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Old 10-22-2009, 02:36 PM   #1
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Methods for running ground wire


In some of my bedrooms, I have some plugs that do not have grounds. Currently they're wired with 12/2 nm w/o ground.

So, I want to run some a ground wire from one plug to another.

We are getting new baseboards, so I was wondering if it is ok to run the 12g green wire in the gap between the sole plate and flooring - you know, right under the bottom edge of the wall's drywall? It should be safe from any kind of reasonably foreseeable damage down there.

Is this ok to do?

thanks,
Erik

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Old 10-22-2009, 02:49 PM   #2
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Methods for running ground wire


No. The ground must be included in a single cable. You must replace the complete cable if you want grounded receptacles.

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Old 10-22-2009, 04:09 PM   #3
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Methods for running ground wire


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No. The ground must be included in a single cable. You must replace the complete cable if you want grounded receptacles.
250.130(c) suggests otherwise, but I might be misreading it. Is this a South Carolina thing? I'm in California, if that matters.
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:20 PM   #4
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Methods for running ground wire


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Originally Posted by erikhaugen View Post
In some of my bedrooms, I have some plugs that do not have grounds. Currently they're wired with 12/2 nm w/o ground.

So, I want to run some a ground wire from one plug to another.

We are getting new baseboards, so I was wondering if it is ok to run the 12g green wire in the gap between the sole plate and flooring - you know, right under the bottom edge of the wall's drywall? It should be safe from any kind of reasonably foreseeable damage down there.

Is this ok to do?

thanks,
Erik
Inphase277 answered this question on this forum that another poster asked.

Wood chars at 120C
http://www.tcforensic.com.au/docs/article10.html#2.1.1
and some Romex is allowed to go to 90C so 30C of headroom seems to be OK.

Re: the NEC, how long is a ground wire required to carry fault current of what magnitude?

Does someone make flat, insulated or uninsulated ground conductors for this purpose? A flat conductor of the same cross section as #12 would have hardly any temp. rise.

I suppose the OP could also cobble together hollow baseboards from standard lumberyard trim that could hide a cable.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 10-22-2009 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:32 PM   #5
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Methods for running ground wire


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Inphase277 answered this question on this forum that another poster asked.

Wood chars at 120C
http://www.tcforensic.com.au/docs/article10.html#2.1.1
and some Romex is allowed to go to 90C so 30C of headroom seems to be OK.

Re: the NEC, how long is a ground wire required to carry fault current of what magnitude?

Does someone make flat, insulated or uninsulated ground conductors for this purpose? A flat conductor of the same cross section as #12 would have hardly any temp. rise.
I can't find the thread with you and Inphase277 - is it ok to run it there?
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:36 PM   #6
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Methods for running ground wire


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I suppose the OP could also cobble together hollow baseboards from standard lumberyard trim that could hide a cable.
I don't think this is necessary - there really is plenty of room between the flooring and sole plate underneath the sheetrock. I just don't know if it's ok to run it that way, or if I have to cut notches in the studs and use nail plates or what. The notches/nail plate strategy would be a *lot* more work and I personally can't see how it would be any better.
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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Methods for running ground wire


You can't legally do it.

The profesionals install GFCI breakers/receptacles which then allows the use of grounded recep on a 2 wire system. There is still no ground wire but the danger of a ground fault is eliminated via this backdoor method.

It will also be a lot easier than stringing ground wires all over.
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:32 PM   #8
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Methods for running ground wire


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You can't legally do it.
Again, 250.130(c) suggests otherwise, and I've heard a lot of pros talk about running grounds through walls, etc. In fact, I just passed an inspection where I had a 12g green wire running through holes in the studs, all on its own. Is this a new rule?

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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
The profesionals install GFCI breakers/receptacles which then allows the use of grounded recep on a 2 wire system. There is still no ground wire but the danger of a ground fault is eliminated via this backdoor method.

It will also be a lot easier than stringing ground wires all over.
I know about gfi in lieu of ground, but it does not protect equipment like a real ground would do. Easiness is not the issue - I'm willing to do the work and I think it's worth it; I just don't know if it's ok to run the ground wire alongside the sole plate.

-Erik
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:17 PM   #9
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Methods for running ground wire


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I know about gfi in lieu of ground, but it does not protect equipment like a real ground would do.
Dunno' if it's OK to run it that way. I guess we could vote on it but I'm recused because I don't know the NEC.

The ground wire and the GFCI are to protect people, and CBs are to protect wiring; equipment is on its own, except for built-in thermal overloads, fuses and PTC devices.

I can't make an argument for ground wires being better than GFCIs, or the inverse. A plausible prima facie view is that GFCIs are less reliable because they are more complex than a wire but I don't have data on this.

With 1300 people out of 300 M being electrocuted each yr in the US, this is down in the noise, in any case. Highway fatalities are 40 K/yr, smoking is 1 K/day.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 10-22-2009 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:22 PM   #10
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Methods for running ground wire


Do you have your walls open? Are you planning to fishtape the ground to the boxes? The best solution (it is more work) is to buy a $50 roll of loomex and run 14/2 with a proper ground. If you do have some of the walls open I would say do it right and replace the old stuff and never worry about it again. I noticed on the last roll I bought a month or so ago that they pre-lube it now too, makes it really easy to pull.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:55 PM   #11
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Methods for running ground wire


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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
The ground wire and the GFCI are to protect people, and CBs are to protect wiring; equipment is on its own, except for built-in thermal overloads, fuses and PTC devices.

I can't make an argument for ground wires being better than GFCIs, or the inverse. A plausible prima facie view is that GFCIs are less reliable because they are more complex than a wire but I don't have data on this.

With 1300 people out of 300 M being electrocuted each yr in the US, this is down in the noise, in any case. Highway fatalities are 40 K/yr, smoking is 1 K/day.
A ground protects equipment in ways that a gfi alone does not. I'm assuming this is why the sticker that says "no equipment ground" is required if you have a 3 prong socket that is only protected by GFI.

I can't give a technical explanation, sorry, but this is the case.

I was going to just do the GFI thing and forget about it, but I thought here's an opportunity while I have the baseboards off...
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:06 PM   #12
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Methods for running ground wire


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Originally Posted by Salem747 View Post
Do you have your walls open? Are you planning to fishtape the ground to the boxes? The best solution (it is more work) is to buy a $50 roll of loomex and run 14/2 with a proper ground. If you do have some of the walls open I would say do it right and replace the old stuff and never worry about it again. I noticed on the last roll I bought a month or so ago that they pre-lube it now too, makes it really easy to pull.
My walls are not open. If they were I would just be replacing the romex with brand new 12/2+ground, re-using the holes in the studs and I wouldn't have started this thread

I was planning to fish the ground to the boxes - not using "fishtape" though, probably just another scrap of 12g. I was going to cut a small hole in the drywall by the floor directly under the plug. Then fish a ground wire from the floor into the wall and into the box. There is no insulation, so I'm expecting this to be relatively easy. The new baseboard will cover up the hole.

I can't run 14/2, I would have to use 12/2.

Ok - pulling a new wire (with ground) through the same course that the old wire is running would be great. But - how do I do it? I can't just pull the wire through, it is stapled in at least 2 places. The lube or lack thereof is the _least_ of my problems! Whatever electrician worked for the builders got a bit carried away with the staples...
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:13 PM   #13
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Methods for running ground wire


250.130 Equipment Grounding Conductor Connections.

(C) Nongrounding Receptacle Replacement or Branch Circuit Extensions.
The equipment grounding conductor of a grounding-type receptacle or a branch-circuit extension shall be permitted to be connected to any of the following:

(1) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode system as described in 250.50

(2) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode conductor

(3) The equipment grounding terminal bar within the enclosure where the branch circuit for the receptacle or branch circuit originates

(4) For grounded systems, the grounded service conductor within the service equipment enclosure

(5) For ungrounded systems, the grounding terminal bar within the service equipment enclosure

FPN: See 406.3(D) for the use of a ground-fault circuit-interrupting type of receptacle.



250.130 addresses where to connect to the grounding electrode system but doesn't talk about how to get there. I will retract my statement but reserve the right to change back when someone points to another article addressing wiring methods.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:22 PM   #14
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Methods for running ground wire


Seriously, what do you need a ground for in your bedroom? 95% of household appliances have 2 prong plugs anyways.

If you have a piece of equipment that should have a ground (such as a computer) then run a new circuit for that and forget about the rest.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:30 PM   #15
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Seriously, what do you need a ground for in your bedroom? 95% of household appliances have 2 prong plugs anyways.

If you have a piece of equipment that should have a ground (such as a computer) then run a new circuit for that and forget about the rest.
Most likely computers. My wife's laptop cable had a 3 prong plug for some reason, so it was always kind of annoying for her. We use one bedroom as an "office," so I'm pretty sure we're going to want a ground wire in there for a surge protector to put a printer/computer on. Etc, etc, etc.

Yeah, so in those cases we could run new circuits, and originally that was my plan. But, I was thinking with the baseboards off right now it would be really easy to get these guys done, and just have all my plugs properly grounded.

Another issue is when you go to sell the house, the inspector always points out how ghetto the electrical system is because all the plugs are 2-prong. Just one more thing that looks bad.

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