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Old 08-14-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
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Upgrade to 3-Wire From 2-Wire


I have an old house that has quite a bit of 2-wire running to most of the outlets. I am amidst a major rennovation project and would like to know if the following practice meets code:

Properly ground new 3-wire cable at the panel and run the new cable up to first floor ceiling (assume proper cable running 1.25" distances... yadda yadda). Then splice the new 3-wire to the 2-wire (already connected to an existing outlet and running through a floor/wall) in a proper junction box, and additionally splice a single ground wire in the junction box to the 3-wire and run the single additional wire to ground at the outlet.

I would replace the 2 prong outlets with a 3 prong outlet at the same time.

Please assume proper 12/2 for 20A and 14/2 for 15A.

Thanks.

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Old 08-14-2012, 02:40 PM   #2
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I don't quite follow your idea, but if you are going to run a single wire from the receptacle to the new feed anyway, why not run the new feed to the receptacle?

There are ways to legally do that, but it is hack and definitely not the preferred way.

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Old 08-14-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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I agree, just run a new cable with ground. You'll feel better about it when it's all over. I was happy to pull all the 50 year old cable out of my home and replace it with better quality cable with a grounding conductor.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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Basically, you have the idea correct. Can you run a single wire from the receptacle to the new feed (assuming proper splice and junction box)? Does this meet code?

I have a couple tight spots that may be difficult to impossible to fish a 12/2 through, so in these areas, I may be able to fish a single wire.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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Without looking in my code book, I think you have to pick up part of the grounding electrode system, I do not think you can simply splice onto an equipment ground like that. I'm sure someone will help me out on that one.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patented View Post
Basically, you have the idea correct. Can you run a single wire from the receptacle to the new feed (assuming proper splice and junction box)? Does this meet code?

I have a couple tight spots that may be difficult to impossible to fish a 12/2 through, so in these areas, I may be able to fish a single wire.
I'm with k_buz, adding a ground like that is not something I would ever do so I'm not aware of the specifics.

I've done a lot of fishing in my time, I'm talking about thousands of times. My area is filled with old homes that need a lot of work and added circuits.

I can't recall a time that it would make a real difference in installing a single conductor vs. a cable.

FWIW, there are some various ways of fishing wires into old work spots. With a chain and flexible magnet you can get a new cable into an existing box pretty easily, without having to remove and replace the box.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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Lets just say I have much more limited fishing skills

Trust me, running new line the whole way is my preferred option. :D
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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Lets just say I have much more limited fishing skills
The skills are the same to fish 1 wire as to fish 1 cable. Once you have your fishtape, chain, string, etc. snaked from point A to point B, it doesn't really matter what you attach to it and pull thru. It's not like we're talking about pulling a 4/0-4 MC thru the wall
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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I like the chain and magnet idea. I have never used that one before
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:04 PM   #10
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You can run a separate ground wire from an ungrounded outlet box but this ground wire has to go all the way to the panel (or to the fat ground wire between panel and ground rod/water pipe if it reaches that first). This separately strung ground wire can follow the circuit conductors back to the panel exactly, approximately, or vaguely.

As I interpret the code, several outlets on the same branch circuit can share the same separate ground wire back to the panel but a different branch circuit needing a separate ground wire needs it own all the way to the panel.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
You can run a separate ground wire from an ungrounded outlet box but this ground wire has to go all the way to the panel (or to the fat ground wire between panel and ground rod/water pipe if it reaches that first). This separately strung ground wire can follow the circuit conductors back to the panel exactly, approximately, or vaguely.

As I interpret the code, several outlets on the same branch circuit can share the same separate ground wire back to the panel but a different branch circuit needing a separate ground wire needs it own all the way to the panel.
Hello AllanJ;

Your reply is the info I was searching for. Could you cite the NEC code section so that I could read it for myself?

Sincerely;
Michelle
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle96 View Post
Hello AllanJ;

Your reply is the info I was searching for. Could you cite the NEC code section so that I could read it for myself?

Sincerely;
Michelle
250.130(C) Nongrounding Receptacle Replacement or Branch
Circuit Extensions. The equipment grounding conductor
of a grounding-type receptacle or a branch-circuit extension
shall be permitted to be connected to any of the following:
(1) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode system
as described in 250.50
(2) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode conductor
(3) The equipment grounding terminal bar within the enclosure
where the branch circuit for the receptacle or
branch circuit originates
(4) For grounded systems, the grounded service conductor
within the service equipment enclosure
(5) For ungrounded systems, the grounding terminal bar
within the service equipment enclosure
Informational Note: See 406.4(D) for the use of a groundfault
circuit-interrupting type of receptacle.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:23 PM   #13
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Upgrade to 3-Wire From 2-Wire


Thanks much....

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