This might seem like a stupid question...

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Old 11-24-06, 12:46 PM
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This might seem like a stupid question...

I'm a novice at this stuff so bare with me, please. I am in an old home that has 2-slot outlets (no ground). How do I change over to a 3-slot with a working ground? I also don't know what to do to make the 3 to 2 adapter actually ground the appliance that needs the 3rd slot that I am using the adapter for. Please help me. Thanx.
 
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Old 11-24-06, 12:51 PM
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The only way to ground the outlet would involve running ground wire to all of your outlets. You could switch over to the three prong outlets through use of a gfci. Might be worth having an electrician over to see what's the best way for your home.
 
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Old 11-24-06, 01:26 PM
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Is there another way?

Originally Posted by mitch17
The only way to ground the outlet would involve running ground wire to all of your outlets. You could switch over to the three prong outlets through use of a gfci. Might be worth having an electrician over to see what's the best way for your home.

How about these adapters that have 2 prongs and a "tag" for the ground. Do you know what I mean? The type of adapters that are widely available to adapt a 3 prong plug to a 2 prong outlet. How do I ground my appliance with one of these adapters?
 
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Old 11-24-06, 02:30 PM
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The adapter that you are referring to is comonly called a ground breaker or ground buster. While it may allow you to plug a grounded tool or appliance into an ungrounded outlet it is in fact removing the ground path that the appliance requires to be safely operated.

The only way that I know of to provide a ground is to replace the 2 conductor cable serivng your outlets with a 3 conductor cable.
 
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Old 11-24-06, 02:51 PM
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If the junction boxes are grounded, then you can replace the receptacles with three prong versions or you can temporarily use an adapter and you will have a ground. depending on when the house was wired, this may be the case.

However, if the boxes are not grounded then you can only get a ground by adding a ground wire, which is jsut about as much trouble as rewiring with grounded cable.

A GFCI receptacle or circuit breaker will allow you to use three prong receptacles, but they will be ungrounded.

I suggest that you figure out what you have first.

If you do not have grounded boxes then I recommend you add new receptacles only where you need them.
 
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Old 11-25-06, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft
If the junction boxes are grounded, then you can replace the receptacles with three prong versions or you can temporarily use an adapter and you will have a ground. depending on when the house was wired, this may be the case.

However, if the boxes are not grounded then you can only get a ground by adding a ground wire, which is jsut about as much trouble as rewiring with grounded cable.

A GFCI receptacle or circuit breaker will allow you to use three prong receptacles, but they will be ungrounded.

I suggest that you figure out what you have first.

If you do not have grounded boxes then I recommend you add new receptacles only where you need them.
good reply..the 2 wire, ungrounded recepticles can legally be replaced with GFI rececpticles and technically must be marked "ungrounded"..the theory being if a ground fault occurs , the GFI will sense the imbalance and open the circuit..

as stated, make sure you know what you have first...if the boxes are metal then look carefully inside..in some older systems the ground wire was run independantly of the hot and neutral..you may see a small bare wire attached to the box with a clip..this is usually attached between the mud-ring and j-box..

you can use a continuity tester to check for a closed path between the j-box and your neutral wire to prove if the box is grounded..the presense of a ground wire is better proof...
 
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Old 11-25-06, 09:33 AM
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Just as an added note....even if the box is metal...you may have an old cable assembly called "BX" which is a tradename for AC made by General Electric back long ago.

Do not try to use the "BX" as a EGC and simply bond the receptacle to the box IF this older style AC cable is used.

What is the age of the house in question.....?
 
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Old 11-25-06, 10:43 AM
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#This might seem like a stupid question... #


Don't be foolish....... If you did'nt ask... That would be stupid.
 
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Old 11-25-06, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
#This might seem like a stupid question... #


Don't be foolish....... If you did'nt ask... That would be stupid.
yeah, a plumbers mistake leaks water, an electricians mistake leaks FIRE..
 
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Old 11-26-06, 05:38 PM
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The year

Originally Posted by ElectricalMan
Just as an added note....even if the box is metal...you may have an old cable assembly called "BX" which is a tradename for AC made by General Electric back long ago.

Do not try to use the "BX" as a EGC and simply bond the receptacle to the box IF this older style AC cable is used.

What is the age of the house in question.....?
I believe the year this house was built was 1945 ( a good friend who has lived in this town forever was my source). It has two wire circutry and the insulation for the wires is cloth (not a good sign?).
 
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Old 11-26-06, 05:46 PM
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This sounds like old-style NM cable. As long as it is in good shape it's fine. It does not have a ground, so you need to add new circuits where needed or add grounding where needed.
 
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