Right way to fix this receptacle

Old 11-21-16, 07:44 AM
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Right way to fix this receptacle

I have an outlet in my semi-finished basement where one of the 2 sockets is worn out/loose. That led me to want to replace it. Now here is where it gets funky. Most of the house is knob and tube but this area of the basement was clearly upgraded at some point and has conduit. The outlet though is not grounded and there is no ground wire in the box. On top of that, the outlet is mounted to the cover plate (not the box) but the cover plate does not match the box so it was basically just nailed to the wall over the box.

Now the good news. I believe the conduit is grounded somewhere because I measure 120v between the hot and the box/conduit.

I would like to replace the bad outlet with a GFCI and ground it to the box. I think the box needs to be changed because it is a smaller octagon the you might use for a ceiling fixture and not for an outlet. Sorry for the lack of proper terminology on the types of electrical boxes. I am thinking I should remove the existing box and mount one that will hold the outlet and cover plate properly. The new box should have a ground screw. Because of the large size of the hole in the wall, I was thinking about a two gang box and either putting in two outlets or using a cover plate to mount just one.

my questions are:

1. can I use the conduit as a ground for the GFCI?

2. what are the proper names for the correct type of electrical box and cover plate that I will need to buy?

Asking these questions here is alot faster and less painless than walking the aisle at the big box store and hoping the person I find there has a clue.

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Old 11-21-16, 09:38 AM
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That looks like some type of armored cable like BX. Can you look up above the box to confirm ?
Old 11-21-16, 10:24 AM
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It is conduit. I can trace it back to another junction box.

Old 11-21-16, 11:22 AM
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1. can I use the conduit as a ground for the GFCI?
A GFCI does not need a ground. However so long as the conduit is metal and has no breaks in it can serve as ground. You just meed to pigtail to the box. You will need metal old work boxes if you are going to replace the boxes that are there but the box is fine. If the cover is an old one screw hole it needs to be replaced with a modern cover that has three screw holes.

However you usually need a Decora plate for a GFCI and I have never seen one for that box so you would have to use a GFCI breaker or replace the box.
Old 11-21-16, 11:48 AM
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You can change the box out to what is commonly called a 1900 or a 4 square box. It is 4"x4" and comes in 1 1/2" or 2 1/8" depth. You can buy covers that will hold a gfi.



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