Outlet Grounding Upgrades
How to Ground an Ungrounded Outlet Circuit: In some cases, a separate ground wire may be installed for the ungrounded circuit or device and connected to the bonded ground system.
Grounding an Outlet Circuit
- I have tested them and the outlets on my main floor have grounded outlet boxes, so I was able to just use self grounding three prong outlets.
- The outlets in my basement, however, are not giving me a voltage reading when I test for ground.
- I have tried testing for ground by using both the center screw and the box itself, but do not get any voltage reading.
- I even went so far as to install a three prong outlet and test the ground through the outlet, but I did not get any voltage reading.
- Inside the box, there is a ground wire. I tried connecting it to the outlet box and I tried connecting it to the outlet grounding screw. I did not get a ground reading either using either method.
- I would really like to avoid running a new ground wire, and I figure there must be an easier fix since the ground wire is already in place. Any suggestions for how to fix my grounding problem?
- One person has suggested checking the main electrical panel to see if the ground wire is properly connected to the neutral bar, and I will try that. Are there any other methods to troubleshoot the problem?
BTW, if I can’t find a better solution, I will install GFCI outlets, but I’d prefer not to have to do that as the outlet boxes already installed are too shallow and would have to be replaced, which I have heard can be a real pain.
Thanks so much for any assistance you can provide.
This electrical wiring question came from: Jay, a Homeowner from Denver, CO
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Jay.
How to Ground an Ungrounded Outlet Circuit
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of outlets that will be replaced.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Installing a Ground System
- When testing to a metal outlet box or to the ground prong does not produce a normal voltage reading, or if a plug in circuit analyzer shows that a ground is not detected then these readings mean that the circuit wiring does not have a ground wire, so the circuit is not grounded.
- If there are other circuits in the home that do in fact have a ground wire and they test normal then the ground system at the main panels should be OK, but should be verified.
- If an older home has grounded outlets they should to be tested with a circuit analyzer and inspected to make sure that the grounding method is legal.
- The method of installing a jumper wire from the neutral to the ground screw of a receptacle outlet is an illegal and dangerous practice which can cause problems for the home electrical system, can damage the devices that are plugged in, and creates a dangerous potential shock hazard for the user.
- Installing a self-grounding outlet or any three prong or grounded outlet or a GFCI outlet will not magically produce a ground, all it does is provide a ground prong which has no connection to a grounded source, so it is in fact an illegal installation.
- The circuit wiring may be replaced and upgraded with new cabling which has a ground wire.
- In some cases, a separate ground wire may be installed for the ungrounded circuit or device and connected to the bonded ground system.
- Installed ground wires must be connected to the bonded ground system of the main electrical panel of the home.
More about Wiring 110 Volt Outlets
Wiring Electrical Outlet for the Home
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers
This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
Electrical Junction Boxes
Electrical Junction Boxes for Home Wiring
Understanding electrical junction boxes and what they are used for. Home electrical wiring is the process of installing electrical wire to a location that will serve electrical devices or an appliance. One very important component is the box where the wire will be installed. The type and size of the home wiring electrical boxes will depend upon the circuit size, application and its location.
Wiring a Basement
Basement Electrical Wiring for the Home
Understanding circuit options for basement electrical wiring will help you determine the electrical load requirements. This information will help as a home electrical basement wiring guide.
Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring Problems
Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.
For more information about Grounding
Electrical Grounding Methods and Requirements
Listing of electrical codes for grounding with examples of electrical grounding codes for home electrical wiring.