Grounding old outlets


Old 04-25-06, 08:29 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4
Grounding old outlets

Im am attempting to add grounding capability to my homes outlets. The home was built in the 1950's so there were no ground wires run to the two prong outlets. There are three main 15 amp circuits that feed all of the outlets in the house. Can I simply use 3 GFI's at the first outlet in each circuit to acheive grounding in all the outlets?
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Old 04-25-06, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
No. A GFCI receptacle does not provide a ground where no ground already exists.

A GFCI receptacle does allow you to safely plug in and use an electrical device that requires a ground for safety reasons. You are then allowed to use three prong receptacles on any portion of the circuit that is GFCI protected. However, no ground is provided, and devices that need or want a ground for proper operation may not function properly.

The only way to ground an ungrounded receptacle is to run a ground wire to the receptacle from an allowed source. The best source is the ground bar in the panel supplying the circuit, although depending on what country you are in and where the receptacle is located there may be other options.

In your case I suggest that you leave the existing circuits alone, and instead that you run new circuits, adding new receptacles to supplement the existing ones. The new receptacles you add will be properly grounded, and you will be able to limit what is on each circuit.
Old 04-25-06, 08:41 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Logan, Utah
Posts: 31
Can I simply use 3 GFI's at the first outlet in each circuit to acheive grounding in all the outlets?
This will not provide grounding for your outlets. To "acheive grounding in all outlets" you must rewire the circuit to provide a equipment grounding conductor.


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