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Grounding in old house
March 6, 2019
8:27 am
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ielp2002@yahoo.com
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The NEC plainly says that you can use a gfci to protect the first outlet and then downstream protect the other outlets on the same circuit.  You can then make them 3 wire outlets with the proper labeling.  The label must say GFCI protected -no equipment ground.  HOWEVER, my city uses the IRC for residential and I can't find anything that allows the NEC practice.  Does the IRC not allow the use of the gfci and labeling as mentioned above?

September 20, 2007
7:33 am
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wwebb
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If you only want to run new grounds (I don''t recommend it), you cannot ''daisy chain'' them on the receptacles according to the articles I mentioned earlier. You must take each receptacle ground to one of the attachment points listed in the article.
I HIGHLY recommend that you not only rewire the house, but that you replace the service with a new circuit breaker system rather than the fuse panel. The system, if original, is about 50 years old now and I am sure that there are weakened lug attachments and some corrosion occurring in the system and panel.
My brother just bought a house built in 1911 that has a combination of DIY romex wiring as well as original knob-and-tube wiring. He is having the whole house rewired and a new 200amp service installed. It is a matter of safety, and whether you are going to live in the home or just fix it up and sell it, it is a VERY good idea to be certain that the electrical system is safe in every way. A complete rewire will cost around $3 to $5 per square foot and sometimes less and this is including a new service. It''s well worth the investment and should give you some homeowner''s insurance breaks. Be certain that the wiring is up to current code standards with AFCI protection for all bedrooms and smoke detectors inside and outside (in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms) the bedrooms, that you get at LEAST two small appliance circuits in your kitchen. All GFI requirements will be met................
The bottom line is that your home will be as safe as it can be for you, your family, and all of your possessions.
Just because the code allows something doesn''t mean that it is the best way to go.........the code is JUST a minimum.

September 19, 2007
4:34 pm
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jlaw21652
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This is a reply to a question of the same nature as mine that I found on another bulletin board. From this explaination I would gather that my proposed scenario would not be in accordance with the NEC. Does anyone concur with or refute this explaination?

If there is no real or imagined difference of opinion then I would agree with Mr. wgoodrich and make the decision that I should rewire the house to a 3 wire system.

Should I replace the original fuse panel that appears to be in good condition or would it be suitable to use? Would replacing it just be considered good practice or woould replacing it bring some real tangible electrical benefit?

I hope all of this information is helpful to someone it certainly has provoked some critical thought on my part. Hope to get opinions from all of the experts.

Jim L.

November 3rd, 2002, 03:53 PM
Wgoodrich
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The NEC tells you that you must install the equipment grounding conductor in the same cable or or conduit or trench with that certain branch circiut conductors or feeder. The equipment grounding conductor must be with the other conductors of that circuit.

Then the NEC gives an option concerning the difficulty of dealing with an existing 2 conductor wiring system. The NEC states that if you have a two wire branch circiut serving receptacles that were originally 2 prong receptacle and you wish to convert that certain two prong receptacle to a three prong receptacle then you have three choices specifically providing an option to change that ONE receptacle to a three prong receptacle.

YOu may install a GFI protective device on that receptacle or branch circuit and install three prong receptacles but you are forbidden to install any equipment grounding conductor from the load side of that converted receptacle on to a second receptacle that you wish to change. In fact no equipment grounidng conductor is allowed to be connected anywhere on that two wire branch circuit if you use the NEC rule allowing your to install a GFI protective device as an alternative to the equipment grounding conductor being present on that two wire branch circuit.

Then the NEC says you may convert that one certain two prong receptacle with a new two prong receptacle.

Then the NEC provides a rule to allow you to actually connect an equipment grounding conductor to that box containinng an existing 2 prong receptacle. The NEC allows a varience of the above rule requiring that green equipment grounding conductor to be ran inside the same conduit or cable. The NEC issues a rule that you may install a new green equipment grounding conductor directly connected to the two prong receptacle converted to a three prong receptacle and then run that single green equipment grounding conductor directly to the equipment grounding bar inside your main panel or directly to the grounding electrode. This does not include any water pipe but does include an option to run that green wire from that certain converted receptacle to any grounding electrode. this means a ground rod or a metal water pipe but only if that metal water pipe is in direct contact with the earth a minimum of 10'' and is used as the grounding electrode for your home wiring system and that green wire from this converted three prong receptacle must be connected to within 5'' of that contact with earth entry of that metal water pipe into the structure.

The NEC does not have a rule allowing you to divert from the original rule that I mentioned that the equipment grounding conducotor must be installed inside that same cable or conduit or trench other than converting that one existing two prong receptacle to a three prong receptacle. YOu have not NEC rule forgiving you from having the equipment grounding conductor installed in that same cable or conduit except for one certain receptacle. This NEC does not give you a rule allowing you do daisy chain from receptacle to receptacle of a two wire branch circuit.

The way I interpret the rules you can not daisy chain from receptacle to receptacle with a single green equipment grounding conductor. YOu would be installing a new branch circuit because you have changed the values of that entire branch circuit thus requiring you to meet the NEC rules dictated for new wiring installed today without any forgiving due to the term EXISTING. You would now have a new branch circuit becuase you substantially changed the original intent of that existing wiring style and now it would no longer be considered as existing.

If you wish to make that entire branch circuit a three wire branch circuit instead of the orignally intended two wire branch circuit then you need to start at the panel and install a new three wire branch circuit complete meeting today''s wiring standards. YOu must not take such a short cut as you are suggesting. YOu have no NEC rule that tells you that you can do this short cut single equipment grounding conductor daisy chain. YOu would be stretching that one rule they gave an alternative concerning the conversion of only one receptcle and you would be rewiring an entire branch circuit as new installation that is required to meet current codes.

The concern in the elecrical industry is limiting heating due to harmonics that happens when the grounding conductor is not in close proximity to the hot wires. You are dealing with a hot and a grounded leg [aka neutral] that will heat each other up without the equipment grounding conductor obsorbing that heating due to the opposite direction of electrical flow concerning the hot and grounded leg [aka neutral ].

The two wire wiring system is allowed to remain existing becuase of the lighter amp design on the olden years did not experience the heavy loads of today. This harmonics heating problem was not a concern for fire because these two wire wiring systems were not designed capable of carrying as heavy a load in electricity as we are today.

YOu best bet is to rewire you home meeting current standards. You right now would be doing a quick fix patch that most likley will come back to bite you at a later date.

HOpe this helps

Wg

September 19, 2007
3:23 pm
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jlaw21652
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On a second note concerning the ground!!! Would a single ground wire be adequate for all circuits daisy chaned from one device to the next or would a separate wire need to be run for each branch circuit in the panel??

Jim L.

September 19, 2007
3:17 pm
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jlaw21652
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What my plan is, is to run the conductor through the crawl space and drill into the stud space from below running the ground wire as one would run a new piece of romex. I beleive that this would be more cost effective than replacing the entire wiring system in the house and still meet the requirements of code. It would definitely be safer than leaving the house as it is. The house was wired in 1958 and must have been done by some one that wanted plenty of power as there are many more outlets on the walls than current code requires including the kitchen counter. I have not yet delved into the distribution of the circuits but the house has the original fused 200 amp distribution panel.

Can anyone shed more light on the ability of this method to meet code. I will be living in the home and if it is necesary I will completely rewire.

Thanks--Jim L.

September 19, 2007
2:51 pm
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wwebb
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Good question. Article 300.3(2)refers you to 250.130(C) for conditions where you are permitted to install the equipment grounding conductors outside of a raceway or cable assembly.
Article 250.130(C) does not come right out with examples or anything, but it is entitled "Nongrounding Receptacle Replacement or Branch Circuit Extensions".
I am assuming that since these are the older 2-wire devices that they are the old nongrounding type and that this article would apply. The problem is that this article does not specify how the ground is to be run, only where it is to be connected to the system grounding.
I have a "sneaky suspicion" that your case would allow such an installation, providing the ground conductors are adequately protected and are installed in an approved manner(whatever that would be at this point).