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Old 01-03-2011, 01:56 PM   #1
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help with wiring


Hello, this is my very first post here!

My house was built in 1959 and 90% off the power outlets are two prong; the outlets in the recreation room (basement) are three prong, but I don't know if they're really grounded. The home is a split level with a finished crawl space under the ground level. My attached garage doesn't even have three prong outlets and there is a standard incendescent fixture in the middle of the ceiling. I have two industrial grade fluorescent fixtures that need to be grounded. I can see the wiring going to this existing fixture in the garage ceiling and it lloks to be a silver cover fabic sleeving on the wiring but I can't tell if its gout a ground within it. I have been told that it was very common from homes in the late 50s and during the 60s to be wired with this type of wiring but it had a third ground wire within it but non-grounded outlets were used.

I don't want to re-wire the house and I guess I would have to run a new circuit from the breaker to the garage through my crawlspace using grounded wire. Does anyone know if the description of the wiring I have would contain a ground wire?

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Old 01-03-2011, 02:07 PM   #2
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My experience (limited to my own houses) suggest that this type of wiring does NOT include a ground wire. Hopefully others can confirm more confidently.

If you are going to be doing some electrical work yourself, I suggest getting a couple of tools. One of those is a receptacle tester. I got mine at Lowes for under $5. This neat little tool will confirm proper grounding of your receptacle. Every DIYer should have one.

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Old 01-03-2011, 03:30 PM   #3
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turn off power to any one of those ckts.remove an outlet.if there is a ground in the romex you are good.some of those did have a ground.you will have to look.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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My house was built around '55 & it has wiring with a ground
The ground wire was wrapped around the wire & the metal box clamp secured it against the box
I have been wiring the ground to the outlet/switch if I replace the box w/plastic
For the metal boxes I have been adding a ground from the device to the box

Only one lighting circuit in the basement was only 2 wire
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:35 AM   #5
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This weekend I plan to bring my father-in-law over, since he's an electrical engineer. We're going to pull some of the wiring to see what's there. I hope it's got ground but if not, I could wire in a GFI outlet (it won't have a real ground but its still sfaer then nothing) or I could wire in a new circuit. If there's no ground, then I think we'll install a proper new circuit.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:09 AM   #6
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I'm dealing with the same thing. It wouldn't bother me so much if you weren't running the risk of blowing up nice expensive toys by not have proper grounds. Good luck, hopefully it works out for you.

I concur with getting that recepticle tester. There really nice to have and can tell you a lot for such a cheap tool.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanRP View Post
I concur with getting that recepticle tester. There really nice to have and can tell you a lot for such a cheap tool.
Be careful with those plug in receptacle testers. They will indicate the receptacle is wired correctly if someone has bootlegged a ground for a 3 prong receptacle. Bootleg means the the ground pin is wired to the neutral.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:56 AM   #8
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Be careful with those plug in receptacle testers. They will indicate the receptacle is wired correctly if someone has bootlegged a ground for a 3 prong receptacle. Bootleg means the the ground pin is wired to the neutral.
Good to know, I knew you could fake it but I never heard the specifics. I know before I put an offer in on my house there were 11 3 prong outlets that were just there, ungrounded, and I caught it with the tester. It's amazing what some people do.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Be careful with those plug in receptacle testers. They will indicate the receptacle is wired correctly if someone has bootlegged a ground for a 3 prong receptacle. Bootleg means the the ground pin is wired to the neutral.
Thanks. If I had known that, I certainly had forgotten.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:54 PM   #10
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a quick check would be to pull the panel cover off and see how the wiring is connected in the panel. one would assume that if there are no grounds in the panel, there are none at the boxes.

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Old 01-06-2011, 02:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanRP View Post
Good to know, I knew you could fake it but I never heard the specifics. I know before I put an offer in on my house there were 11 3 prong outlets that were just there, ungrounded, and I caught it with the tester. It's amazing what some people do.
Wait... you mean you have to hook those 3-prong outlets up to something? Damn!

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