question about ground and old outlets


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Old 01-27-09, 05:42 PM
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question about ground and old outlets

i recently had my meter upgraded (form 40 amp to 100) and in the process had the electrician upgrade most of my outlets from ungrounded to grounded. i figured he would run a new ground wire to the outlet boxes, but found out that he just connected a wire from the ground screw on the outlet to the common screw on the same outlet. is that a legal or proper way to ground outlets? i had to get a permit for the work, and therefore will have to get it inspected. would it pass inspection? thanks.
 
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Old 01-27-09, 05:57 PM
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That is absolutely and completely WRONG! Any "electrician" that would do that needs to be reported to the licensing authority and have his licensed revoked.
 
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Old 01-27-09, 06:06 PM
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but found out that he just connected a wire from the ground screw on the outlet to the common screw on the same outlet. is that a legal or proper way to ground outlets?
Not legal. Not safe. Will not pass inspection if the inspector pulls a receptacle out. The work must be redone correctly ASAP.

Note: I assume what you are calling "common" screw is really the neutral. That screw is silver and the white wire connects to it.
 
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Old 01-27-09, 06:09 PM
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What was done could have deadly consequences. This can cause current to flow on the metal surfaces of appliances. Touching an appliance and a more grounded surface could have your body complete the circuit.

Report this to the inspection authority! You may also want to call his employer and the Better Business Bureu (sp).

This is bad enough when someone without proper knowledge does this but is unexcuseable for someone taking money for this type of work.
 
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Old 01-28-09, 07:38 AM
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This guy gives electricians and contractors a bad name. Report him to the city/state board. You pulled the permit? Did you do the work? The person how does the work is the one who pulls the permit.
 
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Old 01-28-09, 10:41 AM
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the person that did is the maintenance supervisor at my work. i had him do this on the side, which is why i pulled the permit myself. i asked him if he had a current license and he said yes, but i didn't ask to see it or anything.

so the proper way to do it would be to run a ground wire from the panel to the outlets, correct? can i run one ground up the to attic and then connect all the outlets to that one ground, or should i run one for each outlet?
 
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Old 01-28-09, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by flipped cracker View Post
the person that did is the maintenance supervisor at my work. i had him do this on the side, which is why i pulled the permit myself. i asked him if he had a current license and he said yes, but i didn't ask to see it or anything.
I had a feeling that this was going to be a friend/relative doing the work on the side. Did he change the service wires coming down from the pole to the proper size? Did he change the meter socket to one with a bypass handle? (if required in your area) Did he run a grounding electrode? (ground rod) Did he bond the water service where it enters the house? Did he install AFCI breakers as required by the 2005 (bedrooms) and 2008 code (all 120V 15A 20A circuits except kitchens and bathrooms)? What about smoke/CO detectors? I could keep going but as you can see there is a lot of things that he may have not done correctly. He doesn't have the best track record so far.


Originally Posted by flipped cracker View Post
so the proper way to do it would be to run a ground wire from the panel to the outlets, correct? can i run one ground up the to attic and then connect all the outlets to that one ground, or should i run one for each outlet?
It all depends how your home is wired in the first place. Is the branch circuits coming out the the panel AC (BX), 1/2" flex, Romex, or 1/2" pipe? You may just be able to run a ground pigtail off the metal box to the outlets depending on the wiring method.
 
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Old 01-28-09, 11:10 AM
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the stuff with the panel seems more up to code. i don't know for sure, but nothing seems as mickey mouse as the grounding. he did put in a ground rod, i don't know anything about AFCI breakers. all our smoke/CO detectors run on battery.

i believe all the wiring is Romex. and all the outlet boxes are metal.
 
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Old 01-28-09, 01:39 PM
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If you can afford it you need to have an electrician come in and bring it up ti code.

At the very least you need to remove all the ground/neutral jumpers and install two blade receptacles.

You could leave the three blade receptacle if you replace the first receptacle on each circuit with a GFCI receptacle and mark all receptacles "GFCI No Ground". This doesn't provide a ground but provides some personal safety.

Since you pilled a permit the inspector may require much more.

(Related question from me for the pros. On an ungrounded circuit can you use an AFCI breaker instead of a GFCI breaker to permit the legal use of (ungrounded) three prong receptacles.)
 
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Old 01-28-09, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
(Related question from me for the pros. On an ungrounded circuit can you use an AFCI breaker instead of a GFCI breaker to permit the legal use of (ungrounded) three prong receptacles.)
You should have just started a new thread BTW.
Anyway, they may be combination AFCI GFCI breakers for your panel but I'm not sure. I have yet to see them. You can not use an AFIC in place of a GFCI because they do different things. You can put a GFCI receptical on an AFCI protected circuit though.
 
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Old 01-28-09, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
(Related question from me for the pros. On an ungrounded circuit can you use an AFCI breaker instead of a GFCI breaker to permit the legal use of (ungrounded) three prong receptacles.)
Ray,

I don't remember that being an option from my last Code update class. I believe that you could add the AFCI if you wanted to, but would still need the GFI to make it compliant.
 
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Old 01-28-09, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
You should have just started a new thread BTW.
Anyway, they may be combination AFCI GFCI breakers for your panel but I'm not sure. I have yet to see them. You can not use an AFCI in place of a GFCI because they do different things. You can put a GFCI receptacle on an AFCI protected circuit though.
No, not a new thread. Was just wondering if the original poster could just use AFCIs at least in the bedrooms to satisfy the requirements for using a three prong receptacle without a ground. Should have made that clear.
 
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Old 01-28-09, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by flipped cracker View Post
I believe all the wiring is Romex. and all the outlet boxes are metal.
If it is all Romex and an the boxes are metal there should be a ground present. If you take a meter and put one lead in the hot side and one to the box and get 120 volts, then the boxes are grounded. You can then to the ground pigtail thing.
 
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Old 01-29-09, 09:32 AM
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i'll check that with a meter. before i had the guy come, i tried adding a ground screw to the box and connected it to the ground on the receptacle, but the tester still said open ground.
 
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Old 01-29-09, 10:40 AM
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Metal boxes existed long before grounding was common, K&T used them, and non-metallic cable was commonly sold without a ground wire for many years so a metal box does not necessarily indicate a ground. There was a period early in the use of NM/g when grounds were terminated outside the metal box but this is obvious if you open the breaker box because you see bare wires to the the neutral or ground bars.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 12:13 PM
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so, i'd like to run a ground to at least a few outlets. probably 4 total. if i have to run a separate ground cable, where should i connect them? should i just run them all to panel, or can i connect them all together and then connect that to the panel?
 
 

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