Old house, old outlets need advice

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  #1  
Old 12-29-04, 12:19 PM
yalrighty
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Old house, old outlets need advice

I live in a wartime house and all the outlets are grounded except for the upstairs bedrooms (I board in one). I want to move my computer from the basement to my bedroom so where I want to plug it in I have replaced the old 2-prong oulet with a GFI receptacle. There is no ground wire so I don't have anything on the green screw of the receptacle. I plugged in a good surge protector and tried an older computer and monitor on it and tested that out for about a half hour and everything worked fine. What I want to know is if there is an easy way to ground this thing like to the metal box in the wall or something or do I have to make do with no equipment ground? Any advice is appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-29-04, 12:45 PM
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You do not have a proper ground for your circuit. The GFCI provides protection, but that is all. You may as well remove the surge suppressor, as it is likely useless with no ground (unless it is a very expensive one).

The only way to ground your circuit is to either redo the wiring or to add a separate ground wire that goes all the way back to the main panel and connects with the other circuit grounds.

Your computer will probably run with no ground. However, strange things may very well happen if you connect up certain types of printers or other peripherals, especially ones that use the ground for reference..
 
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Old 12-29-04, 01:42 PM
yalrighty
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is there any other way to ground it? The box is two floors down and on the other side of the house ... I don't have experience running wires. even if I did get the wire there where do I hook it up?
 
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Old 12-29-04, 02:00 PM
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The only other option would be run the wire to a properly grounded existing box, and then connecting it to the ground wire there.
 
  #5  
Old 12-29-04, 03:25 PM
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Just one long shot: The metal outlet boxes upstairs may be grounded via the conduit that runs to them. The best way to check is with a simple circuit tester - with one probe placed in the smaller prong hole on the outlet, touch the other probe to the metal outlet box and see if the tester lights up. If it does, you simply need to run a jumper wire from the metal box to the ground screw on the outlet.

Doug M.
 
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Old 12-29-04, 10:33 PM
yalrighty
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where can I get one of these testers and how much does it cost?
 
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Old 12-29-04, 10:38 PM
yalrighty
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I forgot to mention: Someone suggested to me that I might be able to use the nearby furnace metal ductwork as a ground since it runs right into the basement .. has anyone done that?
 
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Old 12-30-04, 12:00 AM
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No this isnt a proper ground at all, whoever suggested that to you is misinformed.
 
  #9  
Old 12-30-04, 06:26 AM
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No, you cannot use the metal ductwork as a ground. You also cannot use a water pipe or anything else similar.

The only thing you can use is a wire that goes all the way back to the main panel or conduit that the wire is run in. However, using conduit is somewhat "iffy".
 
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Old 12-30-04, 09:38 AM
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You can get a simple tester at Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, K-Mart... Any where that sells hardware. No furnace pipe, no water pipe, no wire out the window to a ground rod, no using the ground from a cable or antenna wire, no running an extension cord all the way to a downstairs outlet, no jumping the ground screw to the neutral screw. Think that about covers all the wrong things we've seen people try. Please follow the advice given on this forum so far and stay safe.

Doug M.
 
  #11  
Old 12-30-04, 10:24 AM
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And PLEASE

NO gas pipe...believe it or not I've seen it and fixed it....

jm2c
 
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