There is no ground wire in recepticle


Old 07-30-06, 01:27 PM
katiefran's Avatar
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
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There is no ground wire in recepticle

I just replaced two very old 2 prong outlets with newer 3 prong type. There are only 2 wires in the recpticle. There is no ground wire in either of the 2. How can I ground these the easy way. My brother thought that I might just put a wire on the ground screw and attach it to the recepticle box. Is th true? Is this safe? Will it really be grounded? Please let me know of all options I might have Thanks, Katie
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Old 07-30-06, 01:30 PM
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What you have done violates code requirements for receptacles. Your house is obviously an older house without a 3 wire system. Unless you rewire your house, you cannot use the 3 prong outlets. Now for the good news. You can find the first outlet on the run, install a Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor outlet and protect the outlets downstream from it and use the 3 prong outlets. You must label each outlet as GFCIprotected and no ground, however.
Old 07-30-06, 01:39 PM
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
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I know exactly where to install the GFI you mentioned that will cover the other outle

Thank you Chandler for the speedy response. I don't want to be a code violator. That's why I'm checking here. The house and wiring are old Maybe 90 years. But,there are many other 3 prong outlets in the house. Some outlets have a ground. But these 2 did not. I have a gfi in kitchen and bathroom but do not know if they r grounded? How do I know exactly where to install the GFI you mentioned that will cover the other outlet?? Thanks Again
Old 07-30-06, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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listen, you could rewire your house or install a ground fault if you want to, the reality is, one side of that circuit is a ground, the common. if you look in your circuit box, they're all attached to the same thing. if you have actual conduit running, which is not used in most residential construction, then hook a wire from the ground to the conduit. if not, just use the 2 wires, and feel better that most houses that old barely have any grounds. if you take out any structure in the future, run a ground wire to the box, and thern you have a ground. otherwise, you might want to go ahead and pay some electrician some gigantic amount of money to come run new lines.
Old 07-30-06, 03:12 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City
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There is another possibility besides chandler's.

If your home was wired with BX cable (or “Greenfield, “ given the age you state) or uses conduit for the entire length of the circuit, the metal sheathing of the cable or the conduit itself acts as your ground. (I think I remember reading on a post here that Chicago required conduit, but I can’t say I’m positive about that.)

If you do have either type of system, then it is perfectly legal to connect the ground screw of the receptacle device to the receptacle box with either a grounding screw or grounding clip. HOWEVER, you must be sure that you have such a system. Take a look at you service panel and see what branches out from it (conduit, AC cable, etc.) If this is what you see, chances are the system is grounded that way, but you would need to test it to be certain.

Since you said there are already 3-prong outlets in the house, I would buy a plug it tester that has three lights on it and tells you, among other things, if the system is properly grounded or not.

Post back and let us know what you find. There are other ways to check for continuous grounding and, if you don’t have a grounded system, then chandler’s post gives you an option.

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