Grounding Outlets

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-15-05, 12:51 PM
boboski
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Grounding Outlets

Hi,

Most of the outlets in my house (built in '51) are ungrounded, two pronge type recepticles. I would like to rewire all of these and install grounded outlets. All circuits are 15amp wired with older 14/2 NM with no ground wire. My question is: do I need to completely rewire or can i run a seperate ground wire to each outlet. The existing wire is in good shape. All the ground wire I would run in the basement (unfinished ceiling) and drill up to the outlet. Would I need to do the switches as well?

Thanks,

Bob
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-15-05, 01:51 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,342
This is a question that comes up a lot. You do not need to totally re-wire to add grounding; you are allowed to run a #14 THHN green wire into each receptacle box. The other end of the wire must terminate on the ground bus in your panel box. You cannot ground to cold water pipes or other such shortcuts. Usually, running a ground wire to each receptacle is no more difficult than running all new romex, so people who go this route often choose to replace the wiring. However, you do not need to ground old receptacles unless you really want to; there are other options.

In my opinion the best way to deal with ungrounded receptacles is to do the following four things:

1) Add GFCI protection to the ungrounded circuits by installing a GFCI receptacle as the first device on the circuit.

2) Affix "No Equipment Ground" and "GFCI Protected Outlet" stickers to the faceplates of the ungrounded receptacles.

3) Optionally replace the old 2-prong receptacles with 3-prong receptacles. You can only do this if you have added GFCI and the stickers mentioned above.

4) Add new, grounded circuits only in the locations where they are needed. The computer and kitchen are the most typical locations where grounded receptacles are needed.

If you do a survey of the appliances in your house, you will find only a small number of them actually have 3-prong plugs. The rest are perfectly safe and normal on 2 wire ungrounded circuits.
 
  #3  
Old 12-15-05, 02:02 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
Originally Posted by boboski
...do I need to completely rewire or can i run a seperate ground wire to each outlet. Would I need to do the switches as well?

Thanks,

Bob
As of the 1999 NEC, 210-7(d) governed this and it does permit a separate grounding wire to be run to a receptacle. The grounding wire can be connected to any accessible point on the grounding electrode system. This may have changed in later code cycles so maybe someone else can update you on this.

However you will need to get the ground wire into the box and if it's a metal box, you probably will have to drill & tap a 10-32 hole in the back of the box to ground it, too. You could also use a clip over the edge of the box if you have room. I am not sure what is the best way to run a single ground wire into a metal box.

An alternative is to use a GFCI without a ground conductor.

Switches are now required to be grounded.
 
  #4  
Old 12-15-05, 02:11 PM
boboski
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I like the GFCI method. iread aout that in Wiring Simplified, but I thought it was a recent 2005 code update. My local codes follow 2003. Was this applicable then?
 
  #5  
Old 12-15-05, 02:17 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
Originally Posted by boboski
I like the GFCI method. iread aout that in Wiring Simplified, but I thought it was a recent 2005 code update. My local codes follow 2003. Was this applicable then?
It was allowed in the 1999 code. I do not know when it was first introduced.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'