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Old 11-19-2011, 01:00 PM   #1
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adding three prong outlet to old AC cable


I have and old house that is wire with the old armor cable, I would like to change the two prong outlets to three prong, can I do that?

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Old 11-19-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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adding three prong outlet to old AC cable


It would depend if the AC has a bond strip or not. Without the bond strip AC cable is not a grounding means.

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Old 11-20-2011, 04:27 PM   #3
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adding three prong outlet to old AC cable


Jim, thank you for the response, But I don't know what a bond strip is. Can you explain it to me.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:19 PM   #4
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adding three prong outlet to old AC cable


It is a thin strip of metal in contact with the armor. Look near a cable end and see if you see it backwrapped in the spirals. It may also just be cut off. How old is your cable or house?
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:02 AM   #5
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adding three prong outlet to old AC cable


Thanks, I found it, the house was build in the late 1950's. I am discovering several issues with the electrical, some outlets and lights, wall heaters are all together in one circuit and it looks like the wiring is 14 with 20 amps circuit breakers and the circuits are not label. I am going to have to do some reading to learn how I can label the circuits. Thanks again
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:08 AM   #6
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adding three prong outlet to old AC cable


Is your service on fuses or breakers. You might want to focus on that just to start and first.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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adding three prong outlet to old AC cable


They are on breakers and it sounds like yiu are right about starting there. I heard that there was a gadget that you plug in the outlets and you can check in what breaker the circuit is in. Is there such a tool?
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:28 PM   #8
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adding three prong outlet to old AC cable


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Originally Posted by sam60 View Post
They are on breakers and it sounds like yiu are right about starting there. I heard that there was a gadget that you plug in the outlets and you can check in what breaker the circuit is in. Is there such a tool?
You can buy a circuit identifier. A box store probably sells a cheap Chinese thing that may or may not work for $25 or so. The more expensive ones run $50 or more and will suit you better although I have had mixed luck with them as well. Sadly it is a tool that you will probably not need again once you identify your circuits. Unless you would use it elsewhere. They look like this.





You might be better off getting a decent outlet tester you will use again and again and identify things by process of elimination. Or you could go very basic and just use a work light or radio to know when an outlet activates. It will take you longer and a few trips back and forth to the breaker box but you will get the job done.

Last edited by user1007; 11-29-2011 at 03:31 PM. Reason: Added Image
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:32 PM   #9
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adding three prong outlet to old AC cable


you may want to replace 20a breakers with 15a. you do not want overheated wires. unless you can verify 20a's have 12 wire it is best to err on the safe side
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:58 PM   #10
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adding three prong outlet to old AC cable


Thank you guys for the tips. I was away on a trip that helped me get my mind off the problems with the house, now I have to face reality. Your help is appreciated.

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