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Old 03-10-2009, 12:15 PM   #1
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Self grounding outlet...? 2-prong to 3-prong


I have an older house with some outlet plugs that don't have the ground third prong. Some have the older 2-prongs. I'm in the process of changing all plugs and switches to the decor style. I want to replace this 2-prong outlet with a 3-prong outlet but when I test it its an open ground. Without having to run a ground wire to this plug, is there any other way to properly ground this outlet? Any ideas?

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Old 03-10-2009, 12:28 PM   #2
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Self grounding outlet...? 2-prong to 3-prong


No the receptacle (plug; outlet) cannot be grounded without running a ground wire.

But there are other things you can do to make it safer, for example put a ground fault circuit interrupter on that circuit.

Older conduit and BX cable installations that may have had the metal sheathing forming a ground path may or may not still have a reliable ground path due to oxidation, loosening of screws and clamps, etc.

If you want to put a three prong receptacle there and not string a ground wire then you must put in GFCI protection and also label each affected receptacle with "No equipment ground, GFCI protected." One GFCI unit whether in a receptacle unit or in a breaker unit can protect several receptacles downstream or even the entire branch circuit.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-10-2009 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
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Self grounding outlet...? 2-prong to 3-prong


If you have bx with a bonding strip, you can do this...but I would tighten all clamps.

In my house, several of them were pretty darn loose. Also...one circuit has 10 ohms to neutral...going to see whats wrong...

Could just gfci protect the circuit to use 3 prongs, but then, no equipment ground.
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