Run bare ground wire outside of cable sheath?

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Old 12-07-09, 07:30 AM
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Run bare ground wire outside of cable sheath?

I'd like to upgrade the outlet to my electric range from a three- to a four-prong outlet. Instead of removing the old 8/3 cable and replacing it with a new 8/3 + G cable, I'd like to just run a ground wire alongside the old cable and attach it in the service panel.

The question is: can I run a ground line unprotected as a supplement, or must it be contained within a cable sheath?
 
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Old 12-07-09, 09:01 AM
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If your existing three range wires are all insulated (black,red,white), then you can add a #10 green ground wire in my opinion. If the neutral wire in the old cable is bare then you cannot add a new ground and the whole cable must be replaced. The code is somewhat vague about what is allowed for grounding old receptacles, but this is okay in my opinion. You will find others who disagree with my position. If this job will be inspected, get the inspector's approval first.

If you add the ground wire, it should be run parallel to the existing cable, probably even tie-wrapped to it if possible or through the same bored holes. It should land on the ground bar of the panel where the range circuit originates. Other grounds like a cold water pipe are not acceptable.
 
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Old 12-08-09, 09:48 AM
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That's pretty much what I was hoping. Since the ground doesn't normally carry current, it should be safe to run outside of a cable sheath. I will, however get some green insulated wire rather than using bare.

Two clarifying questions:
1. Can I use #10 AWG for the ground even though the range requires #8? What part of the NEC is this from?

2. Do I have to use a specific type of insulation, like THHN?
 
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Old 12-08-09, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by twcarlson View Post
1. Can I use #10 AWG for the ground even though the range requires #8? What part of the NEC is this from?
The smaller sized ground is from table 250.122; the addition of a ground wire to an ungrounded circuit is 250.130(C).

2. Do I have to use a specific type of insulation, like THHN?
A specific type is not required, but THHN is probably the only kind you'll find in #10 green at the usual stores.
 
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