Ungrounded 3 prong receptacles

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  #1  
Old 11-15-06, 05:16 AM
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Ungrounded 3 prong receptacles

Hello once again-
I have taken the advice of Racraft and others to map out the circuit breakers in my house. In the course of doing so, I have discovered two problems. One is a multi-wire branch circuit that has both hots on separate circuit breakers which are on the same pole. Not good! Luckily the one circuit has almost no load on it, and I felt the neutral wire, and it did not feel warm, however I will obviously swap circuit breaker positions to prevent overloading of the neutral. The other item I discovered is that there are numerous recptacles that are three prong, but are ungrounded. Must I replace all these receptacles or may I label them as ungrounded?
PS- Thanks to all for suggesting a mapout of the main breaker panel. It has saved my house from a potential fire!
Ray
 
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  #2  
Old 11-15-06, 06:04 AM
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I am glad that you mapped out your circuits.

As you know, the multi-wire circuit sharing a neutral is a problem if the two hots are the same leg of your incoming service. I assume you found this problem by examining the breakers and noting two hot wires and a single neutral? Make sure the two breakers are truly the same leg of the service by measuring the voltage between the breakers. 240 volts would be correct, 0 volts would be wrong.

Yes, ungrounded three prong receptacles are a problem which should be addressed. There are three ways to do this:

1) Replace the three prong receptacles with two prong versions.

2) Provide a ground. This could be by rewiring, or by adding a ground wire that goes from the receptacle all the way back to the main panel.

3) Provide GFCI protection (at the breaker, at this receptacle, or at an "upstream" receptacle). In this case you do need to use the labels "NO EQUIPMENT GROUND" on each of the three prong receptacles.
 
  #3  
Old 11-15-06, 06:24 AM
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Bob-
This is definitely a multi-wire branch circuit. I counted circuit breaker slot positions to determine if the breakers were on the same leg (adjacent breakers on different legs so odd positions are on same leg and even positions on the other leg). However, as you suggested I will use a multimeter to confirm this. As to the 3 prong ungrounded outlets- I will change them all to two prong as the other methods you have suggested are not viable at this time. However, I am planning a major interior remodel in 2 years and will address this issue then. Thanks so much for the valuable information!
Ray.
 
  #4  
Old 11-15-06, 06:26 AM
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I sugest the multi,eter because you cannot necessarily count breaker positions. On different sides of the panel the legs are shifted by one position.
 
  #5  
Old 11-15-06, 06:30 AM
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The slot count I did was on one side of the panel (i.e. slots 1-20). I will confirm though. Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 11-15-06, 09:10 AM
wgc
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240V breaker

If you're moving one of the circuits anyway ... you might consider replacing the two individual breakers with a single 240V breaker to make sure it is right and can't be messed up again.
 
  #7  
Old 11-15-06, 11:35 AM
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Good idea WGC. I will do that. Thanks.
Ray.
 
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