Grounding

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  #1  
Old 06-23-04, 08:04 PM
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Grounding

I just bought a house that was built in 1956. The electrical service has been upgraded since it was built. The majority of the outlets in the house are the 2 slot type though. All of the wiring leaving the circuit breaker panel contains the black, white and bare ground wire. The problem is I don't see the ground wire in the outlet boxes. There is one box I found that did have the bare ground wire but it was not connected to anything (just coiled up in the back). Is it possible the ground wire is connected behind each of the other boxes? A room addition on the back of the house is grounded correctly. Any help is appreciated and how to fix the problem.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-24-04, 04:35 AM
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My guess is that the original house wiring is, for the most part, intact. I am thinking that when the service was upgraded that it was necessary to relocate the circuit breaker box. The new wires may very well go to another box, the old panel, and then attach to the old wires. You will need to investigate this.
 
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Old 06-24-04, 10:43 AM
doingitmyself
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Originally Posted by doitmyself55997
All of the wiring leaving the circuit breaker panel contains the black, white and bare ground wire. The problem is I don't see the ground wire in the outlet boxes. There is one box I found that did have the bare ground wire but it was not connected to anything (just coiled up in the back). Is it possible the ground wire is connected behind each of the other boxes?
Your system is ungrounded. And from what I've read, it can remain that way, since it's existing. But if you run new recepticals or circuits, the new circuits would have to brought to code, which means installing the grounding wires to the new circuits.

Are the bare grounding wires connected at the main service panel? The reason they are not coming to the outlets is that the outlets are of the 2-prong ungrounded type. If the grounding wire is connected at the service panel, you could choose to buy the 3 prong grounding recepatcles, and then place the grounding wire on the receptacles. You will have to check further as to whether or not the grounding wire is still at the outlet. They may be behind the outlet box, or they may have been cut somewhere along the run to the branch circuits, depending on who ran the wire.

I would suppose others may be able to help more, but you should probably provide some more info, such as, what size is your panel (60-, 100-, 200-amp). Also, are the wires running inside the panel and to the receptacles in cable sheathing?
 
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Old 06-24-04, 10:51 AM
doingitmyself
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Originally Posted by racraft
The new wires may very well go to another box, the old panel, and then attach to the old wires. You will need to investigate this.
Bob, I just seen your reply. If someone installed (properly and grounded) a new panel between the service entrance and the old box, would the use of the old panel be considered a subpanel? And if so, would the grounded and grounding conductors be required to be separate in the old panel?

-Terry
(I'm not the original poster to this thread)
 
  #5  
Old 06-24-04, 10:53 AM
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The old panel could be used as a large junction box and not a sub panel.
 
  #6  
Old 06-24-04, 05:38 PM
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Grounding - More Info

The panel is 200 amp. The wiring leaving the box is in cable sheathing with the 3 wires (black, white, & bare ground). The wiring doesn't go to another panel but directly into the attic and then to each room in the house. The bare ground wires for all of the cabling are connected in the main service panel. I am sure there is not a subpanel installed anywhere.

From the looks of the cables leaving the main panel and coming into each outlet box, they appear to be the same (appearance: style and aging). When I look at each outlet box I don't see the bare ground wire in any of the boxes except in the kitchen. I guess I will have to pull an outlet box completely out of the wall to see if the ground wire in just behind the box not connected from what I hear in the prior postings.

Why would anyone not connect the ground wire at the outlet box. I live in Florida and with all the lightning, I really need to be able to get the full protection from a surge protector for high priced tv's, computers, etc. Am I right thinking the ground wire is necessary for a surge protector to work correctly? Will the whole house surge protector I had installed on meter by the electric co. be enough protection?

Thanks for all the helpful information you can give me - Mark
 
  #7  
Old 06-24-04, 05:51 PM
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A surge protector won't do you a bit of good if your house gets struck by lightning.
 
  #8  
Old 06-25-04, 05:35 PM
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Obviously a surge protector would not protect a house from a lightning strike but it would protect the house from an electical surge. Is the ground wire necessary for the surge protector to work correctly?

Is my easiest way to fix my problem with the gounding to run a new line to each of the outlets that need to be grounded for surge protectors? Can I do this without re-wiring the entire house?
 
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Old 06-25-04, 06:02 PM
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Is the ground wire necessary for the surge protector to work correctly?
Yes. The surge suppressor works by shunting some current to ground when a voltage spike occurs. If there is no ground, it cannot eliminate the spike.

Is my easiest way to fix my problem with the grounding to run a new line to each of the outlets that need to be grounded for surge protectors? Can I do this without re-wiring the entire house?
Yes. It is quite common to add a new grounded circuit for your sensitive electronics. Hopefully you can put all this stuff in one general area of the house, and just run one new circuit. Don't try to ground existing outlets--just add new ones. And don't try to ground an existing circuit--add a new circuit.
 
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