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Discussion Starter #1
People,

I have a bedroom with 4 plugs in the walls, they are 100v receptacles, and I pulled one to see, and all 3 wires are connected. But, when I plug inthe grounding "check" tool, the light shows up as not grounded.

I thern looked in the panel, and it was one from about 1969 or so. has brealers, and I se that breaker that serves that bedroom. It of course has a blk wire to it, and tried to follow the white and bare wire back, but man, iyt becomes like spaghetti.

Dont want to mess with that pasta, so I heard of these SELF grounding 100v plugs one can but online. Good idea? Do they work? Are they easy to simply wire up?

Thanks.
 

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Master Electrician
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Yes, self-grounding receptacles work, but only with metal boxes, and only if the box is grounded. You say that your circuit in question has a ground wire both at the breaker panel and at the outlet box. The problem would be that somewhere that ground wire is either disconnected or broken. Could be at the breaker panel, some outlet(s) {receptacles, switches, etc} before the receptacle you're working on, or somewhere in between.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Big thanks, SD. Geez, guess this is a bigger problem than I thought. I have plastic boxes. Doesnt this kind of defeat the point of getting self grounding receptacles?? I mean, if the metel box has to be grounded, then whats the point? If that was the case, wouldnt the receptacle i the plastic box be grounded as well? Maybe Im missing something here.

Thanks, Man.
 

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Since plastic is an insulator or non-conductive you cannot use the self-grounding devices.

With metal boxes the self-grounding feature just means you do not need to connect the grounding conductor to the device. The metal to metal contact serves that purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just thought, I would be comfortable to try this: switch main breaker OFF, then tighten all the bare grounds and neutrals along the to - those set screws. Isnt this worth a try?

Tanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, I tightened the set screws without getting electrocuted. No change. Back to the drawing board.


Dang. What could have happened in 40 years??????? Rats? Mice?
 

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You'll need to determine if the bare ground wire for that circuit is actually connected to the gounding bus bar in the panel. If it is, then it's as suggested by others that there's a break somewhere between the panel and that particular receptacle.
 

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BTW: if you go messing in the panel, PLEASE be sure you know what you're doing. Even with the main breaker OFF, 240 volts remain in that panel.

Maybe you could remove the cover of the panel, and take a pic of it, and post it here? While you're at it, take a pic of the receptacle.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
BTW: if you go messing in the panel, PLEASE be sure you know what you're doing. Even with the main breaker OFF, 240 volts remain in that panel.

Maybe you could remove the cover of the panel, and take a pic of it, and post it here? While you're at it, take a pic of the receptacle.
Sirs, thats the best advice Ive seen in a long time- Juice is STILL in the panel even though main is off. Fortunately, it did occur to me as I looked, not touched, at it. Whew. (even though your warning is well conceived, I did figure this out before this post). And thats the reason I aint messing with this anymo.

I believe you and other posters here are right in that the break has to be somewhere else in between. Thing is, does that mean tear up the walls? Im thinking someone used a sawzall maybe years ago, but they would have had to cut just the ground wire and miss the other 2 by say, 1 mm or so.......
 

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In most non-metallic cable the ground is between the other two conductors. it would be hard to cut the ground and leave the other conductors intact.
 

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Scared Electrician
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most failures of electrical cables and systems for that matter happen at the splice points(required to be in boxes) so a quick look in to all switch/plug boxes on that circuit should find the problem. If and I say IF it should be in a portion of cable behind the drywall it is possible to locate the break, closely before opening the walls.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
most failures of electrical cables and systems for that matter happen at the splice points(required to be in boxes) so a quick look in to all switch/plug boxes on that circuit should find the problem. If and I say IF it should be in a portion of cable behind the drywall it is possible to locate the break, closely before opening the walls.
Thanks, cow. now, the room is small- one receptacle per wall. How can I locate the break? do continuity between plugs? How do I do that? I do have a multi meter......
 

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you will have to determine which receptacles in the house are on that circuit. There may be multiple rooms on one circuit. Check all the outlets on that circuit. Since you have a meter, cut off the breaker, and go around and check receptacles for voltage. If there is none, open the recept. (carefully, even though the breaker is off, sometimes we check for voltage, and there is none only because we didn't have a good connection with the meter). Make sure the grounds are connected in all the recepts.

You said that you had a receptical tester to find open grounds. Did you use this on all the recptacles? What were the results?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
you will have to determine which receptacles in the house are on that circuit. There may be multiple rooms on one circuit. Check all the outlets on that circuit. Since you have a meter, cut off the breaker, and go around and check receptacles for voltage. If there is none, open the recept. (carefully, even though the breaker is off, sometimes we check for voltage, and there is none only because we didn't have a good connection with the meter). Make sure the grounds are connected in all the recepts.

You said that you had a receptical tester to find open grounds. Did you use this on all the recptacles? What were the results?
sorry for delay, sirs. Yes, I checked all 4 plugs in the room with the tester, and alll 4 are with NO ground. I believe these are on 1 circuit. If theyre on 1 circuit, dont they all have to be connected with the same ground circuit too?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
well, guys, I did it! Routed a 12 size wire through the back of the box, grounded it to a stake that was there already, all 4 receptacles are now grounded!! Thanks!
 

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well, guys, I did it! Routed a 12 size wire through the back of the box, grounded it to a stake that was there already, all 4 receptacles are now grounded!! Thanks!
You sure did. You created a code violation and still did not ground the receptacles. What a waste of time, materials and effort. This will also probably need to still be fixed when you sell the house if the home inspector catches it.

Ground rods do not provide a ground for receptacles. They are for events like lightning.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks, people. I know its a short cut. still, isnt it better than it was? Before yous imply I ignored/wasted your time here, all the tips here, as you say, were considered by myself, and I did persue them. You behave as if I ignored them- not true. As evident by how many days I took to follow them through, and make trips to that house miles away (there is no internet there). I follwed every tip and came up empty.

Ground tester checkd out all OK. Not sure if that tester is always true or not- I didnt invent it. BTW, yes, Im not an elec, but I was told by a local elec (just yesterday, as I met him in the neighborhood) that these houses around these parts have similar fixes, and even the city code people are aware of it- its just that they cant chase all them down to the end. This is not an area with all code housing, unfortunately.

The alternative was to hire a guy- sure, tear up the box maybe, pull permits, etc etc etc. This is a 100 year old house, and this work I did probably is the better of the elec "fixes", if you really want to know. Im not ready to tear the house down.

Still I appreciate very much your effort, and all in good faith. Just sometimes, you try to do the best under the circumstance.
 

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Thanks, people. I know its a short cut. still, isnt it better than it was? Before yous imply I ignored/wasted your time here, all the tips here, as you say, were considered by myself, and I did persue them. You behave as if I ignored them- not true. As evident by how many days I took to follow them through, and make trips to that house miles away (there is no internet there). I follwed every tip and came up empty.

Ground tester checkd out all OK. Not sure if that tester is always true or not- I didnt invent it. BTW, yes, Im not an elec, but I was told by a local elec (just yesterday, as I met him in the neighborhood) that these houses around these parts have similar fixes, and even the city code people are aware of it- its just that they cant chase all them down to the end. This is not an area with all code housing, unfortunately.

The alternative was to hire a guy- sure, tear up the box maybe, pull permits, etc etc etc. This is a 100 year old house, and this work I did probably is the better of the elec "fixes", if you really want to know. Im not ready to tear the house down.

Still I appreciate very much your effort, and all in good faith. Just sometimes, you try to do the best under the circumstance.
Noquacks,

Sending a wire from a receptacle to a ground rod does not ground the circuit, and it isn't any better than what you had before. In case of a short, the earth will not clear it. It would have been just as simple to put a GFCI receptacle on the circuit and mark it "no equipment ground".

The first thing you should do is to undo what you've done, then let us help you some more.

I aologize for the harsh words, but we want you to be safe, OK?
 
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