Question about grounding whole house

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Old 09-26-12, 09:45 AM
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Question Question about grounding whole house

Hello,

I'm a new DIYer home owner who has some mechanical skill, but very little understanding of electricity. My house was built in the early 1960s, and few of the outlets in the house are grounded -- most of the outlets are two-pronged. I can add grounds as needed to various outlets or as I add fans and lights, or I can pay an electrician to add grounds as needed. HOWEVER -- here's my question -- is it true that you can have your whole house grounded so that you don't need to have the whole house rewired to have all of the outlets grounded? If so, is this a good idea?

Please advise, and thanks in advance for any help!
 
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Old 09-26-12, 10:04 AM
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is it true that you can have your whole house grounded so that you don't need to have the whole house rewired to have all of the outlets grounded?
No. I'm not even sure what gave you that idea. Do you have a link? You can use GFCI protection to make it safer but that does not provide grounding. Your panel itself regardless of age should already be grounded.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 10:23 AM
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You don't have to rewire the whole house, you just have to run one additional wire to all of the fixtures and receptacles. That said, it's not usually as easy as I just made it sound.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 11:30 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

I can add grounds as needed to various outlets or as I add fans and lights, or I can pay an electrician to add grounds as needed.
You can add one ground from the panel going to each receptacle, switch and light. You can add more than one ground, from the panel, with each ground going to a different set of receptacles, switches and lights, if that's easier.

You can also replace the first receptacle on each branch circuit with a GFCI receptacle and connect the wires feeding the rest of that circuit to the LOAD terminals on the GFCI receptacle, and then install 3-prong receptacles in every location where you have provided the protection.

Is the wiring in your house run in cable or in conduit? If cable, what kind of cable is it? Since you say your house was built in the early 1960s, are the wires copper or aluminum?
 
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Old 09-27-12, 06:42 PM
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Grounding the whole house means running ground wires (equipment grounding conductors) to each and every receptacle and switch and light fixture, where such EGCs did not already exist. Also running ground wires (bonding jumpers) between sections of metal plumbing that are not electrically connected to each other because the only (plumbing) connection between them is plastic.

(copied from another forum)
Ground wires protect equipment. Ground fault interrupter units protect people.
Either can be installed with or without the other.

When receptacles on a branch circuit are daisy chained (usually except for some knob and tube wiring) one GFCI receptacle at the first outlet box along the daisy chain willl provide GFCI protection for everything further along that branch circuit. One GFCI breaker (more expensive than a GFCI receptacle) will provide GFCI protection for the entire branch circuit.
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