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receptacle grounding

Ken Meyer

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Grounding wires to receptacles must run along with the conductors to those receptacles, correct? I think I remember this being discussed before.

This 1950 house had a new service and panel (with permits), exterior ground rods, and a bonding wire to the copper pipes at the water heater. The bonding wire to the water heater passes through a terminal bar mounted to a floor joist, and grounding wires go from there to outlets in the basement and elsewhere.

It looks to me like the electrician grandfathered in an existing situation where the outlets had been "grounded" to a water pipe, judging from the older splices and separate grounding wires to older J boxes. The water service has been replaced with PEX, so the old system of "grounding" those outlets was lost.

So my question is: must grounding wires run along with the conductors in either conduit or in a cable assembly like romex?

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I think I found the answer in Code Check. "EGCs must run w/other conductors of circuit. EXC Replacing nongrounding receptacles. Separate EGC OK from box to service or ground bar of panel where circuit originates."

Of course, the EGCs also have to be protected from physical damage. They can't just be strung around like a clothes line.

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