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Thread: Boston Backwrap Ground and Three Prong Receptacles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    New Britain, CT USA
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    Boston Backwrap Ground and Three Prong Receptacles

    Hello everyone,

    Recently bought a flip house. The flippers replaced every two prong receptacle with a three prong and a bootleg ground. In the process of undoing that unsafe practice, I've discovered that almost all the boxes in my house have "Boston back wraps". The NM cable ground is wrapped around the sheathing of the cable and clamped under the box's cable clamps.

    Similar to the connection on the right in this picture.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that grounding the receptacles to the box (like you would with old BX cable installs) is insufficient in this case. It just doesn't seem like these back wraps can offer a good ground all the way back to the panel

    So what would be your preferred way to address this?

    I see two options:
    1. Treat it like a two-wire circuit and GFCI protect everything (potentially with gfci/afci breakers). Potentially a whole home surge protector as well.
    2. Carefully unwrap the Boston back wraps connect the grounds like a modern install, bonding the boxes with a pigtail or self bonding receptacle.

    I'm tempted to go with route 1, as it seems to offer a high degree of safety with minimal work. Route 2 seems like a lot a additional trouble for arguably no additional or even less safety benefit. The only part that doesn't thrill me about route 1 is the receptacle labels (no equipment ground) might not look great to home buyers in the future.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Chapel Hill, NC
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