upgrading outlets


  #1  
Old 03-16-03, 02:51 PM
chart
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Question upgrading outlets

I want to upgrade my two prong outlets to three prong outlets. I recall from my home inspection that most of the outlets proved to be grounded when the inspector checked them...however there were some that were not.

In any case, I have attempted to replace two different outlets today. There appears to be no ground wire. The box is metal. I thought they may be grounded from behind, however the tester I purchased shows them to have an open ground? I replaced them anyway thinking that if the two prong outlet wasn't grounded...then what difference is a three prong...however I'd like to make sure the rest are correct before I proceed.

Do I have to purchase GFICs for all? Or have them wired? What's the easiest, least expensive way to handle this? And myself if possible...

Thanks
Christie
 
  #2  
Old 03-16-03, 03:11 PM
brunello
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electrical/upgrading

Do you have conduit going to your outlet boxes? If so, check to make sure your fuse box has a ground leading from the box to a water pipe. This is your ground for the house. If you have a ground you should be ok. Make sure when you put on the new three prong outlet that the + ( black wire in most cases) and - (white wire) are attached to the correct side of the outlet.

You really only need GFI's in the kitchen and baths.
 
  #3  
Old 03-16-03, 03:57 PM
J
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You may not install ungrounded 3-hole receptacles without GFCI protection. It does make a difference. If your tester shows "open ground" on the 3-hole receptacle, replace it with a GFCI or use GFCI upstream.

You know, you don't have to have grounded receptacles everywhere. For most appliances with two-prong plugs, an ungrounded receptacle is fine.
 
  #4  
Old 03-16-03, 05:13 PM
J
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The difference is you can't plug in a 3 prong cord into a 2 prong outlet. A device with a 3 prong cord expects a ground for safety.
 
  #5  
Old 03-16-03, 07:39 PM
texsparky
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From brunello
You really only need GFI's in the kitchen and baths.
and hot tubs,outside receptacles,garages,pools,unfinished basements,temporary construction blah blah blah
 
  #6  
Old 03-17-03, 08:13 AM
chart
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Question well...

[QUOTE]Originally posted by John Nelson
[B]You may not install ungrounded 3-hole receptacles without GFCI protection. It does make a difference. If your tester shows "open ground" on the 3-hole receptacle, replace it with a GFCI or use GFCI upstream.

So...if I want to intall a 3-hole recepticle, and it's showing open ground, I should buy GFCI? Or re-wire? I know my tester shows these as ungrounded...and I know I'm not really around water, but with nice equipment (tv, stereo, computer)...I want to make sure I'm doing it correctly? I don't mind returning all of the 3-holes I purchased and buying GFCIs, if needed....

Thanks
 
  #7  
Old 03-17-03, 08:31 AM
lestrician
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Either buy the GFI(s) or rewire. Either is acceptable. If you decide to go with GFI's, you can replace the first recept. with a GFI, and feed the rest off of that one, but you need to label them as having no equipment ground.
 
  #8  
Old 03-17-03, 09:09 AM
solr
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Smile

If you are using any kind of electronic equipment, you MUST have a good GROUND connection, otherwise you may get noise, and your surge protectors will not work properly.

GFI is only for the saftey of human beings, and does nothing for the equipment plugged in.
 
  #9  
Old 03-17-03, 09:18 AM
chart
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So if I'm concerned about my equipment...then I'd want to re-wire those outlets? (Or have someone do it...) I'd assume this isn't something I'd want to do myself, or is it easy? I can re-wire the outlet...but if I have to deal with the fuse box...I don't want to mess with that.

If I want the safety for myself, buy the GFI for those outlets...right?

We are evenutally going to need to upgrade our fuse box (we have an old screw in fuse type service...but I'd like to install these three prongs correctly for now.
 
  #10  
Old 03-17-03, 09:51 AM
solr
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I would recommend you have someone experienced do this work.

If you have a metal box, is the cable coming into the box metal or covered with plastic insulation?

The reason your outlet tester showed no groun, may be because the outlet itself is not making a good ground trough the mounting screws to the box.

If you have an electrical tester, see connect one end to the black wire at your outlet, and the other to the metal box. If it doesnt light up, then the box is not grounded. If you have armored cable coming into the box (BX), then the clamp is loose, causing you to loose the ground connection, or somewhere from this box back to the fuse box, the BX is not well connected, causing you to lose the ground.


If you don't understand what I just described to you, for your safety, get someone who is experienced doing this work.
 
 

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