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Old 10-02-2008, 11:09 PM   #1
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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?

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Old 10-02-2008, 11:24 PM   #2
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Lining up outlets and switches


try these.

http://aifittings.com/m_9.htm

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Old 10-02-2008, 11:31 PM   #3
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Lining up outlets and switches


Use an electrical box extender.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:40 PM   #4
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Lining up outlets and switches


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Originally Posted by unixb0y View Post
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.
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:15 AM   #5
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Lining up outlets and switches


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Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
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.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:06 AM   #6
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Lining up outlets and switches


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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
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.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:35 AM   #7
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Lining up outlets and switches


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Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
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.
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:52 AM   #8
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Lining up outlets and switches


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



How canI tell if there is a bonding wire?

Last edited by unixb0y; 10-03-2008 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:12 PM   #9
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Lining up outlets and switches


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



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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