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-   -   Lining up outlets and switches (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/lining-up-outlets-switches-29290/)

unixb0y 10-02-2008 11:09 PM

Lining up outlets and switches
 
Our house was built in 1945 and has armored wire with no ground wire that I can see. I think it's called BX.

The walls are plaster lath. The previous owners had changed some of the outlets and switches.

The switches do not line up nicely with the faceplate on. I can tighten the outlet/switch against the plaster but I don't thing thats a good idea since you are dependant on the plaster to be in good condition. I have also seen nuts and knock outs use as spacers so that the outlet/switch rests against the box and not the plaster.

On to my question!

Is there something better I can use as a spacer?

Jim Port 10-02-2008 11:24 PM

try these.

http://aifittings.com/m_9.htm

Matsukaze 10-02-2008 11:31 PM

Use an electrical box extender.

rgsgww 10-02-2008 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unixb0y (Post 167799)
Our house was built in 1945 and has armored wire with no ground wire that I can see. I think it's called BX.


Yes, you are correct, it is called bx. If you don't have a fuse panel, but a breaker panel with a proper ground, you can change the 2 prong outlets with three, as long as the outlets are "self grounding" or you use a ground juumper, and MOST importantly, there is a low resistance path from the metal box to ground.

chris75 10-03-2008 12:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgsgww (Post 167810)
Yes, you are correct, it is called bx. If you don't have a fuse panel, but a breaker panel with a proper ground, you can change the 2 prong outlets with three, as long as the outlets are "self grounding" or you use a ground juumper, and MOST importantly, there is a low resistance path from the metal box to ground.

Not sure what exactly your trying to say, but if the wire is pre- 50's then you cannot use the metal jacket as a ground. The BX ( aka AC type cable) must contain a bonding strip.

rgsgww 10-03-2008 08:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris75 (Post 167819)
The BX ( aka AC type cable) must contain a bonding strip.

I forgot that, the bonding strip must be present in the cable to use the armor as a ground.

KE2KB 10-03-2008 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgsgww (Post 167863)
I forgot that, the bonding strip must be present in the cable to use the armor as a ground.

If that's the code, then I have lots of code violations in my home. Lots of old armoured, BX, whatever. Some even has the rubber/cloth insulation. There is no bonding wire in the older stuff, and the newer BX is hit or miss. I always thought it was OK to use the outer jacket as ground. I hope there's a 'grandfather clause' in the code, so that if I have to get an inspector for anything, he won't make me replace everything.

unixb0y 10-03-2008 09:52 AM

If you get one of those plug testers and it shows a ground, isn't it ok then?

http://appliance-repair-shop.com/Too...tester_180.jpg

How canI tell if there is a bonding wire?

rgsgww 10-03-2008 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unixb0y (Post 167896)
If you get one of those plug testers and it shows a ground, isn't it ok then?

http://appliance-repair-shop.com/Too...tester_180.jpg

How canI tell if there is a bonding wire?

If you look at the ends on the bx cable and you see a small wire, thats the bonding wire. In your situation, it it more likely that this is a "bootleg" ground. That is when the person attaches the neutral to the ground terminal .


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