changing two prong outlets

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-30-04, 01:02 PM
rwg395
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
changing two prong outlets

I recently bought an older house with a number of two prong outlets. The inspector said that they were ungrounded but could easily become grounded simply by running a wire from a new three prong receptacle to the grounded box which houses it. Is this true? How do I know if the metal box is grounded?

Thanks in advance for anyone's help!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-30-04, 01:17 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This may or may not be true. You need to do some detective work to answer the question.

Do you know what type of wiring the house has and whether the wiring is in conduit or not?

Certain types of conduit can be used as the ground conductor.

If there is a ground conductor present in the wiring and it is connected to the metal box (and properly connected at the other end) then the boxes are grounded.
 
  #3  
Old 03-30-04, 03:24 PM
brian64
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
[i]Originally posted by racraft

If there is a ground conductor present in the wiring and it is connected to the metal box (and properly connected at the other end) then the boxes are grounded. [/B]
should you do this when ever you use a metalbox??? make sure you ground the box? thank inavance
 
  #4  
Old 03-30-04, 04:45 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes, metal boxes need to be grounded.

Think of it this way. You may remove a switch or a receptacle outlet, but you won't be removing the metal box.

What I do when I can is to Use a longer section of the ground wire than the hot and return. I loop the ground wire around the ground screw for the box and then still have enough to connect to the device and/or other ground wires.
 
  #5  
Old 03-31-04, 07:47 AM
rwg395
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
two prong outlets...help!

"Do you know what type of wiring the house has and whether the wiring is in conduit or not?"

I'm not sure what type of wiring the house has or if it's in conduit. We haven't closed yet so I don't have access to the outlets now. I do know that the system was upgraded to 100amps just 1 month ago. It has GFCI outlets in the kitchen and bath and one in the basement next to the fuse box. Can I simply replace all the two prong outlets with GFCIs if there is no ground?

I also know from the inspection that there is a large copper ground wire leading from the house to the yard outside. Does this information help at all? Forgive my ignorance, I'm still learning.
 
  #6  
Old 03-31-04, 08:24 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Rather than speculate on endless possibilities, it would probably be best to wait until you get into the house so you can check things out first hand.
 
  #7  
Old 03-31-04, 09:59 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes, you can replace two prong outlets with GFCI outlets. However, replacing all the outlets with a GFCI is a waste of money.

There are two reasons for this.

One GFCI can protect all downstream outlets. On a typical circuit you could install one GFCI and then install normal three prong outlets for the rest of the outlets on the same circuit.

The other reason is that three prong outlets are not needed in most locations of the house. You don't see too many devices that need three prong outlets. Why take the time and spend the money to install three prong outlets in your bedroom, for example, when none of your bedroom appliances have three prong cords?

This wouldnot completely solve your problem either. Installing GFCIs provides safety, but does not provide an equipment ground. Things like surge protectors, UPSs and computers need a properly grounded outlet to work properly. If you have such devices they will not function properly without a grounded outlet.

As John said, wait until you own the house before worrying about this too much.
 
  #8  
Old 03-31-04, 10:27 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: port chester n y
Posts: 2,117
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Much depends of the type of Wiring Method that inter-connects the receptacle outlet-boxes. If the W-M is Armored Cable, you connect the Grounding jumper, receptacle to metal outlet-box as advised.

To determine if the W-M is Arrmored Cable, check the cables that are connected to the Service panel-- these are the cables that "distribute" the power to the interior circuits.

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: