Old Wiring "problems"

Old 10-19-02, 07:50 PM
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Old Wiring "problems"

Hello All:

I live in a older home that has 2 wire service through out the house.

Federal Pacific Panel

When I test the outlet's it shows an open Ground. 'cause it's 2 wire " I'm aware of this"

my question is can I replace the old 2 prong with a GFCI and then install my surge protectors and have the same "security" as with a 3 wire service.

Now I'm not sure if the panel is Grounded either 'cause I cannot see through it. Hehe

the wire's are unprotected "no conduit"

What can I do to be at ease with what I plug into the wall outlets
Everything I own is just about Brand New

Washer, Dryer, Fridge, 60" , 50" & 35" television's, Several computers

I'M Renting Toooo.

Another Question:

I just bought 2 large commercial wire racks to setup all my computer equipment on.
Is this a safe pratice or should it be grounded aswell?

Old 10-19-02, 07:55 PM
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Most surge protectors are not of much use without a grounding wire. I suggest you just live with the risk. It's not a huge risk. You might want to unplug everything in an electrical storm. Or consider moving.
Old 10-19-02, 08:02 PM
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We just moved here a few months ago
Historical neighborhood unfortunately I was out of town when we moved so I didn't get to see the place till I came home.

very nice house except for the electrical
Old 10-20-02, 11:32 AM
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OK How about this

Can I run a grounding Rod into the ground outside right next to the outlet on the inside and Properly ground that outlet that way?
Old 10-20-02, 12:05 PM
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NO,, you cannot do that. You can run a wire from the outlet that you want to protect back to the panel. A ground rod does not protect this from a fault. Also that it actually good for puters to have their own wire.
Old 10-20-02, 01:02 PM
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Is this rental home over a basement or crawlspace or have an attic? It may not be too difficult to selectively re-wire, if it is.
If I were you with all of your "almost new" electronics, appliances, computers, etc., I would try to negotiate a deal with the owner to have properly grounded circuits run to improve the value of his property (and YOUR personal property protection from lightning or other electric surges....you DO have renter's insurance on this personal property, in any case, don't you?).
John Nelson or one of the other electrical experts here can walk you through how-to-do-it, if you want to run the new circuits yourself (labor), with the owner springing for the materials at cost (IF this is allowed there). He will need to get permits and inspections from the local Building Inspection Department, and maybe he/she will help you, unless the owner wants or has to hire a pro electrican.
As John said, you have no surge protection (even with a surge protector) without a ground wire on the circuits from the panel.
And this is a question for John...would a whole-house surge protector on the panel help, as an alternative? Although my panel and electrical system is up to code and properly grounded, I put one on mine, and I have a surge protector on all of my computer stuff, too. It's never popped, but I feel better with it there anyway.
Old 10-20-02, 01:20 PM
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I just removed the panel and there Are Ground wires tied in "Bare copper".

But I cannot see them when I open the recepticals

But I am getting an open ground in All Outlet's.

Being that I do hahe the ground wires would this be an easier fix?

This is a house with Attic and I have no problem Rerunning a dedicated line to that outlet if need be.

Thank's for the assistance guy's

Last edited by Hollywood; 10-20-02 at 03:29 PM.
Old 10-20-02, 03:45 PM
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Do not touch a thing.

1. if you show an open ground(which can only be tested if the outlet is for a grounded system) this is the first problem(violation)

2. FP panels are a latent problem.

3. unless you have a lic. you cannot do the work.

4. If you want info on existing dwellings get NFPA 73.

5. there is nothing you can do!
Old 10-20-02, 04:05 PM
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OK i won't do Anything ...........

Thank's for all your replies

I'm going to speak with the electrician on the job site tomorrow and see if he can check it out for me.

I hope he needs some Drywall work done! hehe
Old 10-20-02, 04:12 PM
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would this be considered a Code violation? just asking

sorry about the 50 question's BUT

Now Can I atleast change out 1 of the recepticles to a 3 prong so that I can plug items in direct rather than using a reducer

These outlets suck soooo bad that if I plug something into it it just FALLS OUT. haha

LOL Someone tell me some Good News Please!

Old 10-20-02, 07:17 PM
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Without GFCI protection, and without a grounding wire, it would indeed violate code to put in 3-hole receptacles. Provide one or the other. GFCI will protect you, but not your computer. Grounding will protect your computer. As was pointed out earlier, the "ground" (i.e., dirt) is a very poor ground for receptacles. It is a common misconception to think that it does. We should have named that bare wire something else to avoid this confusion. Think it's too late to change the name? How about we call it the "safety wire" instead of the "grounding wire"?

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