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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    29

    Red face 1947 bungalow w/ all 2-prong outlets

    I'm looking to buy my first house, and a small (1014 sq ft) 1947 bungalow came up for sale in a very desirable location, listed at about half of what comparable houses near it have been sold for recently. It's an estate sale being sold "as is" and one of the problems with this house is that there are NO grounded outlets except for 1 in the kitchen and 1 in the bathroom. They are all 2-prong. I don't know much about wiring (hence the username "TOTALN00B"), and would have to hire someone to re-wire most of the house. Has anyone had a small house re-wired, and how much can I expect it to cost? It's a 2-bedroom, 1-bath with a laundry room. There are actually some sort of 3-prong converters in the laundry room, that the washer & dryer are plugged into, but somehow it doesn't seem kosher...especially the one that's just a plastic plug attachment. (Will attach pics as soon as I've made the necessary 10 posts).

    This is the only house that I can afford in the town where I own a shop, unfortunately. And the mortgage on this particular house would be cheaper than most apartments rent for here! But I need to make sure I'd have enough money for things like re-wiring... The house was occupied by a 90-year-old who seemed to have kept it mostly as it was in 1947...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: 1947 bungalow w/ all 2-prong outlets

    From your description it sounds like the house needs to have all new wiring, but also upgraded electrical service (amperage) to the house. You're going to be spending well over $10k, price dependent on the complexity of the work, local pricing, the going rate for copper, and if there is any insulation in the walls.

    Since the electric wasn't brought into this century, how is the plumbing? Are the pipes original too? What about the HVAC system?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,842

    Default Re: 1947 bungalow w/ all 2-prong outlets

    First of all we can't give you a definitive answer because we can't see what you have. When you consider that 90% of home appliances are 2 pronged the ground at the outlet does not provide any protection., and if the wiring is in good shape you can have a ground wire run to the outlets that need them such as for electronic equipment. If you are concerned about safety you could install GFCI outlets without the ground which would give you greater protection than adding a ground.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,213

    Default Re: 1947 bungalow w/ all 2-prong outlets

    I had two prong outlets but "2/12 with ground" wire. I just replaced the outlets and put the ground conductor to the outlet's lug instead of the bond screw in the metal boxes. It was a ground-ready installation from the 20's-40's era.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,673

    Default Re: 1947 bungalow w/ all 2-prong outlets

    GFIs are considered an acceptable solution for providing additional safety where there is no ground available. However, the GFI receptacle must be marked as being ungrounded (I don't remember the proper code terminology).

    Keep in mind that surge protectors require a true ground, and that a surge protector plugged into an ungrounded GFI provides almost no benefit over having no surge protector at all.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: 1947 bungalow w/ all 2-prong outlets

    if you gettin the house at a good deal, i know what id do. id buy the house and then assess the wiring in the near future when you get settled in.. the cheapest fix would be throwing a few gfis in where you do need a three prong outlet. The cost to re-wire is deffinetly going to be fairly high.. i believe copper is at an all time high right now.. so you might be better off waiting a little bit because of that too.

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