DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Electrical (
-   -   Outlet grounding question (

handyd123 11-28-2010 06:59 AM

Outlet grounding question

I live in a 60 year old house that's almost a museum of wiring over the years. :eek:

I wanted to replace a non-grounded 15A receptacle with a grounded one but found that the wiring running to the outlet has no ground wire (this is the first outlet coming off of the circuit breaker)....just the hot and neutral.

There's a run coming off of the outlet running to another one. Open taking the second outlet out of the box I noticed that it has a ground wire attached and upon testing shows proper ground.

If I shut off the circuit breaker to the non-grounded outlet the second grounded one also gets no power.

How can this be?


AllanJ 11-28-2010 07:15 AM

You may run a separate ground wire from any receptacle, more or less following the routing of the power cable, back to your panel and thereby ground that receptacle.

The second receptacle may have been grounded that way.

The spiral sheath of flexible cable such as BX is not considered proper grounding even if a multimeter (or ohmmeter or continuity meter or continuity light) shows continuity. There would have to be a bare wire or thin metal strip running inside the full length which is used as the grounding conductor.

handyd123 11-28-2010 08:09 AM

Sounds like a winner :thumbup:

One more question:

Can I just tap off of an existing outlet ground and run it to the box that has no ground ...or do I need to run it from the panel? The reason I am asking is that there's an outlet (in the unfinished basement mount in the ceiling just next to the outlet that's the non-grounded one on the first floor...would be really easy to run off of that one.

emolatur 11-28-2010 10:47 AM

It SHOULD follow the existing wires - ie, be grouped with them.

Whether or not randomly-oriented "spaghetti grounds" are legal was so much of a debate in another thread (can't remember if it was here or on the other forum I frequent) that I never bothered trying to figure out the winner.

AllanJ 11-28-2010 11:52 AM

Fishing and/or cable tying the newly strung ground wire to the existing power cable is optional.

If I remember correctly you may not string the ground wire over to another grounded receptacle on a different branch circuit. But if you need to ground two receptacles on the same circuit, the wires can still more or less follow the route of the respective circuit cable back to the panel and if the ground wires come togehter, you may have a splice (in an accessible box) and only one need continue all the way to the panel.

The separately strung ground wire may terminate at the (usually #6) ground wire between panel and entering cold water pipe or between panel and ground rod instead of going all the way into the panel. This is called bonding to an element of the grounding electrode system.

Grounding equipment by the chassis (as opposed to via the plug or the receptacle), you may string the ground wire over to a different receptacle, or to a water pipe, or whatever you prove is grounded.

handyd123 11-28-2010 02:15 PM


Thanks for the info....:thumbsup:

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:03 PM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1