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Contractor's_Daughter 11-17-2006 01:21 PM

Grounding Issues in a 1849 House
I am hoping that someone can offer some information on properly grounding some of the outlets in my old home. I have knob & tube wiring in my house. However, the only visible K&T is 1 set in the basement and 1 set in the attic. I have 100A and a breaker box with romex so obviously one of the home owner's upgraded the box & most of the visible K&T wiring. My problem is that I do not have the 5-10k it would cost to replace all of the K&T I know is behind the walls being that 90% of the outlets have open grounds. I would like get some options on how to properly ground these outlets...short of ripping out all of the wiring.

I know that I could short cut it and run a ground line to the radiator water lines but I know that this can cause serious issues being that these lines are not part of the loaded circuit. I am planning on connecting some expensive electrical gear to these outlets and therefore want to be sure that it is properly grounded.

Any suggestions? I am willing to run a ground line to the box but this will be difficult being that the room is on the 2nd floor and it is probably 40 feet between the outlets and the box. I am just looking for options.

Any information that can be offered is greatly appreciated!!!

joed 11-17-2006 05:32 PM

The only legal way to ground them is to run a ground wire back to the breaker panel. If you are going to do that might as well run a romex and have all new cables.
You can not ground them to a water pipe or radiator.

Contractor's_Daughter 11-17-2006 06:00 PM

Figured as Much
Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. I guess it is just one of those things that you need to hear it for sure before you go through the pain of doing it right.

Do you have any suggestions on the best way to do this? Or can you recommend any good books/videos for fishing romex through walls. I do not mind cutting holes being it is my house but I would prefer to have some good direction going in.

Any thoughts? Yet again, any information is greatly appreciated!

joed 11-17-2006 07:11 PM

You are not required to actually ground them. You can install GFCI receptacles legally. The receptacles will not be grounded. They will be safe and you will be able to plug grounded devices into them. Devices like surge suppressors that actually require a ground will not function properly however.

Contractor's_Daughter 11-17-2006 07:29 PM

Thanks for the options with the GFCIs...that give me some options in the house. But for the "Studio" it looks like I am stuck with installing the Romex. The audio equipment that will be used in this room has power conditioners and according to my husband those need a the surge supressors to function properly.

I will probably use the GFCIs elsewhere in the house though. I appreciate that information. I want to be sure that I am compliant. The previous home owner installed 3 prong outlets which are against code. At least I have an option with the GFCIs.

Yet again, any thoughts about running the romex through? I would like to have some resonable assurances that the circuits that our audio/recording equipment is connected to is adequate.

ncor 11-18-2006 11:02 PM

common wall one which extends from the basement to the studio or a wall on the 1st floor that extends to the studio which can be accessed from the basement.
find your wall go to the basement look up between the joist the bootom plate of the wall above is nailed through the subfloor of older homes just look for the line of rusty nails.
5/8" hole drilled from below through the subfloor and bottom plate above should suffice
this will acess the cavity of the wall above hopefully you picked the common wall.
now comes the tricky part finding the exact location of your hole in relation to the wall in the studio. an electricians drill bit comes in handy. simple tool regular drill bit on one end rediculously long extension on the other allows you to drill the top plate of a wall from below.
youll still have to take some keen measurements so as not to knock out the wrong part of your studio wall while searching for your holes

Contractor's_Daughter 11-20-2006 10:56 AM

Thanks for the information. This one is going to be a tricky one with a crawl space below the 1st floor. At least now I have enough information to make a go of it. Thanks again!

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