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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default grounding an ungrounded outlet

    I have an OLD house and I find that the boxes are not grounded. Is there any way I can ground new outlets?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Lakeland ,MN
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    Default Re: grounding an ungrounded outlet

    There are few ways to ground a old wiring system. I need to know more information like what kind of wiring is used? Look in your basement rafters or near the panel box. Is it individual wires run tru the joist in a ceramic sleave or on insulators(Knob & Tube)?Is it cable that has a armor metal cover over the wires (BX)? Is it wires covered in silver or black tar looking jacket (0lder non Metalic cable brand name is Romex)? Is it a combination of all? How old is the house? With each one there is a different solution. Get back to us and we can help. Or post a picture is even better
    Harry

  3. #3
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    Default Re: grounding an ungrounded outlet

    The house is about 100 years old. The wire to the box is heavy copper, but there is no third wire (or I would not have the question). The wire seems to be wrapped in a 'rubbery' substance.

    I was told I could just wire the ground to the non-hot wire and that would do the trick. I am suspicious.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: grounding an ungrounded outlet

    You should be suspicious, that is the wrong way to do it. The proper way is to run new 2 cond plus ground from the panel bx to the outlet and install a ground wire from the panel to a ground rod.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: grounding an ungrounded outlet

    Regular 120 v...house current.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: grounding an ungrounded outlet

    Single family, two story house.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: grounding an ungrounded outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by erubringer View Post
    Single family, two story house.
    From what you have described I would turn the power off to one outlet you are going to work on as a test case. Remove the outlet and inspect to see if the box is metal. There should be a clamp that is holding the wires entering the box. Remove the screw and the clamp. Now see if there is a bare copper wire wrapped around the outer jacket of the NM cable. If it is I always unwrap that wire with a pair of needle nose pliers. If that is what you have found as I described. I then twist those wires together. I would suggest making a trip to the home center to purchase some wire nuts, grounding pigtails (green wire attached to a green screw sometimes called a greenie), green #14 wire about 8" for each box, and a new grounded outlet. Now as I said twist those wires together. Re- install the clamp that was holding the NM cable and just snug it down (do not over tighten just snug enough to hold the wires. Now in the back of the box should be a screw hole that the green screw pigtail should be attached to. Then attach that green wire with the 8" green wire to the twisted bare copper wires and then install the wire nut.
    Push the wire nut with all the green wires back in the box with the exception of the 8" green wire. Attach that wire to the green screw on the outlet. Now install the white wires on the silver color screws and the black wires on the brass screws. Make sure you wrap the wires clockwise. Take care in putting the outlet back in the box to make sure the bare wires do not hit the outlet screws. I might suggest a cheap outlet tester for checking you work. Ask the clerk at the store.

    One further note some people might suggest just taking a ground wire from the back of the box to your new outlet. But this is a better connection.

    Good luck. If that is not what you find come on back and we can help
    Harry

  8. #8
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    Default Re: grounding an ungrounded outlet

    Excellent!!!

    This is just what I wanted to know.

    Thanks for the help!!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: grounding an ungrounded outlet

    Ravens, I think one flaw in your post is that you are assuming that the wrap wire is grounded, and with the old wiring that the OP described it probably isn't.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Default Re: grounding an ungrounded outlet

    No...you are right Jack. The wrap wire is not grounded. Many of the boxes are not grounded either. I did ground the one that was per the instructions he gave, for which I am grateful. I guess, other than running new wires, I can't ground the others.

    Thanks for all the help.

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