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Old 03-17-2008, 03:55 PM   #1
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Simple grounding question.


I want to upgrade my 2 prong outlets to 3 prong. Inside the box on one that I removed to inspect, is a bare copper wire that is "pinched" or "clamped" to the back of the box by the clamp that holds the wires running to the box in place.

Do I just "clamp" a bare copper wire from my new outlet grounding screw to the place where the other wire is "clamped" in the back of the box, or do I fasten it some other way to the box?

Thank you for any help!!!!!

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Old 03-17-2008, 05:29 PM   #2
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Simple grounding question.


That would kind of depend on what is the other end of the bare wire attached to? Better get a licensed electrician to verify what you have and trace the path of the bare wire before you attempt to "ground" anything willy nilly.

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Old 03-17-2008, 05:43 PM   #3
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Simple grounding question.


The clamp that hold the cable into the box is not a valid way to ground the box anymore. That bare ground wire should be fastened the box with a screw and then be fastened to the green screw on the receptacle.
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:49 PM   #4
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Simple grounding question.


If that wire is grounded back at the panel (you MIGHT be able to trace it back from the source), the best thing to do would be add a pigtail to it of 2 bare or green wires with one connected to the box (green screw in the bottom or back of box, or by using a green ground clip to the box) and the other attached to the ground screw of the outlet.
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:08 PM   #5
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Simple grounding question.


Thanks for the replies!

Can't I trace the wire myself, rather than hiring an electrician? Everything seems to be run through the crawlspace, and easily followed.
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:49 PM   #6
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Simple grounding question.


Is that bare wire part of the cable or was it somehow added after.

You may have to pull the clamp off and look back in there. (power off of course)

If the bare ground is part of the cable it is likely hooked up thru all the jboxes back to the panel. Use that wire to ground the box and the outlet. If the wire is long enough you can do it in one shot. If it is too short you wil have to add a short piece via wirenut.

Take it off he clamp and wrap it around a ground screw. There may be a tapped hole in the box for the ground screw. If not, remove the clamp not in use and use that hole for thr GS. You can get the GS at The Depot. Some would suggest just using the clamp screw once you have removed the clamp.




There was a period of time when they were installing grounded cable but not grounded outlets.

Pics are always good.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:20 PM   #7
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Simple grounding question.


The bare wire is part of the cable. There is a black, a white, and the bare - all coming out of the cable.

Old box with a new outlet is still OK.....isn't it?
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:46 AM   #8
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Simple grounding question.


You are good to go. Like I said, for a period of time in the 60's, they were using grounded cable but not grounded outlets.

The ground wire must attach to the box and to the recep. Should be easy enough.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:52 PM   #9
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Simple grounding question.


OK!

Now I'm a little confused. I bought some solid copper wire to ground the new outlets, and I saw this tester that I can plug in to see if the wiring is correct. I bought the tester, and when I plug it in to the new 3-prong outlet, it lights up as "correct".

I haven't added the ground wire, yet.....how can it read "correct"?????
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:25 PM   #10
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Simple grounding question.


because the ground pin hole is connected to the rec. yoke which is connected to the metal box which is connected to the ground wire through the clamp and back to the lighting panel. It works, but it does not meet code.
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:44 PM   #11
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Simple grounding question.


And the armbone is connected to the legbone........whew! I have no idea what you said, other than "it works".

Am I in any danger using them like this?
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:09 PM   #12
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Simple grounding question.


Take a deep breath and think.



The ground wire is attached to the metal box.

The receptical is attached to the metal box.

The third hole (ground ) is attached to the metal part (yoke) of the receptical so IT is attached to the metal box.


Metal is conductive.


The grounding path is there but not installed up to code. Code says attach the ground wire to the box and to the receptical.


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Am I in any danger using them like this?

Some would say it is a fatality waiting to happen. Others would say it's no big deal. Doing it to code is generally the better way to go.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:11 PM   #13
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Simple grounding question.


Electricians are like Super Heroes to me!
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:03 PM   #14
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Simple grounding question.


When I hook the solid copper wire to the new recepticle, and then wire-nut it to the existing ground wire, doworry if the wire touches the box as I push the recepticle back in to secure it?
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:13 PM   #15
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Simple grounding question.


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Originally Posted by Wanttodoitright View Post
When I hook the solid copper wire to the new recepticle, and then wire-nut it to the existing ground wire, doworry if the wire touches the box as I push the recepticle back in to secure it?
No, dont worry about it. Just make sure it doesn't touch the hot and neutral terminals on the receptacle and you are good. If the box is a metal box, then that ground has to be bonded to the box as well. make another pigtail and connect it to the metal box. There may be a grounding screw existing, or provisions for one (a tapped hole) where you can use a green ground screw.

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