Remodel/Gnd question

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  #1  
Old 11-13-04, 11:12 PM
texasruss
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Remodel/Gnd question

Ok, posted this once and it disappeared!

I'm systematically rewiring my house. The prior owner/builder used whatever he had to wire nthe first time: #12/w gnd, #14 w/o gnd, cloth covered, etc.

I'm down to the last few items.

I have 2 outlets that are connected together. Due to several other rewires these are isolated and need to be put online. One outlet (under a window) has 2 wires: 1 #12 that goes through the wall (not attic) to the other outlet I need online. The other wire from the under window outlet goes through to the attic. The problem is that the wire going to the attci is #14 w/o gnd. Because the outlet is under a window I can't rewire with #12 w/gnd.

I want to maintain a grounded circuit, but I'm stuck. I think I've read where I can use a GFCI in a non-grounded circuit to provide protection.

My alternative is to just add 2 new outlets near the existing ones. What is my safest option?

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-14-04, 06:54 AM
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If these receptacles are not presently connected to a circuit then your only option (within code) is to rewire them, or abandon them and add new receptacles. It would be against code to connect these to an existing circuit since there is no ground.

Yes, a GFCI can be used where there is no ground, and it is within code to do so. However, there is still the issue of you not being allowed to extend an existing circuit without a ground.

Finally, your safest option without question is to make certain that these receptacles are wired with a ground.
 
  #3  
Old 11-14-04, 08:36 AM
texasruss
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Help me understand...

I pulled this circuit offline earlier in the week. So now, because it's offline and I've found the circuit doesn't have a ground I have to abandon the circuit? I'm going to follow the safest path, but I'm trying to understand the 'letter of the law' so to speak.

If I hadn't done my due diligence and had extended this circuit from another point then it would have been ok due to ignorance of the circuit? (I suppose it would have becuase I wouldn't have known the ground issue.

After some thought last night I had pretty much convinced myself just to abandon these outlets and put new ones in. I'm just trying to understand your response and the codes writing.

Thanks.

Originally Posted by racraft
If these receptacles are not presently connected to a circuit then your only option (within code) is to rewire them, or abandon them and add new receptacles. It would be against code to connect these to an existing circuit since there is no ground.

Yes, a GFCI can be used where there is no ground, and it is within code to do so. However, there is still the issue of you not being allowed to extend an existing circuit without a ground.

Finally, your safest option without question is to make certain that these receptacles are wired with a ground.
 
  #4  
Old 11-14-04, 08:55 AM
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A lot of old wiring is considered unsafe by modern safety standards. The code does not require you to correct these old unsafe conditions, but it also doesn't allow you to extend them either. The code is written figuring that when you are doing further work, you will want to correct these old hazards. And you do, right?
 
  #5  
Old 11-14-04, 09:58 AM
texasruss
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Absolutely

Yes, my whole plan on this house has been to correct absolutely everythung that I can.

Of course I'm at the point where every trip into the attic requires a good bit of psyching myself up. Let's face it, spending hours at a time in a place that you can't stand up in, and where every move is a balancing act is tough place to go. Of course the snakes and other animals in there can also be disconcerting.

Back a few months ago when I was doing the bulk of the work I would spend up to 12 hours at a time in there. I was so comfortable that I would eat my lunch up there! When you are working alone it's very hard. Drill a hole, push wire, go down stairs, pull a wire, go upstairs, run to next drop, drill a hole...!

Thanks for the reply. I'm gonna get my attic clothes on and get back to work.

Originally Posted by John Nelson
A lot of old wiring is considered unsafe by modern safety standards. The code does not require you to correct these old unsafe conditions, but it also doesn't allow you to extend them either. The code is written figuring that when you are doing further work, you will want to correct these old hazards. And you do, right?
 
  #6  
Old 12-30-04, 05:52 PM
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Laughed so much I had to reply

I got so much enjoyment from your post about going up and down the attic, eating lunch up there, etc, that I had to write a reply. I just spent an hour or so the other day in my attic and know just what you mean. Anyway, thanks for the chuckle as I am researching how to re-wire my house. One thought, if you could bring up a few 1/2" plywood sheets, you might save yourself some balancing act effort. Just move one as you are standing on the other one.
 
  #7  
Old 12-30-04, 06:16 PM
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The most tiring thing about working in the attic is having to stand is such awkward positions. I'm thinking about mounting a chair up there to rest in.
 
  #8  
Old 12-30-04, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
The most tiring thing about working in the attic is having to stand is such awkward positions. I'm thinking about mounting a chair up there to rest in.
LOL

When we bought our house last summer (built in 1975), I thought it was really amazing that the roof trusses were on 16" centers. Great! It was built well, I suppose I thought.

Then I got up there to do some electrical work...

Try crawling towards the outside walls with a 4-12 pitch and 14.5" between trusses!!!

When I relocated my dryer, I had to move the existing #10 Romex over to an outside wall. I ended up climbing back down from the attic, cutting a 4x4 hole in the ceiling near where the wire needed to be, then going back up there, tossing the end of the romex near the hole, crawling back down, reaching up through the hole and pulling the wire over to where I could get it into the wall. That left me with a 4x4 hole to patch. That's OK though. As tight as it was up there, I was afraid if I tried to crawl in that far, I'd have had a 14" x 6' hole to patch after I got out of the hospital and got all the casts off. LOL
 
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