A/Cs and outlets

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  #1  
Old 06-24-02, 10:33 AM
J
JKF011
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A/Cs and outlets

OK I have an 87 yr old house but the electrical was updated in the '80s (atr least the main box was). I am trying to install three window A/Cs. The only one it looks like will be a problem is the, of course, living room. The only outlet nearby is a very old two-pronger. Now I checked to see if it was grounded by the "short to ground" connection and got nothing. BUT, I checked two other equally old outlets in that room and found that they were grounded. My question: is it possible that the outlet is faulty (lose screw or wire) that is giving me a false no ground reading? Is it worth taking apart to look? If so what should I look for?
Please hurry it's very hot in here.
Thanks
John
 
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  #2  
Old 06-24-02, 12:07 PM
J
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Yes, it's worth taking a look. It will only take a couple of minutes. Turn off the breaker first. See if the box is metal or plastic. See if there is a bare grounding wire in the box.

You should probably look in the boxes that you think are grounded too. Make sure somebody didn't bootleg the ground (i.e., hook the ground and neutral together).

And you should certainly do some math about what is already on the one or more circuits you are going to plug into. Then add in the electrical requirements of the new air conditioners. Then see what the breaker size is. I'd hate to see you go to all this work and then trip the breaker when you went to use the ACs.

P.S. I'm not sure I know what the "short to ground" method is. What kind of test instrument did you use?
 
  #3  
Old 06-24-02, 12:34 PM
J
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I am a rookie so please bear with the stupid questions:

1) how would I know graound and neutral are hooked together?
2) if the desired receptacle does have a discinnected ground, what will it look like? Just a loose wire?
3) how would I do that math? I can tell you the desired outlet has my TV, stereo system on a surge protector off an adapter plug (which I suspect is dangerous now) on one plug and would have the 12000 BTU A/C on the other plug.

Thanks
John
 
  #4  
Old 06-24-02, 12:35 PM
J
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I used one of theose old fadhioned neon light testers. "short to ground means holding one lead into the shirter of the slots and the other to the ground screw, so I'm instructed, if it lights the receptacle is grounded.
John
 
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