New outlet on an old circuit

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  #1  
Old 03-09-05, 12:30 PM
Gene Schwilke
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New outlet on an old circuit

I want to add another outlet (or two) to an existing circuit that his rather old. There is no ground wire. How can I do this safely? Am I required to update the circuit before I do this?

Thanks a bundle for any help you can give

Gene
 
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  #2  
Old 03-09-05, 12:33 PM
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You cannot do this and be in compliance with the NEC.

With no ground the circuit is not allowed to be extended. Find a different circuit to extend, or run a new circuit.
 
  #3  
Old 03-09-05, 12:56 PM
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Thing is, the NEC says that if you modify a circuit, you must bring that entire circuit up to today's Code. That circuit may have been to Code at the time it was installed, but a new circuit is required to have a ground.

Juice
 
  #4  
Old 03-09-05, 01:12 PM
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Bob

Even though it is always a better idea to not extend an ungrounded circuit, it is permissible by code.
 
  #5  
Old 03-09-05, 01:15 PM
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Bolted, Nowhere in the Code have I seen an exception to modifying a circuit without bringing it up to today's Code. Since today's Code requires an equipment grounding conductor, I do not understand how you could extend (modify) a circuit without one. Please refer us to the Article that supports your assertion.

Thanks,

Juice
 
  #6  
Old 03-09-05, 01:16 PM
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Juice

Have a look at 250.130.
 
  #7  
Old 03-09-05, 01:28 PM
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Well, ya learn something new every day. Thanks for the info. 250.130 says for branch circuit extensions in existing installation you can connect the (new, I assume) ground conductor to (1) any accessible point on the grounding electrode system, (2) any accessible point on the drounding electrode conductor, (3) the ground bus in the panel. But it does not seem to address extending an ungrounded circuit without providing a ground for the new receptacles. I assume that if extending an existing ungrounded receptacle circuit, to comply with the Code you must provide a ground to the new receptacles. Am I not reading this right?

Juice
 
  #8  
Old 03-09-05, 01:52 PM
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Juice

Look at the wording in 250.130. The first two parts of it are "shall be made" and the third part is only "shall be permitted".

The section of 250.130 dealing with non-grounding receptacle replacement/branch circuit extensions is a Permissive Rule(allowed but not required), not a Mandatory Rule(specifically required or prohibited).

Basically it is saying that, if you want a grounding connection, you are allowed to have one as long as you comply with 250.130(C).

250.130(C) is a mandatory rule but only when you choose to use the permissive rule of 250.130.
 
  #9  
Old 03-10-05, 07:35 AM
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Bolted,

The Article does say for branch circuit extensions only in existing installations that do not have an egc in the branch circuit, connections shall be permitted as indicated in (C), which is the "shall be permitted to be grounded to..." clause to which you refer. I have to agree, the ground is permitted, but not required. Thanks.

Juice
 
  #10  
Old 03-10-05, 07:48 AM
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hmmm......

I have to take a look at this 250-130 because from a recent seminar this came up and was quite a topic. Since that article refers to Methods of Equipment Grounding.

it goes on to refer the ruling to 250-130 (c) which talks about the methods of obtaining the ground for an ungrounded system.

Have to dig deeper on this one...lol....now we know it happens all the time in older homes....but seems like the article is a bit vague to me.
 
  #11  
Old 03-10-05, 08:31 AM
Gene Schwilke
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Thanks for all the help!

The complete issue with this project is that I am expecting my first child in June, and the room that I'm working on is the nursery. I just want to be sure that there are not going to be any unnecessary safety risks, and that there will be no adverse consequences for the inevitable home inspection when we need to sell the house in about 5 years.

Originally, I had planned on grounding that portion of the circuit to the metal flexible conduit, but thought better of it after reading some other forums on the subject. If I don't do this, what other options do I have besides running an entirely new circuit? The room is on the top floor, so there doesn't seem to be a whole lot else I can do.

Thanks again
Gene
 
  #12  
Old 03-10-05, 08:44 AM
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Gene, your options for grounding are limited.

The best ground is all the way back to the main panel. If you are going to run a ground wire all the way to the panel, you may as well run an entire circuit.

It is debatable whether you can ground this circuit to another circuit that is already grounded. Some will say yes, others no. However, if you have no grounded circuits on this floor, the issue is moot.

There are several thing you cannot do. Do not ground to a cold water pipe, a radiator, a metal rod in the ground, or anything else. Do not connect the ground to the neutral wire.

Do some investigating. You may very well be able to run a new circuit.
 
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