Ungrounded Circuit

Old 07-01-03, 10:26 AM
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Ungrounded Circuit

This is a continuation of my previous thread which became a little confusing so I thought if I asked the question again we could get to a clearer plan on how I should proceed.

I am updating the wiring to a bathroom to add a fan/light and an outlet in a house wired in the 1950s. The existing wiring for this circuit is ungrounded 2 wire not in conduit, however the main panel is properly grounded to a grounding rod and the metal water pipe, and some of the other circuits are more recent and properly grounded.

I have the Home Depot Wiring 1-2-3 book and it provides the following guidance in the "Grounding Receptacles" section:

"If a box is ungrounded, ground it by running a #12 green insulated or bare copper wire to a cold-water pipe. Or, install a GFCI receptacle which will provide greater protection than grounding."

I want to make the circuit as safe as possible, but I would rather not make this a major project. Because of the existing wire routing, a new home run would be a big job.

What are my options from safer to safest?
Old 07-01-03, 07:13 PM
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If a box is ungrounded, ground it by running a #12 green insulated or bare copper wire to a cold-water pipe.
Choice#1-Only if you connect the wire to the water pipe At a point no more than 5 feet from where the pipe enters the house.

Choice #2-Leave it alone

Choice #3- Install a gfci receptacle to replace the 2 wire receptacle. This option will provide no protection for sensitive electronic equipment that requires a ground.

Choice #4- Run a new circuit to the panel.

Choice#5- Hire an electrician to do any of choices 1, 3, or 4
Old 07-01-03, 08:08 PM
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Next time I'm in Home Depot, I guess I'll need to look at a copy of that book. It's not ususual for a home wiring book to recommend a dangerous and illegal practice, and perhaps this is another example.

I'll add two more conditions to tex's choice #1. You can only do this if there is already a grounding wire running from this five feet of pipe to your panel, and if the pipe is metal an in contact with the earth for ten feet.

If you can't do it right, it is better to leave it alone. Illegal grounding connectoins increase danger, not safety.

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