unfound grounds

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Old 04-30-18, 08:47 PM
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unfound grounds

My first post. Living in an older house where most - but thankfully not all - of the electrical outlets are of the old style w/o the ground.

My question is this: I have found a circuit with a 20 amp double pole breaker and 3 wires that feeds some plug/wiremold along a baseboard. Would it be permissible to convert this circuit to a single pole breaker, using one of the hot wires as a ground to the breaker panel? I've been trying to figure out an easy and inexpensive way to add more grounded receptacles around the house because almost everything is electronic anymore, and surge protectors wont do much good on an already unprotected outlet (no adapters!).
 
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Old 04-30-18, 08:57 PM
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Would it be permissible to convert this circuit to a single pole breaker, using one of the hot wires as a ground to the breaker panel
No. Grounds for #6 and smaller wire must be factory green or bare.

I have found a circuit with a 20 amp double pole breaker and 3 wires that feeds some plug/wiremold along a baseboard.
Sounds like a multi wire circuit, two hots and a shared neutral. No good way to modify it without reducing its ampacity by half and leaving half the receptacles dead.

By code you can use a GFCI receptacle to give you a place to plug in grounded plugs but it will still be ungrounded.

You can undert latest code run a ground wire to a receptacle from the nearest point of grounding. If you are under older code it must go back to the main ground within five feet of the panel. Ground does not need to follow the same path as the original wiring.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-01-18 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 04-30-18, 09:10 PM
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What type of wiring was used in your house? You may have a ground means already .
 
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Old 04-30-18, 09:25 PM
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Thanks for responding. Maybe I didn't explain part of that clearly enough. If I do away with everything that circuit is feeding and just start over, then would it be possible to have maybe 2 grounded 15 or 20 amp duplexes? It may be that my best bet is to work on getting a ground back to the panel as you say. Its just too cost prohibitive to re-wire the whole house. The house has had a number additions & renovations over the coarse of about 60-65 years. The main part of the house was to code for the early 1960's, most of the basement was re-wired with a new subpanel around 1989 or so.
 
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Old 04-30-18, 09:30 PM
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Ground ding started around that time. What wiring method was used in your house?

It may be better just to install a new grounded circuit where needed .
 
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Old 04-30-18, 09:36 PM
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pc boss. The part the house I'm referring to here, they used romex cable w'o a ground. The panel is grounded to the water service plus the the meter is grounded.
 
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Old 04-30-18, 09:45 PM
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pcboss. Yeah, I'm beginning to think the same thing. My problem is getting the wire where I need it to go w/o having to drill to many holes in the wrong places. That can be tricky in an older house, especially not really knowing where all the studs are. I've seen where they have used cross-bracing in the middle of a wall before for no apparent reason..... Thanks, though.
 
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Old 04-30-18, 09:46 PM
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The two grounds mentioned have nothing to do with the third prong on a receptacle .
 
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Old 04-30-18, 09:57 PM
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On a double pole, regardless of whether its grounded, you'll have at least 3 wires, 2 hots and a neutral, right? My proposal was to disconnect everything this feeder wire was attached to and completely do away with the circuit for all the original intents and purposes. Just use the wire since its already in the wall. Convert one of those three wires to a ground. Use the other two as a hot & neutral in the usual manner to a single pole breaker at the panel. Then, at the other end, let it feed two duplex outlets in series.
 
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Old 04-30-18, 11:11 PM
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Just use the wire since its already in the wall. Convert one of those three wires to a ground.
You can't use a #12 or #14 black or red or white as ground. It is not permitted by code. As stated in my first reply ground must be factory green or bare.
 
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Old 04-30-18, 11:26 PM
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Okay. That's what needed to know. Not sure why that's code, since its the same gauge copper, but it is what it is. Thanks again.
 
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Old 05-01-18, 06:04 AM
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Are you talking about a neutral or ground wire? A neutral wire is used to complete an electrical circuit and carries current any time the electrical circuit is complete. A ground wire is used for personnel protection and should only carry current momentarily when the grounded device comes in contact with a fused hot wire due to a fault.
 
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Old 05-01-18, 06:59 AM
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Are you talking about a neutral or ground wire[
B-Bob we are discussing grounds.
 
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Old 05-01-18, 11:24 AM
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Rewiring a whole house is time consuming and expensive... but it may be a more manageable project if you just take certain rooms at a time and add the new circuits where you need them. Kitchen, bathroom, computer room, etc. Whether you do it yourself or hire it out, there are tricks to help with pulling wire and making limited new holes in your walls.

Just something to think about. If it were my house, I would work on adding new circuits instead of patching old ones.
 
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Old 05-01-18, 01:41 PM
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Thanks, Zorfdt. I pretty sure that's the direction I'm heading in anyway.....doing it sections at a time. A lot has already been accomplished when I think about it. There's already been some newer (to code) circuits put in fairly recently out of necessity more than anything. I think I'm gonna have to bite the bullet at some point anyway & hire out an electrician to make sure what I'm doing is right, and maybe show me other things maybe I havent considered. I'm not entirely certain the whole system is up to code as far as being properly grounded anyway.
i appreciate everyone's input here. Theres much to be learned.
 
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