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dan60510

04:09AM | 03/15/04
Member Since: 03/14/04
6 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Hi,

We're new homeowners, and are replacing our electrical switches & outlets, mostly for cosmetic reasons.

I noticed that the outlets I purchased have a green-screw that is intended for a ground-wire, however, none of the existing outlets being replaced are connected to such wires. I just don't a 'ground' wire present in our existing wiring. There's typically just two wires (the black & white).

Obviously I'm new to doing my own electrical. Is this wiring configuration typical for an 11-year old home? If so, how would the outlets be grounded?

dan60510

06:15AM | 03/15/04
Member Since: 03/14/04
6 lifetime posts
All of the existing outlets are three-prong, typically with just two wires, the black & white (hot & neutral).

Are you saying that maybe they configured the wiring so that the conduit & receptacle frames are serving as the ground?

-Dan.

bcelect

07:27AM | 03/15/04
Member Since: 02/21/04
138 lifetime posts
What type of cable is used to feed the box? If it is armored cable (bx), then the ground is already there and should have a ground path. If it is sheathed electrical cable then the groung should be connected somewhere. In my house the guy who wired it connected the grounds on the outside, back of the box.It was inspected and passed back in 1959. Do you have either sheathed electrical cable or bx?

dan60510

07:36AM | 03/15/04
Member Since: 03/14/04
6 lifetime posts
I have plastic-insulated wire running through conduit.

bcelect

07:43AM | 03/15/04
Member Since: 02/21/04
138 lifetime posts
If everythng is metal ,then you should have an effective ground path, check by using a tester or a bulb from hot to metal. If it lights then you have a ground.

bcelect

07:46AM | 03/15/04
Member Since: 02/21/04
138 lifetime posts
If you a gap between the metal box and the receptacle then you should use a self grounding receptacle or a ground jumper.You need metal to metal for an effective ground.

dan60510

07:49AM | 03/15/04
Member Since: 03/14/04
6 lifetime posts
thanks. i was wondering if receptacles are designed so that they are grounded by the screws that attach the receptacle to the metal box.

that would be the only point of metal-to-metal contact that I can see.

bcelect

07:55AM | 03/15/04
Member Since: 02/21/04
138 lifetime posts
if you have a space between the box and receptacle,,for the difference of drywall, plaster, tile and wood paneling. then by all means use a ground jumper. You are most welcome. Bruce

devildog

10:18AM | 03/15/04
Member Since: 09/16/02
250 lifetime posts
I'm not an electrician, but I do have a tester which tests for a ground. It is a plug that fits into a pocket and plugs into the outlets. It tells you if you have a ground, if the neutrals are reversed, or even if the outlet is working. I think it cost less than $10.

Did you have this house inspected? If yes, I would ask the inspector why he didn't catch this.

I think someone touched on the subject, but I THOUGHT it was against some regulation to put three pronged outlets in without having a ground. It's a little deceptive.

I think you need to test it and see if it is groundeand then go from there.

Good luck,

Devildog


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