Open grounds

Old 12-03-02, 08:34 AM
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Open grounds

I have just moved into a house, and I find that I have numerous three-prong recepticles that test as "open grounds". I have not yet delved into the problem enough to check if there are ground wires available...just not wired to the recepticles ( I am still trying to unpack at this point). I want to make sure that the wiring in the house is all safe, but I am not sure if I should even worry about this too much. However, some of the open grounds are in the kitchen. Should I, at the very least, replace the recepticles with two-prong polarized recepticles? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

Old 12-03-02, 08:56 AM
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You should have GCFI protected outlets in the kitchen, at least the countertop outlets.
Old 12-03-02, 09:46 AM
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If you put GFCI's in the kitchen and have no grounds you are to mark them as such, Many GFCI manufactures put these labels in the boxes with the receptacle so you can just stcik it on.
If you have other receptacles with no ground then they should be two prong receptacles or GFCI's with the label on it. Other wise having the three prong with no ground will give people a false sense of security and are dangerous not to mention against code.
Old 12-03-02, 12:59 PM
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What testing procedure did you use to determine that the receptacles were not Grounded?-----Remember, a Ground-type receptacle is effective ONLY when a 3-prong cord plug is inserted into the receptacle.You could have kitchen counter-top receptacles that are effectively Grounded, but if you plugged in a toaster with a 2-wire cord-plug you could still receive a severe shock from the metal frame of the appliance because the metal is not "bonded" to a 3rd. Grounding wire. This explains why GFI protection is required for counter-top receptacles, bathroom receptacles, and out-door receptacles, locations where moisture is prevelant and the shock-hazard is exascerbated. The concern with un-Grounded Ground-type receptacles is that you may plug a 3-wire cord into the receptacle and presume what's connected is Grounded, when it's not. You will have to determine what types of cables and boxes the house was wired with before concluding that the receptacles are not Grounded.Good Luck!!!(with the "new" house)
Old 12-04-02, 11:22 PM
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re: ungrounded outlets

As an Electrician and a owner of several older homes, I have found out that many people replace two-pronge outlets with grounding type receptacles. When replacing non-grounding outlets you have several options. One being replace the outlet with non-grounding outlets. Second replace the oulets with grounding outlets and provide GFCI protection for all of the replaced outlets. If you choose the second option this is a safe alternative, in some cases this will not prevent enough protection for high end electronics and computers. This has nothing to do with the safety factor of getting shocked but it might affect your pocket book. You might want to think about installing GFCI brakers in your panel for all of the outlet ckts in your house. Also be aware that they have came out with AFCI breakers that should be installed for dwelling unit bedrooms.

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