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Old 09-20-2009, 08:13 PM   #1
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Why no ground wire?


I've been replacing 3 pronged outlets in my house (changing black outlets for white). In two of the rooms the old outlets were not attached to the copper ground wire. The ground was just sitting folded toward the back of the receptacle. In other rooms the outlets were connected to the ground. Any thoughts on why the electrician may not have attached the ground wires to these outlets? The house is about 45 years old but has a relatively new breaker box.

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Old 09-20-2009, 08:18 PM   #2
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Why no ground wire?


Most likely the original outlets were only 2 prong
Could be a homeowner installed the 3 prongs & did not attach the grounds
.....or electrician had an apprentice/helper that did not know better

I'd make sure the circuit grounds are in the panel
Newer wire ?

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Old 09-20-2009, 10:16 PM   #3
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Why no ground wire?


Or a lazy installer.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:16 PM   #4
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Why no ground wire?


Thanks for your replies. The ground wires are connected at the box and the previous outlets were three-pronged (with a screw for the ground wire!!) I guess I'm just having a hard time believing that it was simply laziness that led to the ground wire not being connected.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:24 PM   #5
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Why no ground wire?


It was late on a Friday & Mr Miller was calling

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Old 09-21-2009, 07:35 PM   #6
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Why no ground wire?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
It was late on a Friday & Mr Miller was calling

For me, Budweiser will do, too. (Now more than ever) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:46 PM   #7
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Why no ground wire?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ageising View Post
Thanks for your replies. The ground wires are connected at the box and the previous outlets were three-pronged (with a screw for the ground wire!!) I guess I'm just having a hard time believing that it was simply laziness that led to the ground wire not being connected.
There's another possibility. That there is Ground continuity back to the panel. As in NYC. Before we adopted the NEC. NYC had their own Electrical Code. That code forbids (still today) the use of NM Cable or "Romex". ("Lumex", in Canada) except for Temporary wiring in buildings under construction. One of the benefits of using AC, or BX, in addition to EMT is that you have Ground continuity back to the panel. So the boxes were ALREADY Grounded. Today, according to NEC, all the boxes and receptacles have to be Grounded like in the rest of the country. Except in Isolated Ground Receptacles (which cost more than Ten times what "self-grounding" receptacles do. IMO, it's a racket. Even though IG products are manufactured different).(No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:53 PM   #8
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Why no ground wire?


Thanks for the reply. How do I determine whether there is ground continuity to the box? Also, would it make sense that two rooms in the house weren't grounded while the other rooms (all rooms constructed at the same time) were?

thanks again for the thoughts.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:12 PM   #9
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Why no ground wire?


If the box is metal the receptacle could have been self grounding.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:59 PM   #10
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Why no ground wire?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ageising View Post
Thanks for the reply. How do I determine whether there is ground continuity to the box? Also, would it make sense that two rooms in the house weren't grounded while the other rooms (all rooms constructed at the same time) were?

thanks again for the thoughts.
In either of Two ways; 1) with the power OFF. Get a CONTINUITY tester. Touch one lead (of the tester) to the NEUTRAL (usually White) wire. If the tester BEEPS or the Needle in the Meter moves all the way to the end on the CONTINUITY mode, the BOX is GROUNDED. 2) with the power ON. and a (pigtail) socket + bulb. Touch one lead (of the tester) to the HOT (usually Black) wire. The other lead should touch the box. If it lights, the box is GROUNDED. (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:16 PM   #11
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Why no ground wire?


45 years ago is about when they started installing grounded circuits in various forms.

Test power from hot (black) to ground (bare).

If you have voltage, you probably have a good ground.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:27 PM   #12
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Why no ground wire?


Thanks for all the help. I will definitely test. One final question though. Does it matter if I attach the ground wire even if there is continuity? If it doesn't matter, I might wait a few days before doing the test (I already hooked the ground wire to the new outlets).

thanks,
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:41 AM   #13
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Why no ground wire?


Best to connect the ground wire.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:03 PM   #14
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Why no ground wire?


Use one of those 3 prong outlet testers with the LED lights, if teh ground is open the lights will indicate that.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:56 PM   #15
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Why no ground wire?


I would also start checking switches, people are notorious for not connecting the ground wire to switches.

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