Ground that won't ground

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Old 04-07-08, 02:42 PM
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Ground that won't ground

I have been grounding outlets in my apartment that were 3 prong but not grounded. It is an old place with metal boxes and so have been grounding to the screw at the back of the box (with bare 12 gauge wire per code). Things were fine through the livingroom but in the kitchen there are 2 outlets one with a plastic box and one with a metal box. The plastic box is the end of the circuit but the metal is in the middle. The plastic box has a grounding wire hooked up (part of the 3 wire bundle) and "appears" to go to the metal box. It looks like they connected both grounding screws to each other, when I run a grounding wire from the grounding screw on the metal box back to the screw in the box itself (like I did in the livingroom 4 times ) it still does not ground either outlet. Being in an apartment I can't cut holes in the walls and such. I am disabled so on a very limited income (social security) so can't afford an electrician. I owned my own home for 15 years and learned my limited electricle experiance there. Basicly asking....why won't this ground the two outlets like it did in the livingroom? By the way I live in Washington state.
 

Last edited by Davop; 04-07-08 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Give location of problem
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Old 04-07-08, 03:09 PM
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If I'm reading this right, you are trying to "ground" a outlet just by having a wire from the receptacle to the outlet box?

A proper ground requires wiring all the way back to the main panel.


Is this your apartment, or do you rent? You cannot legally touch the wiring in a rented apartment.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 03:22 PM
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Read here in forums

From what I have read in the forums here (if understood correctly) with a metal box you can ground to to the box itself, with a plastic box it must run back to the panel. I do rent but the landlord is not the "type" to help in something like this. I am trying to bring the apartment up to HUD standards to get Section 8 housing allowance do to my disability. The only complaint was that none of the outlets were grounded even though they had 3 prong recepticles. And thank you much for any help you can give
 
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Old 04-07-08, 03:27 PM
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!. 3 prong outlets where there is no ground conductor is not allowed under NEC.
2. As suggested above, there must be a continuous ground conductor that runs all the way back to the main panel. If there is no ground conductor, grounding the outlet to the metal box does nothing.
3. Running a ground conductor to a nearby water or heating pipe is a "bootleg ground" and also not allowed.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 03:30 PM
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Thank you much

Ok...rats, will reverse what I did even though the testor shows a ground on the boxes I did and go back to the landlord and hope for the best I guess......looks like I will be moving....sigh. Thankl you very much
 
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Old 04-07-08, 04:00 PM
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what is happening Davop is there is apparently a metal connection back to the panel that is connected to the metal box. The problem is that unless it is a properly sized grounding conductor as specified by the Nat'l Electrical Code, it is not legal or acceptable. There are rules that must be adhered to for the system to work safely when needed.

Sorry.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 04:08 PM
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Thanks for words of wisdom

Ah...ok. Maybe why the testor (bought at Wal-Mart) lights all 3 lights instead of the two when wiggled. Indicateing a ground but a bad one, or at least insufficaint. I thank you both for your help and words of wisdom...I shall heed them. The only answer then is to run a ground from the panel to all the outlets in the apartment (really a small old house connected to the complex by one wall) and not something I can do even if I had the knowlege. Once again thank you both.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 05:15 PM
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you're welcome
 
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