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Old 05-07-2011, 11:56 AM   #1
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Making A Ground

I have the old 2 conductor wire with no ground on some of my circuits.
I installed a few GFCI's on some recepticals and now find that an upstairs ceiling light does not work. I may have reversed a hot and neutral but I am not sure as the conductors cannot be identified. So to check my connections, I need to make a ground by connecting a separate single conductor to a cold water pipe, radiator or to a receptical that has a ground so that I can test with my volt meter as to which wires are hot.
I tried to be careful and not mix up the connections but it must have happened. What do you think?


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Old 05-07-2011, 12:28 PM   #2
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There is probably a loose connection somewhere, possibly at the last working outlet or light.

A GFCI will work without a ground.

Accidnetaly accidentally exchanging hot and neutral will not prevent a light from working.

You can at any time string a single #14 to #20 conductor from the nearest water pipe across the floor to the place where you are working in order to have a ground for testing purposes only.
Note that a water pipe is not guaranteed to be grounded since there may be plastic pipe between it and the pipes in the basement.


The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:00 PM   #3
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When I'm troubleshooting older wiring, I like to use a long 3-prong extension cord plugged into a known good grounded receptacle, if one is available. Drag the cord end around with you, and you have a hot, neutral, and ground reference right there for testing.
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:11 PM   #4
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Thanks McSteve,
Very good idea and thanks to AllanJ.
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