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Old 08-29-2009, 06:00 PM   #1
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no ground wire


I just moved in to a rental house. There were a few outlets that were 2 pronged, so i got 3 pronged replacements from home depot. However, when i went to put them in, there was no ground wire, and the boxes were all plastic. the house was built in 1960. I checked some of the pre-existing 3 pronged receptacles, and they were all missing ground wires too - i think a previous tenant had just installed them anyway. i told the landlord about it, and he wants to have his electrician come in and fix a few outlets for our computers and sensitive electronics, but he's not going to ground every outlet. should i be worried about some of the non-grounded outlets?

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Old 08-29-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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no ground wire


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I just moved in to a rental house. There were a few outlets that were 2 pronged, so i got 3 pronged replacements from home depot. However, when i went to put them in, there was no ground wire, and the boxes were all plastic. the house was built in 1960. I checked some of the pre-existing 3 pronged receptacles, and they were all missing ground wires too - i think a previous tenant had just installed them anyway. i told the landlord about it, and he wants to have his electrician come in and fix a few outlets for our computers and sensitive electronics, but he's not going to ground every outlet. should i be worried about some of the non-grounded outlets?

First off, you cant touch anything because its rental property,

secondly, hardly any residential devices even have ground pins.


Last edited by chris75; 08-29-2009 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
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no ground wire


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- i think a previous tenant had just installed them anyway.
Which is why renters should NEVER touch anything electrical!!
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:43 PM   #4
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no ground wire


If the landlord is willing to put in grounded outlets where you need them, take them up on the offer. More importantly, make sure that the bath and kitchen counters are GFCI protected.
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:40 PM   #5
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no ground wire


Outlets that are 3 prong without the ground should either:

Be returned to a 2 prong outlet
Or have a GFCI installed & be labelled "No ground present"
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:41 PM   #6
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To install grounded receptacles where there is no ground. I believe they are supposed to be GFCI protected.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:52 PM   #7
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no ground wire


can i just connect the ground to the neutral wire? wikipedia said that they are sometimes connected anyway.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:23 AM   #8
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Nope not a smart idea..consider this ...the neutral or grounded conductor in a 120 volt branch circuit is a current carrying wire. If you connect your ground to it then you just energized your ground pin/terminal of the receptacle. Then you come along and plug a cord into the receptacle to operate an appliance. Now the ground wire in the power cord lets the neutral current flow to the metal of the appliance frame. Now you touch the metal of the appliance....get the picture??

Neutral is rarely allowed to be connected to ground load side of the main panel/service equipment for this reason.

Wikipedia is only pointing out that the neutral and ground are bonded together in the main panel only for a specific reason.... and it is behind a metal door that keeps you from getting in contact with that bonding.

What you describe doing is called a bootleg ground and is highy dangerous to human safety.
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:22 AM   #9
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To install grounded receptacles where there is no ground. I believe they are supposed to be GFCI protected.
"You believe"??? Your profiles says you are a JW.



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Originally Posted by jamesm113 View Post
can i just connect the ground to the neutral wire? wikipedia said that they are sometimes connected anyway.
So you are still going to do this regardless of all the safety and legal concerns.

Wiki is wrong unless it refers to what Stubbie was explaining.

PLEASE heed Stubbie's and Chris' advice.
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:40 AM   #10
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no ground wire


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can i just connect the ground to the neutral wire? wikipedia said that they are sometimes connected anyway.
But you may not even if you owned the building.
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... secondly, hardly any residential devices even have ground pins.
But if you do have equipment with plugs with ground pins, if worse comes to worst, get some 3 prong to 2 prong adapters and run a 14 gauge wire to daisy chain the ground lugs together. Also long enough to run along baseboards and up and around doorways and reach a known ground such as a water pipe that you know is all metal down to where it exits the basement, or maybe run it all the way to the breaker panel. This is not really the right way but it will do such things as reduce hum in stereo systems and also offer full ground protection, and rental tenants may do it. For video/stereo equipment, if you still have hum or snow (video noise) the ground wire should also daisy chain together lugs in the cabinets of each piece of equipment that are screwed down to make contact with the chassis respectively.

Have the landlord install the grounded receptacles he promised to you before you string your own wire. (You can leave in place the part of the ground wire connecting the stereo components to each other.) You don't want the landlord to skimp because he sees you already did something that works.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 08-30-2009 at 09:13 AM.
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