1950's house - two to three prong conversion

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Old 03-11-08, 08:14 PM
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Red face 1950's house - two to three prong conversion

I've seen several posts that hit on my question but none that directly answer it. My house was built in the 50's (Dallas, Texas) and I am doing an electric upgrade, replacing an electric panel, installing a ground rod and I need to upgrade from two prong to three prong outlets. I am familiar with installing the GFCI on the first outlet but not entirely crazy about that. One electrician has told me they can run ground wire to all of the outlets. A second electrician has told me that is not legal and hasn't been for 10 years and he would either do the GFCI option or he could bid a full rewire. In doing some research I have seen some people say running the ground wire is illegal but I have seen at least one case where someone references an exception in the 2002 NEC. Can anyone advise if running the ground wire (which was the service bid) is illegal or legal and how I can confirm the facts?
 
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Old 03-11-08, 08:33 PM
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I dont want to get out codebook. I want to say its legal as I have passed inspection with this method. But you already got the labor for fishing single conductor to every outlet no matter what, if you dont like the GFI method, might as well fix it up while you can.
 
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Old 03-11-08, 08:43 PM
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From what I understand doing a true rewire would require that the related permit be pulled and all of my electrical would have to be brought up to code. That would mean not only pulling the wire to all of my current outlets but also adding a bunch of outlets. I had one contractor bid the rewiring and that piece alone as compared to the cost for running ground is about $11K more (he quoted at about $11/foot versus running the ground wire at approximately $197 per outlet). Am I missing something?
 
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Old 03-11-08, 09:12 PM
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11k more=woot the fook? That is alot of romex and wire fishing. Complete rewire without damage to building finish can be spendy, but 11k=alot. Find out who inspects your area. Around here there is a unwritten 50% rule... if you have your hands on +50% of given circuit you must meet present code. If you alter supply conductors it also requires a permit. It varies, so make some phone calls before you spend alot of bread. A permit to add x amounts of circuits or outlets may do the trick.
 
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Old 03-11-08, 10:10 PM
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$197 per outlet, just to add a ground wire!? I'm not an electrician and I don't know what the construction industry is like where you live, but that just seems steep.

What kind of house do you have? Does it have an attic, crawlspace or basement?

I would get at least 2 more bids.
 
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Old 03-12-08, 12:47 AM
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Agreed, Get some more bids.

The legality of running an individual ground wire is going to vary between electrical code ,Locality,and maybe even down to inspectors preference. A quick call to your county office will give you a definitive answer on this one.

The service upgrade alone may very well be enough to require that current code be met. Although you are taking bids, it would be wise to find out for sure if what you are paying for is legal or not.
 
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Old 03-12-08, 08:59 AM
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has anyone looked inside the panel yet?

A number of "50's" houses have romex with the ground wire terminated to the steel boxes already (like mine was). This would make it very easy to change recepts.
 
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Old 03-12-08, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by telecom guy View Post
A number of "50's" houses have romex with the ground wire terminated to the steel boxes already (like mine was). This would make it very easy to change recepts.
Just to add to what telcom guy said if you feel comfortable doing it remove the cover of your panel. If you see a bunch of bare copper wires terminated at the neutral (or if present ground) bar that is probably what was done.

It can be verified at a receptacle box by checking between the hot and the metal junction box for 120v with an analog tester. If this is the case and no wire shows in the box simplest solution is self grounding receptacles.

playboy
 
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