any trouble when again working with the wiring application.

Why do metal boxes need to be grounded?

The metal boxes need to be grounded to ensure proper safety for the house and the electrical wiring. Electrical wiring is one of the most important and sensitive components in the household.

That is why it is recommended that they should be grounded, especially for the junction boxes that are used to connect the wirings in a place. The benefit of grounding the metal boxes is to safely disperse the excess electricity towards the ground.

A grounded electrical metal box has to send the electricity through the ground to the breaker box, which also should be grounded. If you do not ground the metal box, it allows the electricity to go wherever it wants to during a power surge.

This is not a good thing and may cause serious electrocution or fire in the household. This is why the metal electric boxes and the junction boxes should be grounded to ensure proper electric operations and fireproofing efficiency.

What happens if a metal box isn’t grounded?

Electrical wiring is an essential part of maintaining the electrical connection throughout the house because it ensures an uninterrupted electric supply.

In addition to that, grounding the metal box will also help to organize the wiring throughout the house, so that it can be found in the right type of place within a very short time whenever working on them.

Below is a brief discussion of what happens if the metal box is not grounded:

It becomes a fire risk: 

Basically, the electrical boxes are grounded to avoid serious occurrences such as fire or electrocution. This happens when you do not organize the electrical wirings and keep them open.

The electricity can go wherever it wants: 

Generally, the electrical metal box can send the electricity throughout the ground to a breaker box. If you do not ground the electrical metal box, it may allow the electricity to go wherever it wants to during a power surge.

The wires may bend not organized: 

The last thing that happens when you do not ground the metal boxes is the wires do not seem to be organized. As a result, it becomes trouble for you to figure out any issued wire.

Do I have to use the ground screw in a metal box? 

The metal boxes need to be grounded to make sure proper electric supply and safety. When you use the metal box to ground, you must pass under the grounding screw of the box.

It is always recommended to use a ground screw in a metal box to seal the box and prevent it from opening to interrupt the electric supply in the house.

Grounding the metal box is also a part of the safety measures that should be taken when installing electrical wiring inside the house.

Or else the wire could cause serious damage to your house such as to cause fire from a slight issue. That is why it is better to use a ground screw to seal the metal box.

How do you ground a metal electrical box? 

Grounding the middle electric box is very important because it ensures proper electric supply and full safety for the house. Grounding the metal electric box will eventually increase the life span of the electric connection and help to keep them organized.

There are some drawbacks to not grounding an electrical box. If you do not ground a metal electric box, it may become a fire risk.

In some cases, the electricity may go wherever it wants to go during a power surge and that could lead to electrocution or fire incident. The electrical boxes need to be grounded to connect the wirings in a place and leave them to the junction box.

This ensures an organized power supply throughout the house. A brief discussion on how to ground a metal electric box: 

Use the pigtail method: 

Using the pigtail method is considered the most efficient and secure with the metal boxes.

In this method, both receptacle and metal box are kept grounded together. Join the wires together and attach them with a pigtail to the box and receptacle. 

Organize the wires carefully: 

You need to organize the wires carefully and maintain them in order when placing them inside the metal boxes.

This will help you to figure out which wire has been issued and what it has led to. Carefully bring the wires together and join them to the other part of the box. 

Seal them using a ground screw: 

Sealing the ground metal boxes is an essential part of securing them because it will help you with an uninterrupted power supply. That is why it is highly recommended that you seal the ground metal boxes using a ground screw.

How can you tell if a metal box is grounded?

When you connect the wiring in your place, you need to make sure that everything is properly in place, this includes the electrical wiring applications as well. The metal box is an essential part of the electrical wiring application in your house.

These boxes are mainly found behind the electrical outlets in your home. The general purpose of electrical metal boxes is to hold the wires and outlets together to connect them through a ground wire to the breaker box.

That is why you need to check whether the metal boxes are grounded and make sure the electricity is not going anywhere else during the power surge: 

Shut off the power: 

You go and check the grounding of the electrical metal box. You need to shut down the power of your house to avoid being electrocuted. You should be very careful and check whether it has turned off or not.

Pull the electric outlet from the wall: 

Once you have shut down the power, now you can pull the outlet of the wall to see the wiring and connections attached to the power outlet coming from the metal electrical box.

When pulling the outlet from the wall you need to be careful and make sure you don’t pull it off strongly or else it will tear the wires from the other end of the connection.

Unscrew the wire and organize them: 

Now you need to unscrew all the wires from the outlet and check the positive and neutral wires.

Make sure that none of the wires are exposed and touching any other wires. If so, immediately place them where they should be. Screw the outlet again to the ground box. 

Final thoughts

It is very important to ground the metal electric boxes because it will help to ensure the longer life span of the wires and avoid any electric occurrence such as fire or electrocution. In addition to that, it will help to avoid the electricity going anywhere else during a power surge.