Ground questions

Old 02-11-03, 10:19 PM
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Ground questions

Alright, I've been replacing all the outlets in my house, and noticed a few things. First off, a lot of the cables coming from the breaker box don't have ground wires in them, but from the first outlet to each outlet in the circuit afterwards do. Why would this be? Will attaching the ground wires to each outlet in the circuit, pigtailed to the metal boxes, but no ground at the breaker box suffice, or is this still an ungrounded circuit? Also, I was thinking of adding a circuit, and noticed the plastic boxes for outlets... how do these ground? I assume just the ground wires get connected and nothing gets done to the box considering it's not a conductor, but I wanted to be sure.
Old 02-11-03, 10:37 PM
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Where there is no grounding wire present, it is possible that the grounding connection is provided by metal conduit. Does this sound like what you've got?

When using plastic boxes, just connect the grounding wire to outgoing grounding wire, and with a pigtail to the green screw on the switch or receptacle. You do not attach the ground to the plastic box.

If you do not have a good grounding connection back to the panel, then you should not be connecting the grounding wires to the switches or receptacles, and you should not be installing three-hole receptacles. So you should verifiy that you have a good grounding connection all the way back to the panel, either via a wire, conduit, or a combination of both.
Old 02-11-03, 10:49 PM
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No conduit... I know what that is, and know for a fact there isn't any in the house.

That's what I figured about the ground... I guess I have some cable to run. I've already run a few cables to the panel and gotten rid of the old cable. It just seems ridiculous that every piece of cable between outlets have imbedded ground wires, but the cables to the panel don't. What else is new, though... the circuits themselves are goofy as well. I planned on running at least two new circuits to the kitchen anyway.

Edit : Oh, and thanks for your reply.
Old 02-12-03, 07:45 AM
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Is it possible that a previous homeowner ran new (grounded) wiring? Perhaps they didn't feel comfortable DIYing the home runs to the panel, and never got around to hiring an electrician to finish the job.

It could be worse -- you might have had to replace all of the wiring!
Old 02-12-03, 08:54 AM
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Yes it could bbe worse. I was at a garage the other day and it had 2 wire recepts because the handyman type that wire it was too cheap to buy new 3's and had these used in basement or something. Then he clips the ground wire off of the 3 wire he used rendering each wire in the run too short to redo the things. Woulda been cool if he wadded the wire up or hooked it to the steel box he used. I have been in several homes where this dickhead did installs. One he clipped the ground wire off at a water heater. A real old timer that refused to change and figures he knows more than anyone else. Deliberately cuts off the ground wires. He probably did hundreds in this area like that over the years.
Old 02-13-03, 09:44 PM
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Same thing here... where the ground wires are they are clipped off, I guess because there weren't grounded outlets in the house. To remedy this I've been able to undo staples and pull more cable into the boxes. In other words, I figured the lesser of two evils was not having the cable stapled within a foot of the box instead of not having a ground. I have also run new 12/2 between some outlets when I had access. Finally, like I said before, I'm going to completely redo the kitchen and I also plan on running a dedicated circuit to my home office where my PC is, as well as a few to the game room when I finish the basement, where I plan on having a nice home theatre setup.

And once again, thanks for everybody's feedback.

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