Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-09-2010, 07:21 PM   #1
Not Well Grounded Guy
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Arrow

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


I recently bought a house with 2-wire throughout, 2-wire without grounding conductor. Home has a circuit breaker box, 100 amp service.
This is a brick ranch on a slab, with the electrical service grounded only to the plumbing.

I don't have an immediate need to replace all of the wiring in the house with updated electrical wiring. However, I think it makes good sense to do something before hooking up a room full of desktop computers.

Without knowing much, here is what I think I understand thus far (Confirmation of below is much appreciated, or argue me down! See also my questions, please.)

(1) I've been told that all I need to do is replace all the outlets with GFCI.
(a) Q: If there is no grounding conductor on a 2-wire, what is the risk of doing only this action in item 1 ?
(b) What about places which have a terminally active point, but no 'outlet' - such as an attic fan which is on the electrical circuit but which
doesn't have a receptacle outlet? What is the risk at those points?

(2) Obviously I could have someone fish the entire house and replace all wiring with new wiring, in addition. I would do solution item 1 and solution
item 2 together, in this case. But is there more that would also need to be done? What about behind the panel, meaning between the panel
and the outside meter, which I understand is also older wiring?

(c) What else should I be thinking of here, that I obviously do not understand or am not considering?

I really appreciate advice!

Tks.

Tom_2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2010, 08:06 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Canada (s/w ON.)
Posts: 2,294
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_2010 View Post
I recently bought a house with 2-wire throughout, 2-wire without grounding conductor. Home has a circuit breaker box, 100 amp service.
This is a brick ranch on a slab, with the electrical service grounded only to the plumbing.

I don't have an immediate need to replace all of the wiring in the house with updated electrical wiring. However, I think it makes good sense to do something before hooking up a room full of desktop computers.

Without knowing much, here is what I think I understand thus far (Confirmation of below is much appreciated, or argue me down! See also my questions, please.)

(1) I've been told that all I need to do is replace all the outlets with GFCI.
(a) Q: If there is no grounding conductor on a 2-wire, what is the risk of doing only this action in item 1 ?
(b) What about places which have a terminally active point, but no 'outlet' - such as an attic fan which is on the electrical circuit but which
doesn't have a receptacle outlet? What is the risk at those points?

(2) Obviously I could have someone fish the entire house and replace all wiring with new wiring, in addition. I would do solution item 1 and solution
item 2 together, in this case. But is there more that would also need to be done? What about behind the panel, meaning between the panel
and the outside meter, which I understand is also older wiring?

(c) What else should I be thinking of here, that I obviously do not understand or am not considering?

I really appreciate advice!

Tks.
Its not necessary to replace ALL the recepts. with GFCI. Only the first one in the string. This will protect standard recepts. that are wired down stream from it!

Wildie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2010, 08:51 PM   #3
Not Well Grounded Guy
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildie View Post
Wildie wrote . . .

Its not necessary to replace ALL the recepts. with GFCI. Only the first one in the string. This will protect standard recepts. that are wired down stream from it!
I had been told this by a house inspector before buying the house. I don't know for sure where the first receptacle is on the circuit, but was told by the previous home owner that it is in the attic.

So, I could have someone nail down the string for me and replace the first one with GFCI. However, I'm concerned that computer equipment won't be properly protected. As an example, AT&T came out to install U-Verse in the bedroom where the computers will eventually be going. (Right now, that bedroom contains only their AT&T modem.) That room didn't have GFCI, and he said he wasn't really supposed to install where there weren't GFCIs. However, he did something to the receptacle (adding some sort of short, I imagine) and went ahead and did the install, but told me that the house (and future equipment) was really susceptible until adding proper modern system grounding (and replacing wiring).
Tom_2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2010, 09:41 PM   #4
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,941
Rewards Points: 2,138
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


There is no reason to install GFCI receps for computers. If you think your equipment requires equipment grounds, using GFCIs will not provide grounding on a two-wire circuit.
brric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2010, 09:48 PM   #5
Not Well Grounded Guy
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
brric wrote:
... using GFCIs will not provide grounding on a two-wire circuit.
Thanks. That's what I thought, given that there was no grounding conductor at all in my current 2-wire. I am going to look, then, into having the first receptacle on the house's circuitry replaced with GFCI and additionally, running updated wiring to at least the receptacles of the room where this equipment will be placed (as well as whatever working-backwards wiring related to that bedroom needs to also be done.)

Thank you.
Tom_2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_2010 View Post
As an example, AT&T came out to install U-Verse in the bedroom where the computers will eventually be going. (Right now, that bedroom contains only their AT&T modem.) That room didn't have GFCI, and he said he wasn't really supposed to install where there weren't GFCIs. However, he did something to the receptacle (adding some sort of short, I imagine) and went ahead and did the install, but told me that the house (and future equipment) was really susceptible until adding proper modern system grounding (and replacing wiring).
That's bull...I've never had any of my equipment installed on a GFCI outlet
So...unless you told him there wasn't a ground I can't see why they were looking for a GFCI
As stated GFCI doesn't provide a ground in any way

I sure hope he didn't install a Bootleg ground
IE - connecting ground of an outlet to neutral...or neutral to metal box or some such thing
Find out what they did & post results

Under NEC 2008 bedrooms need to be AFCI protected, not GFCI
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 02:21 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 581
Rewards Points: 500
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Under NEC 2008 bedrooms need to be AFCI protected, not GFCI
Doesn't the 2008 NEC essentially require the entire dwelling to be AFCI, whereas the 2005 only required bedrooms?
Klawman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 08:01 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Eighty Four, Pa.15330
Posts: 1,331
Rewards Points: 660
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


G.F.C.I. receptacles have varistors built in for surge protection.I've seen where they where they saved modems and appliances from surges caused by high voltage conductors contacting distribution wires. I'm not sure how they react without a third,(grounding) conductor.
bobelectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 08:07 AM   #9
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,941
Rewards Points: 2,138
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobelectric View Post
G.F.C.I. receptacles have varistors built in for surge protection.I've seen where they where they saved modems and appliances from surges caused by high voltage conductors contacting distribution wires. I'm not sure how they react without a third,(grounding) conductor.
Could you provide some documentation for this assertion?
brric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 08:27 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Eighty Four, Pa.15330
Posts: 1,331
Rewards Points: 660
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


www.electrical-forensics.com voltage surge suppressor fires

Last edited by bobelectric; 04-10-2010 at 08:34 AM.
bobelectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 08:30 AM   #11
Not Well Grounded Guy
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


bobelectric,
The URL above needs to be edited to correct a missing letter, but it works when corrected:
http://www.electrical-forensics.com/
Tom_2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 08:41 AM   #12
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,941
Rewards Points: 2,138
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


There is no evidence in that link of any equipment being protected by the GFCI. Quite to the contrary it gives evidence of destroyed equipment.
brric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 08:47 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Eighty Four, Pa.15330
Posts: 1,331
Rewards Points: 660
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


Thank,tom. Took care of it.

brric,I'm going on personal experience of incidents I've responded to and seen.
bobelectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 08:51 AM   #14
Not Well Grounded Guy
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


Hopefully you can all agree that the first outlet in the circuit should be replaced with GFCI. Or, if that first circuit does not have an actual receptacle on that circuit, that a receptacle should be added on that circuit and it should be GFCI.

I have appreciated the help and insights and will now start to call some people to come out and take a look at the situation of the house.
Tom_2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 08:57 AM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,968
Rewards Points: 2,032
Default

2-wire throughout house - what are my options?


GFCI is to protect people.

(copied from another thread)
Electronic equipment should be grounded with or without GFCI. Take a long say #14 wire, strip of bare spots as needed, and screw it to each piece of equipment in turn where the screw contacts the chassis or metal part of the cabinet which in turn contacts the chassis. Connect the far end of the wire to a known ground.

Alternative, plug the equipment (items with 3 prong plugs) into 3 to 2 prong adapters where the ground lug or pigtail is connected to a wire (similar to the above) connected to a known ground.

As time and convenience permit, you can rewire the receptacles a few at a time with new Romex cables.

Since I hate fishing, I would feel free to run ground wires on the wall surface, from each receptacle say down to the baseboard and up and around doorways and down to the panel if needed and more or less approximating the route of the power feed for the respective outlets down to the panel, a slightly more formal version of the previous ground wire I described. During a future remodeling project, new Romex run through the wall can replace both the internal two conductor (BX?) and external ground.

__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.

Last edited by AllanJ; 04-10-2010 at 09:07 AM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
2 wire, 2-wire, old electrical wiring, replace wiring, two wire


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help Danielg Insulation 24 05-21-2012 09:20 AM
direct bury wire from house to garage??? help vinylman70 Electrical 30 01-20-2010 10:44 PM
Please Help with Outdoor Lamp/ Sensor hcjoak09 Electrical 2 12-16-2009 11:49 PM
DSL slow inside house - wiring options mcvane Electrical 18 07-14-2008 04:15 PM
Old house, new light fixture, too many wires Persephonee Electrical 3 01-15-2007 09:58 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.