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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone

First time poster with kitchen remodel project going on. Pulled off the drywall behind the sink ready for backsplash hardibacker

I took this opportunity to replace old style outlets for new decorator style, remove redundant unused outlets and upgrade old metal boxes.

With all the drywall removed I found a bare copper wire zig zagging across the wall. I assume this is an old fashioned method of providing a ground. The house is from the 50s but was rewired some years ago, but there are still a few of the old receptacles here and there. These old wired units are all ungrounded; only the hot and neutral wires are provided, the ground wire if present is trimmed back.

The first outlet in the kitchen circuit is one such old wired outlet. Only two wires in the tiny metal box. The copper wall-wire is tied into the bracket of this metal box (see phot below)

My question is, should I leave the copper wall-wire as is? In other outlets I have replaced with only two wire service should I tie a ground to the wall-wire to ground that box? Short of rewiring the service wire from the panel to add three wire grounded service, what's the best way to add grounding to old boxes?

Many thanks
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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No short cuts. Pull in 2 -20 amp circuits for the counter receptacles spaced so no spot is more than 2 feet from a receptacle. Provide GFCI. Rip out all the old.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks RJ figured you were going to say that, but I just don't have the budget to rewire to the panel. We have plenty of GFCI and outlets are placed properly. That wasn't my question. I'm trying to understand the nature of the wall wire
 

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No photos until 5 posts. Maybe you can put them in your album, or post a few more times.
 

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Thanks RJ figured you were going to say that, but I just don't have the budget to rewire to the panel. We have plenty of GFCI and outlets are placed properly. That wasn't my question. I'm trying to understand the nature of the wall wire
Your photo did not show up. Can you repost? I agree with RJ. Since you have the drywall removed, it is an excellent time to start fresh with all new wiring.

I am guessing, but it is possible that someone pulled in a separate grounding wire to one or more outlet boxes in order to provide a ground to the originally ungrounded receptacles. Can you trace the grounding wire back to where it is connected to a ground source? Possibly a nearby water pipe.
 

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The ground at the service serves a different function than the circuit ground. Follow rj's advice.
 

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Thanks RJ figured you were going to say that, but I just don't have the budget to rewire to the panel. We have plenty of GFCI and outlets are placed properly. That wasn't my question. I'm trying to understand the nature of the wall wire
The grounding, "system" is a bit of an overstatement. Copper wires barely attached to nailing plates is tenuous at best.
Do the actual GFCI's actually test "good"?
Is the ground continuous?
If you can't rewire it, I would bring the grounds into each box and connect them there.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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I am sorry but you have the kitchen gutted for a remodel and are probably installing new cabinets but do not have the budget to bring the electrical up to code? That's just lame! You need to find the $$ to do it right.

That is like "putting lipstick on a pig".
 

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I once saw a guy spend $500 on a new pool and patio with outdoor kitchen. The whole works. Still had a 60 amp cobbled up fuse box. Said he didn't have the money:vs_worry:
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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And while you have the walls open you should replace those galvy drains also.

Replace the bones before you do the redecorating.

If you are doing this remodel with a permit (and you should be), the inspector will make you fix it later. And it will cost 4 times as much.
 

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I don't see how rewiring that is too expensive; aren't you going to do it yourself? You'd only pay for the romex cable (and maybe some staples and other minute things). How far is this area from the breaker box?

You may be able to rewire it for less than $100.

You can get Romex cable from eBay for a lot cheaper. It's real romex, southwire or cerrowire, not some knock-off stuff. Some sellers have extra romex or unneeded romex that they sell off, and others have a huge spool and they'll cut off an exact length you need.

You surely wouldn't want to leave a lousy job there and then put in your nice new tiling on top. What if that garbage finally failed or something? You'd have to destroy your nice tiling. That's a whole lot more expensive.
 
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