electrical/outlet replacement/no ground

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Old 02-18-02, 02:38 PM
scott12
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electrical/outlet replacement/no ground

I have old two-prong polarized outlets. I went to hardware store and all they sell are 3 prongs. When I went to put the new outlets on the old, I discovered I have no ground wires--just the black and the white.

I installed the two replacemens but I'm worried about their safety. What is the danger? Is there any simple way to ground?
 
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Old 02-18-02, 02:54 PM
Gary Tait
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You might be lucky, and the outlets are already grounded.
Get an outlet tester to see. I prefer to be sure by using a
low-wattage incandescent bulb in a socket with probes on it

Otherwise you can run a groud wire to the outlet(s) from
your service panel.

You can also install GFCI recepticles, if it is only personal
safety you are concerned with. Some appliances need to have a real ground for it's own safety, or EMI/RFI protection, so a GFCI
will do no good on them.
 
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Old 02-18-02, 05:19 PM
hotarc
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The 2 prong receptacle outlets are still available at places like the depot. It is not a good idea to leave the grounding receptacles installed because somebody might mistakenly think they are grounded and use an appliance that requires grounding.
 
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Old 02-22-02, 09:28 AM
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From what I understand Code allows the replacement of 2 prong with 3 prong GFCI receptacles. I just bought a couple of GFCI outlets. They came with (optional) stickers that state "No Equipment Ground" for just that situation.
 
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Old 02-22-02, 03:49 PM
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The code puts restrictions on the replacement of 2-prong receptacles with 3-prong. Providing GFCI protection is one of the ways to make it legal. The "no equipment ground" stickers are not optional.
 
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Old 02-23-02, 06:30 AM
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Ummm, John Nelson, perhaps that was a bit vague. When I said "optional," I meant that the stickers came separately, so that they could be used in just this type of case, but could be left off if the outlet was properly grounded.

Just goes to show, no matter how much you sit here and stare at this screen and edit and preview to get a post just right, sometimes you screw up .
 
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Old 02-24-02, 02:21 PM
Loki
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Hey gang. This is my first post and its going to be a long one. I have a very old house that has no means of being grounded
And the wires are realy old. So my stepdad ran me a new outlet to my room using a 3 prong plug but no groud. This pluge is the only one on this breaker. I use very good surge protectors that require a ground and come to find out when i hooked up my cable line to the surge protector the ground OK light came on(i assume this isnt a good way for an outlet to be grouned). Well i have just built a really powerfull new computer that i cant afford to replace so i boutght a UPS. Well i want this outlet to be grounded and would like to know how to do it. I have purchased a grounding rod, green wire, and a clamp from The HD. This was my plan: attach the green wire to the grounding nut inside the outlet and the connect it to the rod. Is this a good thing to do or is at least better than the way it is? Now here are my questions, how much of the grounding rod needs to be in the ground and whats the lenght the wire should be? Here is another problem i have about 5ft of the grounding rod to use because it wouldnt fit in the car other wise. If the rod has to be longer than that i will have to put the rod on the outside of the house instead of under it like i was going to do. If i have to put it outside of the house that will put the wire being realy long. I used to work on automotive electrical systems to i know the longer the wire the more resistance it will have. Is that going to be an issue in this case. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me out on this.
Thanx and Godspeed.
 
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Old 02-24-02, 03:11 PM
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Welcome to the forum Loki. It's best when starting a new topic to "ask a new question" rather than "post a reply". Otherwise, the multiple conversations get confusing and nobody's sure what issue we're talking about. But then use "post a reply" to continue discussion of the same problem.

A grounding rod cannot be used to ground a receptacle. The guys at Home Depot sold you the wrong stuff (wow, that's a surprise!!).

The only way to ground the receptacle is to run a grounding wire back to the panel and connect it to the grounding bus there. But I'm really confused why your stepdad didn't already do this. Since this is the only receptacle on the breaker, he must have just run a new cable from the panel to this receptacle. Didn't this cable have a grounding wire (it's hard to find cable without a grounding wire)?

Not sure what you meant about hooking up your cable line to the surge protector. Are you using a cable modem? This may actually already provide an acceptable ground for the surge protector. However, the receptacle is still illegal without a ground for it, but that's a different issue and does not affect the safety of your equipment. Since you have both a grounded surge protector and a UPS, I think your equipment is well protected already. But unfortunately, you are not as well protected as your equipment, since your ground does not go back to your panel.

Grounding is an extremely complicated subject. Part of the problem is that there are a lot of different kinds of grounding that serve a lot of distinctly different purposes.
 
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Old 02-24-02, 07:12 PM
Loki
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See the surge protector i am using is for my TV. it has a thru put for the cable also to keep a surge from coming in that way. The line my stepdad ran does have 3 wires in it. but the thing is that my house is waaayyyy old and the wiring sux. At the box it is just mounted on a brick wall inside the house. What i dont get is that if the box was grounded thru a rod or a pipe or what have you, why would that be any different that grounding the one outlet with a rod. Seems that way would be better due to the fact if the ground ever was to cary current that it would have a shorter path to travel. I do not yet have the UPS hooked up because like i mentioned before the only ground my out let is seeing is through the cable line. Bad right? Would it not be the same using a grounding rod for this one outlet as using a rod at the box and it being grounded and THEN attaching the 3rd wire at the outlet?
Thanx again for the help and Godspeed.
 
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Old 02-24-02, 07:43 PM
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Certain aspects of grounding that seem intuitive to many people are not correct. One of the most common misconceptions is that you are protected from shock because your receptacle is grounded to the earth. This is for the most part not true. In fact, the earth is often a quite poor conductor of electricity. Personal protection is provided because that grounding connection goes back to the power company's ground, not because it goes to earth. A grounding connection to the earth may be enough to dissipate the voltage surges that may damage your equipment, but it is not good enough to save your life from electrical shock. If your hot wire shorts to the case of your equipment while you are touching it, the fact that the case is grounded to earth (but not grounded to the power company's ground) is likely not sufficient to save your life.
 
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Old 02-24-02, 09:57 PM
Loki
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Ok i understand that part now. But wouldnt grounding the outlet straight to earth better fo my equipment than nothing at all? And the same for my safty? Is the risk of the shock you speak of greater with me using a grounding rod then the outlet having no ground at all? Because like i said this house sux. My parents cant afford to have the house rewired and our land lord is a BUTT HOLE. And if we were to go to her about the problem she would just say live with it or find another place to live and that we cant afford. So my only concern is to get this 1 outlet grounded. Thank you so very much for your countinued support and Godspeed.
 
  #12  
Old 02-25-02, 06:53 AM
scott12
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replacing 2 slot outlet with 3 slot

Thanks for your help. I used a neon circuit tester and it shows that the boxes are grounded (just like you suggested), so I am in business. Thanks, again.
 
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