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kingman43 01-19-2006 08:41 PM

Two wire two prong outlets..
Question...The house i bought has all two prong outlets with only two wires feeding them..Is there a way I can run a ground wire to 3 prong outlets so half are grounded until i can afford to have house rewired...Could i use an earth ground under the house and run the ground wires to it in the meantime...???...Thanks, i need a way to get bye for awhile...Any other ideas?..This is a small house with no conduit,wires are run right to outlets..I only need to do about 4 of them..

jproffer 01-19-2006 09:34 PM

Install GFCI receptacles in place of the 4 you need to "get you by". If you can change them out yourself, it'll cost you less than $50. Make sure you find the sticker in the box that says "ungrounded" and put it on each rec. Also I don't THINK (don't quote me on this part) that it will fault out like it should because there really is no ground fault...because there is no ground, so you couldn't use them in bathrooms or on countertops (if it, in fact, is true that they won't function as they normally would during a fault)

jproffer 01-19-2006 10:58 PM


About the 2 prong outlets...I really don't want to run the gfi outlets because they are not truly grounded..I need to have some of them grounded and the bath and kitchen are two of them...So,could i run the ground wires to earth ground and have that work...this house has a crawl under it and it would be very easy to run the grounds so i could truly have grounded outlets...Will it work or not is what i need to know..Thats the golden answer i need.....thanks for the help!!!
King, I honestly don't know with 100% certainty that you can run a single conductor back to panel or to a seperate ground rod and satisfy code requirements. Hopefully one of the pro's can help more than I did:D ...which is why I posted this here.

Also, PM's that lead to an answer don't help anyone but the 2 people involved and the point of what we do here is to have history and archives for someone to find an answer(or attempt to find an answer), theoretically to any question they may have, if they so desire.

Rehabber 01-20-2006 06:47 AM

A gfci WILL work correctly wired in a two wire outlet( common misconception)

davetqe 01-20-2006 01:42 PM

Why do you want to run an earth wire. Most products are double insulated and only use two wires anyway. If you run a (Circuit Protective Conductor (CPC)) earth wire and ground it yourself you need to make sure that your 'earth fault loop impedence' is of a satisfactory value, labour intensive but not too expensive though.

Speedy Petey 01-20-2006 05:12 PM

Although it is not recommended, you can run a ground wire back to the panel, or to the grounding electrode conductor or grounding electrode. You CANNOT simply run a wire to earth or a separate ground rod or to a water pipe.

A MUCH better alternative is to run a new cable to these four boxes and ground the circuit that way.

The GFI replacement is code legal and safe but does NOT give a source of ground.

Are you sure these cables are not grounded? If they are BX cable with the metal sheath, and with the tin tracer inside, the sheath is a ground. If the tracer does not exist then the sheath is not acceptable to use as a ground.

kingman43 01-22-2006 06:37 PM

Thanks guys,
as long as the gfi breakers will trip and i won't get electrocuted thats what i was trying to accomplish anyway for now..In addition to being able to plug in 3 prong plugs into the outlets and have them work..The house was built it 1916 and it's tha old black woven cased wire looks like it was coated in tar or something...I'll be a happy man when i get the electric up graded to todays standards..Thanks again to all!!!!!!!!!


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