Adding ground wire to ungrounded circuits

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Old 09-15-11, 01:25 PM
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Adding ground wire to ungrounded circuits

I have an older house built in 1964 that doesnít have grounded circuits. I was wondering if I could run a ground wire from the panel to each one of the circuits to add grounding?

Would I have to run separate ground wires for each of the circuits or could I use one common ground wire?

Also, by adding the ground wire, would I be required to then bring each circuit up to current code since I was making a change to the circuit?
 
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Old 09-15-11, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by belgarid View Post
I have an older house built in 1964 that doesnít have grounded circuits. I was wondering if I could run a ground wire from the panel to each one of the circuits to add grounding?
Yes. Use a #14 or #12 (match the existing ckt) bare or green ground wire and run it similar to romex (staples, bore hores, protect from damage). It does not need to be stapled where fished into finished spaces. It must originate at the ground bar of the panel which contains the breaker of the circuit.

Would I have to run separate ground wires for each of the circuits or could I use one common ground wire?
Each circuit gets one.

Also, by adding the ground wire, would I be required to then bring each circuit up to current code since I was making a change to the circuit?
You generally do not have to do anything else with the circuit when adding retrofit grounds, but I suppose it would be within an inspector's power to require some changes. Of course it is a perfect time to add GFCIs where needed and other simple changes like that. It's also a good time to split up circuits if needed as fishing romex is really no harder than fishing a single wire.
 
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Old 09-15-11, 01:50 PM
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Most of the circuits in the house are fine except in the kitchen. I do need to split some of those and increase the circuits from 15 amp to 20 amp. I will do this when we redo the cabinets.

I will run new romex for the kitchen circuits and add additional receptacles for the counter tops. Right now all the counter top receptacles, refrigerator and microwave are on the same circuit. We can't have the microwave and say an electric skillet on at the same time without tripping the breaker.

One more question on the ground wire. Letís say I run a ground to the first receptacle on circuit one, do I need to continue the ground to the rest of the circuit or can I leave the rest ungrounded? I ask this as some of the circuits will be difficult to continue the ground to say a ceiling light on the same circuit.
 
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Old 09-15-11, 02:02 PM
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For the kitchen circuits instead of a single ground wire, you can fish a 12-2g cable to the first receptacle on the circuit, but leave the breaker at 15A for now. This will provide you with a ground wire, and a clean upgrade path to 20A when you redo the kitchen.

The other circuits you can pick and choose which ones you add a ground wire to. The receptacles left without a ground need to be two-prong or GFCI protected.
 
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Old 09-15-11, 03:58 PM
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Thanks for the information. I will also plan on adding GFCI receptacles were required while adding the ground.
 
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