Non-grounded outlets


Old 09-01-05, 03:24 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 530
Non-grounded outlets

Most of the outlets in my upstairs, which is the main living area, are the old K&T, non-grounded outlets.

Is it OK to run a ground wire to each receptacle, or would they need to be completely rewired with new wire to be code compliant?

Access from below is available. I figure I could just punch a small hole through the bottom plate and run the new wire back to the panel.

There is an attic that doesn't have much headroom(low pitch roof, tar&gravel)...too small for me to fit in anymore, but from the panel I can see all of the wires going up to the attic through a large conduit.

If my solution isn't a viable one, then what would be a good solution for grounding my outlets?
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Old 09-01-05, 05:39 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Running a ground wire to each receptacle is an acceptable solution to the issue of having ungrounded receptacles. The wire must be the proper size for the circuit (12 gage for 20 amp, 14 gage for 15 amp) and must go back to the panel and connect where the ground wires attach.

Note that I said "issue" and not "problem". I used that word for a reason. Not having a ground is usually not a problem, and certainly not something to correct at each receptacle. You wold do better to only ground those receptacles that actually need a ground, and leave the rest ungrounded, saving your money (and effort) until the house wiring can be updated.
Old 09-01-05, 10:25 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 530
Just doing the "critical" ones right now sounds like a good plan. I'm mainly concerned about my entertainment equipment in the LR and the computers in my two sons rooms. The kitchen was done a couple years ago when we remodeled, so it's not an issue.

Does the wire need to be bare like regular ground wire, or should it be insulated with the green colored jacket, and is it possible to loop two or more together with the last one returning to the panel? I can't imagine each receptacle has to have its own home run ground wire back to the panel.

Thanks Racraft, for the help.
Old 09-05-05, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,767
It should be green insulated.
Old 09-05-05, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,677
Why not just drill a slightly bigger hole and run new NM-B cable. Then the job will be complete.

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