outlet question


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Old 03-03-08, 10:29 PM
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outlet question

I have a older house and all my inside outlets are two prong and most new electical devices use three prong, Is there a easy way to replce the outlets and ground them without having to rewire my whole house.
 
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Old 03-04-08, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by wwc View Post
I have a older house and all my inside outlets are two prong and most new electical devices use three prong, Is there a easy way to replce the outlets and ground them without having to rewire my whole house.
The best way to accomplish this is to run new wire altogether, as equipment grounding conductors are normally required by the local AHJ to be sheathed in the same cable as the other circuit conductors. If your home is piped, it's a no-brainer, as you can locate junctions within the pipe run to accomodate pulling in a ground wire, which should be continuous all the way back to the service entrance with no splices. Do not use the pipe as a grounding connection. You must also attach the ground wire to any metal box that it passes through or terminates in. Be aware that re-wiring or adding wiring usually requires a permit and inspection. Good luck with your project.
 
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Old 03-04-08, 10:28 AM
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There seems to be a bit of controversy over this lately. I will agree , that running new circuits with a ground conductor is the best method.

However , it is permitted and completely acceptable to replace the recepts with GFCI receptacles.

This would give you 3 prong outlets, and add the safety function of gfci protection . HOWEVER....Some appliances will require a Ground to operate properly...which will not be provided by this swap alone..

There will be a small decal in the gfci package that states "NO EQUIPMENT GROUND" that must be affixed to the front of the receptacle, to denote the "UNGROUNDED" condition.

My personal thoughts, The GFCI swap is exactly the same as the little rubber "2to3" adapters, but 100 times safer....
 
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Old 03-04-08, 11:26 AM
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You may find this diagram and discussion helpful:



Replacing 2-wire Ungrounded Receptacles
 
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Old 03-04-08, 12:17 PM
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Thanks Michael.

That is perfect.

As mentioned, I wont use the words "Proper Method" here , but it would be best to run new circuits and be done with it.

next would be a GFCI breaker, but as most First time DIY's, I have a hard time "Swallowing" or Justifying the cost difference. Of Course, A bedroom with AFCI requirements is cut and dry.....Breaker is the only way you can go.

PLEASE REALIZE...That Just because the third hole is present, This does not automatically give you a GROUNDED outlet. Most sensitive "3 Wire" electronic equipment will require a Ground, and will NOT work properly without it.

The GFCI "Protection " feature will still be effective , even with a 2 wire system.

Older homes with "Original"and INTACT 2 wire systems are safe and LEGAL as they are, and you are only required to update to "Current Code" during a renovation, or significant change.You may not be permitted to add on to it, or extend it, but that goes out of the discussion scope.

I give Kudos to those who are willing to go above and beyond safety requirements, But may not be financially able to rewire......
 

Last edited by Unclediezel; 03-04-08 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 03-04-08, 10:32 PM
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So help me here to understand, I can replace one two prong outlet to a gfci and that will be ok for all the rest of the outlets on that circuit or I can put in a grounded breaker in the box and as long as it's in that same circuit all the other outlets in that circuit will be grounded ?
 
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Old 03-04-08, 11:05 PM
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grounded breaker
No such animal....I suspect you are confusing the "Pigtail" on a gfci breaker with a ground.

A little background on GFCI....Normally electricity flows from the hot wire, thru the object that is using the electric, and it is returned Thru the neutral wire, to the power source to complete the Circuit or "LOOP". What a gfci does , is measure the current on the hot and neutral wires simultaneously, and "Breaks" the circuit in the event of an imbalance, such as Current leakage to an outside source....Or YOU....AS kids, we all stuck the paperclip in the outlet and got bit. GFCI will notice the current flowing thru the paperclip, but will not see any current being returned on the neutral wire. It will see this "Imbalance" and shut the power down to prevent the impending "SHOCK". As with any product, Im sure it is not 100% foolproof, but it is overwhelmingly "Better than Nothing".

In order to have your receptacles grounded, A Grounding source, ( A ground rod, a cold water pipe , etc.) would have to be bonded at the main circuit panel. From there , 3 wires would need to make their way to the outlet or outlets in question, A hot wire , a neutral wire , and a ground wire.

Your system only uses the Hot and the neutral.

Whether it be a GFCI breaker , or a GFCI receptacle, It cannot provide a ground to an ungrounded system. A rewire of the affected Outlet or outlets is the only way to provide a true ground.

It will however allow you to legally install 3 prong receptacles in place of the original "Obsolete " 2 prongers.

In order for the GFCI receptacle to protect the entire circuit, It must be placed at the "First" position in the circuit, as it will only protect Itself, and current flowing "Downstream".The GFCI Breaker will protect the entire circuit, due to the fact that being in the circuit panel , All current on that circuit must flow downstream From the breaker.
 

Last edited by Unclediezel; 03-04-08 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 03-04-08, 11:28 PM
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Said another way:

You can replace a breaker with a GFCI-type breaker and all the receptacles on that circuit will be ok, if that's what you want to do.

No, replacing "any" one 2-prong receptacle on a circuit will not necessarily protect the rest. The one to be replaced needs to be the first on the circuit, and all downstream ones need to be connected to the load side of the GFCI. That would be fine and costs less than the breaker option.

In either case you will not have a ground but it will still be relatively safe and definitely legal.
 
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Old 03-04-08, 11:29 PM
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My breaker box is grounded outside with a ground rod.
so can i install a gfci breaker in place of the non gfci breaker now?
 
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Old 03-04-08, 11:38 PM
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Yes. A GFCI doesn't care whether you have a ground or not.
 
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Old 03-04-08, 11:43 PM
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My breaker box is grounded outside with a ground rod.
so can i install a gfci breaker in place of the non gfci breaker now?
Yes you may, they fit any position in your panel that would accept a normal "Single-Sized" breaker. They are also made in Dual pole, but I would believe that takes us into another realm.

The ground rod outside has no bearing on the situation unless that "THIRD WIRE" is interconnecting your outlets.
 
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Old 03-04-08, 11:50 PM
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Said another way:
Thanks core...That even got a bit confusing to me near the end...
 
 

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