Grounding Old Houses

Status
Not open for further replies.

trickett

Member
Does any one out there know of any short cuts that may be used to bring an old home up to code with respect to grounding?

Thanks everyone for your input I have decided to rewire the entire house and ground everything. GFCI's will provide personal protection (after someone gets shocked)BUT will not necessarily provide property protection against a fault BECAUSE the grounding conductor is used fro clearing faults. You can't provide adequate protection to a family if there is a chance of the house burning down around them.

This is what happened at the MGM Grand Hotel in Vegas in the 70's. There was an inadequate ground then a fault and the breaker would not trip causing a fire and burning down the Hotel killing over eighty people.

Thanks again.

[ October 23, 2003, 09:36 AM: Message edited by: trickett ]
 

racraft

Senior Member
Re: Grounding Old Houses

Scott,

You are implying that a short cut would not meet code. That is not necessarily true. Plus, Trickett has indicated he wants to meet code.

Just because someone finds a awy to make the job easier and save time does not mean that it does not meet code.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Re: Grounding Old Houses

I disagree, even when the shortcuts meet the code they may not be the right or best way to go.

As an example code allows replacing a 2 wire outlet with a 3 wire GFCI outlet where no ground exists.

IMO this is a code compliant short cut but is not the right way to do it.

JMO, Bob
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Re: Grounding Old Houses

Trickett, I hate to say this, but you need to supply alot more information before any reasonable answer can be given.

Roger
 
G

Guest

Guest
Re: Grounding Old Houses

Originally posted by iwire:
<snip> As an example code allows replacing a 2 wire outlet with a 3 wire GFCI outlet where no ground exists.<snip>
From a value engineering standpoint this may be a reasonable stop-gap safety implementation until it can be done the "right" way.

A 2-wire on a GFCI is safer than a 2-wire without GFCI.

Would a 3-wire without GFCI be safer than a 2-wire with GFCI?

Question for Trickett: What are you expecting to gain by installing a grounding system?

Post back with more detail so we can give you a better & safer answer.
 

electricmanscott

Senior Member
Location
Boston, MA
Re: Grounding Old Houses

When I see a question looking for "shortcuts" I think "cut corners". Obviously if the wiring is old enough not to have a grounding method replacement and updating is probably the right way to go. Otherwise gfci's are a better than doing nothing alternative. Beware the old boxes! No room for gfci receptacles. How did they ever get the wiring in some of those suckers.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Re: Grounding Old Houses

A low-profile WireMold? extension box (starter box) can be a good workaround for that issue. Been there, done that :)

Hey, Trickett, there's your first shortcut :)

../Wayne C.



[ October 22, 2003, 10:15 PM: Message edited by: awwt ]
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Re: Grounding Old Houses

Originally posted by awwt:
Would a 3-wire without GFCI be safer than a 2-wire with GFCI?
In my opinion yes a 3 wire outlet with a working grounding conductor is safer than a GFCI on a two wire circuit.

I think you hit the nail on the head with this.

By Awwt
this may be a reasonable stop-gap safety implementation until it can be done the "right" way
Lets assume :eek: one 3 wire installation and one two wire installation with a GFCI both working properly.

Now someone plugs in an appliance with a 3 wire cord that has a hot to case fault.

In the 3 wire circuit there may be a spark when this gets plugged in but the breaker should trip and no one gets zapped.

Now plug that same appliance into the GFCI on a two wire circuit and if it is not touching anything grounded it will not trip the breaker or GFCI and will operate as normal with a "hot" case.

Now you come along and touch that appliance while you are grounded and you will get a shock before the GFCI trips.

Don may say the code prohibits plugging grounding type cords into this outlet but how does the average homeowner no that the "no equipment ground" sticker means not to plug in a grounding type plug? :confused:

JMO, Bob
 

hillbilly

Senior Member
Re: Grounding Old Houses

In certain situations, I believe a two wire circuit with GFCI is safer than a 3 wire without GFCI. Take for example a basin receptacle in a bathroom. How many hair dryers, curling irons, tooth brushes, waterpics or radios have you seen that have a grounded plug? I can't think of anything used near a bathroom sink that has a grounded plug. I know that a grounded GFCI is required on new construction, but on older homes without a grounded conductor in the box, a GFCI receptacle can be a life saver.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Re: Grounding Old Houses



Right you are. I am only suggesting this starter box be used as a more finished way to extend the cubes of an existing undersized box & and to make room for the physical size of the GFCI receptacle. The picture is of a starter box (extension box). It's not a standalone box.

It looks better than a Handy-Box extension:



../Wayne C.

[ October 23, 2003, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: awwt ]
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top