What To Do About Your Non-Grounded Outlets
My house has three prong outlets but there is no ground wire, is this safe and what should I do? How to Fix Ungrounded Outlets, Grounding an Ungrounded Circuit, What To Do About Ungrounded Outlets.
Ungrounded Outlet Problem
Electrical Question: My house has three prong outlets but there is no ground wire, is this safe and what should I do to make it safe?
- My house was built in the 60’s, and it still has all of the non-grounding wiring throughout, except to the kitchen which has been updated along with the main panel. The person who I bought the home from remodeled and put in 3 prong receptacles all over the home, but obviously didn’t update the wiring, so none of the receptacles are grounded.
- For most of the things I have plugged in around the house, I don’t need the ground, so I’m not worried about it.
- I know I should put 2 prong receptacles in, but again, I’m not worried about it. What I am worried about is my electronics equipment. TV/Computer etc.
- So, my question is this: Can I just run a single ground wire to each of the outlets that I want to be grounded? And if I place a GFCI receptacle on that grounded outlet, will it still protect all of the other outlets in the circuit even if they aren’t grounded? And, when running the bare ground wire to the outlets, should it be shielded, or can I just run it bare next to the old wiring?
My electronics would only be plugged into the grounded outlets.
Thank you for the reply.
This electrical question came from: Stefan, from Saint Charles, Missouri.
- I have a light switch that is no grounded.
- I wish to run a ground wire to an outlet 10 feet away that is grounded.
- Can I use just a bare copper ground wire to run through the floor joists to ground the light switch to the outlet?
This electrical wiring question came from Brock, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
Thanks for your electrical question Stefan.
How to Fix Ungrounded Outlets
Safety Concerns About Ungrounded Outlets
Stephen, if I were you I would be concerned about your ungrounded outlets, especially if there are 3 prong outlets installed where there is no ground – in a word this is Illegal, another work would be Dangerous! The act of installing a grounded outlet where there is no ground available is very misleading and just not safe.
Grounding an Ungrounded Circuit
- Yes, an additional ground wire may be installed to provide a grounded connection to a device location, however this does not mean that everything else will suddenly become grounded as well.
- A ground wire should be bonded to the ground system of the electrical panel which must be installed according to code for it to be effective.
What To Do About Ungrounded Outlets
- Replace ungrounded outlets with 2 prong ungrounded receptacle outlets and get rid of that false ground, because it simply does not exist.
- Consider upgrading your electrical wiring and get up to the latest code compliance, it’s just the right thing to do.
More about Wiring and Grounding Outlets
Electrical Grounding Methods and Requirements
Listing of electrical codes for grounding with examples of electrical grounding codes for home electrical wiring.
Electrical Circuit Wiring
This article looks at common 120 volt circuits, and 240 volt circuits commonly used for house wiring, and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
GFCI and GFI Wiring Diagrams
The features and benefits of GFCI outlets and receptacles will give you a clear understanding of the importance why these safety devices are required by code to help protect you and your family against accidental electrical shock hazards.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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