2 wire shielded cable. Can I use this for new outlet?

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Old 07-03-17, 08:36 AM
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2 wire shielded cable. Can I use this for new outlet?

Our fireplace mantle had an AC outlet built into it. Yesterday I removed the mantle and this is what I found. It's a three prong outlet but each of the shielded cables has only two wires in it.

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I'd like to install a new AC outlet but don't know if this wiring is safe as is. What are my options here? Can I replace it with a standard AC outlet and just wire it like the existing one? Do I need a GCFI? Or do I need to call in an electrician?

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Old 07-03-17, 10:30 AM
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That is armoured cable not shielded. It appears to be old style without a bonding strip. You need to replace it all the way back to source with modern armored cable unless your jurisdiction allows NM-b cable (AKA Romex). Where does the cable go to on the other end?
 
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Old 07-03-17, 01:00 PM
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Thanks. The cable looks like it drops down from an upper floor but I haven't been able to find the source yet. I don't see an origin point in the attic.

I just showed the photos to a licensed electrician that I met in the hardware store and he said that I could replace the box as is as long as I make sure the outer shielding (or armor) extends into the new box and that I run a grounding pigtail from box to receptacle. Is he wrong?
 
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Old 07-03-17, 01:13 PM
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Technically he is right. You don't have to upgrade the wiring as you are not modifying it. However those cables are in pretty bad shape and should not be relied upon for ground.

To that end you can install a new two prong receptacle or a GFI receptacle and place the "no ground" sticker on it.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 07-03-17 at 02:21 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 07-03-17, 01:32 PM
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Thanks. If I install a GFI, do I still need to use a metal box and insure the metal shielding extends into the box? Or can I use a non-metallic box?
 
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Old 07-03-17, 01:38 PM
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You need a metal box since you have metallic cables. There are no plastic boxes for use with metallic cables.
 
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Old 07-03-17, 02:44 PM
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Thanks. Sorry, I have one last question. I'm curious why there are two separate cables here for one outlet. Could I install a 2 gang GFI outlet here by connecting one cable to each receptacle?
 
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Old 07-03-17, 02:49 PM
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Without knowing Where they come from and where they go, I WOULD SAY ONE IS THE HOT IN AND THAN IT FEED ANOTHER OUTLET OR LIGHT DOWN STREAM. ( sorry hit cap lock key)
 
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Old 07-04-17, 07:23 AM
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Two cables is very common. One is power in, the other continues power downstream .
 
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