Add ground wire to outlets


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Old 04-19-21, 06:09 PM
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Add ground wire to outlets

I am upgrading my main and sub-panel to my 1960's house. The main meter panel will be outside and the sub-panel will now be inside and further away from the original panel.
Q1. So apparently I need to run ground wires to all my outlets etc. What is the best way to do it?
Let's just use outlets as an example: Do I..
1. Run new 12-2 cable through all the outlets and all circuits back to sub-panel?
2. Just run a single ground wire from each outlet to the sub-panel?
3. Some other way?

Q2. Can I just add junction boxes to extend the existing oven range circuit cable, etc, or does it need to be one continuous cable?

Thanks
 
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Old 04-19-21, 07:16 PM
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Both 1 and 2 are fine, it really depends on what wiring method is used to wire your house. If it is flexible metal conduit then adding a ground wire is fairly straightforward. If it is BX cable (No bonding strip) then you are run the ground wire separate from the other wires, it just might be difficult to do so. If it is AC cable with a bonding strip, then you already have a grounding path and can use the steel boxes as the ground. The same goes if you have EMT conduit.

It is not required for the range cable to be continuous. However, you may not extend an ungrounded circuit so if your range cable only has 3 wires you will need to install a new cable or add a ground somehow. Any splice you make must be in a box, the box must be large enough for the conductors, and the box must remain accessible.
 
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Old 04-20-21, 09:54 AM
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In most locations, a panel replacement does not require updating all your circuits too. Of course, it's probably a good plan regardless, but wanted to clarify that it (probably) isn't required. Your town/city may have these additional requirements, but it's unlikely.

While it is code compliant to run a separate grounding conductor, I would recommend updating the whole circuit to new 12/2 or 14/2 cable. It's likely the old 2-conductor cable is nearing its end of life anyway. Older NM cable often starts fraying, and old BX cable tends to overheat and cause insulation failure. As long as you're fishing wire, might as well just run new.
 
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Old 04-20-21, 11:38 AM
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First I would check if you might have ground wires. In the 60s ground wires were very common but they did not connect them to the receptacle. They did what is known as a Boston back wrap. The ground wire is back wrapped around the main cable and put under the cable clamp to the box. Once you remove the main panel for replacement you will be able to tell if the cables have ground wires.


 
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Old 04-22-21, 04:32 PM
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If the range is fed with 3 wire it cannot be fed from the subpanel.
 
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Old 04-26-21, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for everyone's replies!

Zorfdt To my knowledge, city code requires ground updated if the panel is replaced. There is no more expansion space left on it, and more concerning is that there is no main off breaker! New city code wants the main off on the outside, so the inside panel will become a subpanel.
joed There are grounding wires to the dryer and water heater. They just ground to the main water pipe. Everything else is just grounded to the metal junction boxes. I do see a few of the wires with grounds at the main panel and they are just tied to the neutral bar or attached to the thicker ground wire that attached to the main water pipe. The main panel is also grounded to the neutral bar. Don't see ground rods. But I don't see any metal conduits, only NM cables, some Romex type, and weaved for the range. pcboss Thanks for the heads up on range which is only 3 wires. I guess that needs an update too. Tolyn Ironhand Now that I have had a chance to test and open up some of the outlets, they tested open ground and have been "sealed" with what looks like masking tape! So it will be method 2. I will probably upgrade them to 20A circuits too.
 
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Old 04-26-21, 10:28 AM
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city code requires ground updated if the panel is replaced
Are you sure "ground updated" doesn't just mean the building ground? It's standard to add a new pair of ground rods and water line bonding with a new panel. But it's uncommon to require branch circuits to be re-grounded... but of course your local code could require it.

There are grounding wires to the dryer and water heater. They just ground to the main water pipe.
These are called bootleg grounds and are no longer permitted. If/when you upgrade your grounded circuits, these will need to be upgraded to new cables with grounds back to the panel. (or could be a separate appropriately sized separate ground wire back to the panel)
 
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Old 04-26-21, 11:54 AM
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Zorfdt I intended to mean that all new panels must be connected to ground rods. In my case, they need to be installed. And, the bootleg grounds must now be updated to connect to the panel as you mentioned. Any circuits that go back to the same panel have to ground back to the panel. This all leads to further questions.

Q1. I plan on using plastic Carlon boxes with the update. So can Romex cable be used as rewiring will go through the loft or does it have to run through a conduit or must BX cable with ground be use?
I am asking because I don't quite understand the use of plenum grade cables.

Q2. NEC code seems to permit the suspension of NM cable from the outlet box to the behind inaccessible wall space. It is about 6 feet to the cross beams in the loft. So will it be ok to have the crossbeam as the first point of suspension? The cables will then run along the beams to the new sub-panel.

Thanks
 
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Old 04-27-21, 10:01 AM
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can Romex cable be used as rewiring
In most locations, NM-B (Romex) is permitted everywhere in a residence. It needs to be protected, so is often sleeved in EMT in places like the garage. And of course any outdoor/wet area needs to be UF.
AC/MC (BX) is rarely required in residential use, nor is conduit. It's usually only required in commercial spaces or multi-family dwellings. Certain cities (NYC/Chicago) require EMT use.

NM cable should be supported wherever it's accessible. But as you stated, if it's fished through an existing wall, there is no requirement to support/staple the cable in that wall. So with renovations, it's common to only staple the cables in the attic/basement, and all the walls/ceilings leave it hanging.
 
 

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