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Old 10-31-2012, 10:41 AM   #1
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Old NM/Romex with Small Gauge Ground


I had two ungrounded receptacles fed from a single 14-2 NM/Romex. When I opened the junction box, I found two issues. The first was that all of the ground wires for the other branches were just twisted together with no wire nut. I fixed that as well as added a ground screw to the metal box.

The other issue was that the ground wires on the branches were all smaller gauge wire. They looked to be 16 gauge. Did NM/Romex used to have undersized ground wires? Should I be concerned?
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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Old NM/Romex with Small Gauge Ground


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Originally Posted by brgmgb
I had two ungrounded receptacles fed from a single 14-2 NM/Romex. When I opened the junction box, I found two issues. The first was that all of the ground wires for the other branches were just twisted together with no wire nut. I fixed that as well as added a ground screw to the metal box.

The other issue was that the ground wires on the branches were all smaller gauge wire. They looked to be 16 gauge. Did NM/Romex used to have undersized ground wires? Should I be concerned?
Yes they used to be smaller but not a concern.....I've lost quite a few dykes to these undersized grounds :-)
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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Old NM/Romex with Small Gauge Ground


IIRC, full sized grounding wires for circuits using #14, #12, and #10 were first required in the 1971 NEC.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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Old NM/Romex with Small Gauge Ground


You can keep the wiring as-is but you may not extend the circuit to additional receptacles, etc. while relying on the existing cable with thinner ground to complete the path for the new wiring back to the panel.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
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Old NM/Romex with Small Gauge Ground


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Originally Posted by AllanJ
You can keep the wiring as-is but you may not extend the circuit to additional receptacles, etc. while relying on the existing cable with thinner ground to complete the path for the new wiring back to the panel.
Article # please!!??
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:54 PM   #6
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Old NM/Romex with Small Gauge Ground


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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
You can keep the wiring as-is but you may not extend the circuit to additional receptacles, etc. while relying on the existing cable with thinner ground to complete the path for the new wiring back to the panel.
Not true. You can not extend non grounded circuit. This circuit has a ground and can be extended.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:57 PM   #7
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Old NM/Romex with Small Gauge Ground


But it doesn't meet the minimum size for a ground as per 250.122


Could be considered as 'not a ground', up to AHJ.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:46 AM   #8
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Old NM/Romex with Small Gauge Ground


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But it doesn't meet the minimum size for a ground as per 250.122

Could be considered as 'not a ground', up to AHJ.
Doesn't make a difference it's grandfathered in as a grounded circuit.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:08 AM   #9
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Old NM/Romex with Small Gauge Ground


It's only grandfathered if you leave it as is, down here.

Once you 'change' it, it must meet current code.
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