cloth covered NM cable

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TOMWELDS2

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Am looking at a job that is wired with this. I understand that #18 bare wire to be a 'bond', not a ground. So, am i correct in treating this as a 2-wire ungrounded circuit? Install GFI breakers on those circuits? Replace and dont extend the circuit? TIA...Tom
 

mdshunk

Senior Member
It was a legal ground it its day. No reason to not treat it as one today.

What's more troubling is the way these things were made up in the past. Marginal, at best, often times.
 

TOMWELDS2

Member
I was concerned because the smallest branch circuit ground can be a #14...the fact that the wires terminate under a nail head at each box doesnt:roll:
 

LawnGuyLandSparky

Senior Member
I've seen them folded over the sheath and twisted together (not very well, either) behind the box, as there weren't any ground screws on devices anyway. Typically, these would be metal gem boxes with 2 nails running right through the box to secure it to the stud. The twisted pair of grounds would then be "wrapped" around the back of the cable clamp retaining screw, or sandwiched between the box and the stud as a form of "termination."
 

mdshunk

Senior Member
LawnGuyLandSparky said:
I've seen them folded over the sheath and twisted together (not very well, either) behind the box, as there weren't any ground screws on devices anyway. Typically, these would be metal gem boxes with 2 nails running right through the box to secure it to the stud. The twisted pair of grounds would then be "wrapped" around the back of the cable clamp retaining screw, or sandwiched between the box and the stud as a form of "termination."
Yeah, that's the main reason I generally don't like to extend reduced ground romex circuits. I don't mind the fact that it's a reduced ground (everything bigger than #10 is anyhow still today), but the termination methods of old just won't meet muster today. When the need does arise, however, to extend one of these circuits, I feel compelled to back-track the whole circuit and make them up in a manner more in tune with how we'd do it today.
 

TOMWELDS2

Member
Thanks Pierre. Because of its size, i didnt know if it was considered a bond or gnd. The next problem is 'how it's connected'...under the nail head...ouch!
 

Pierre C Belarge

Senior Member
TOMWELDS2 said:
Thanks Pierre. Because of its size, i didnt know if it was considered a bond or gnd. The next problem is 'how it's connected'...under the nail head...ouch!
Not that it is required, but maybe you can persuade the customer of going back to some of the other locations to help correct some of those bogus terminations.
If they do give you the permission to do so, be careful as there potentially could be a ground fault that is not tripping due to the ineffective equipment ground fault current path created by the poor connections of teh EGC, which is already a size smaller than is permitted for todays installations.
 
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