07:19PM | 07/20/07
Member Since: 07/11/07
2 lifetime posts
I was wondering if it is possible to ground an existing outlet? Not really interested on doing it on my own but i'm wondering if it's possible and how it is done, even if i have to hire someone to do it.


08:14PM | 07/20/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
There are several options.

If the existing wiring is in metal conduit or armoured cable (commonly called BX) was used and properly connect to the metal boxes then the box is grounded. Then a grounding jump can be run between the ground terminal on the receptacle to the metal box.

A separate ground wire can be run back to the ground electrode system or some part of it or some part that connects to it.

A new grounded circuit can be run.

All of those allow for a true ground connection to grounded receptacle.

You can also replace ungrounded receptacle with ground style by protecting them with a GFCI. It can be a GFCI breaker, an upstream GFCI receptacle, or a GFCI/receptacle.

You are suppose to apply a lable saying No Equipment Ground.

A GFCI protected receptacle give the same personal safety as a true grounded receptacle. But for full protection when using a surge protector you need a true ground.

Also things like a refigerator, freezeer, or sump pump should not be run off a GFCI as a false trip and cause other damage. Those should have a true ground.


04:23PM | 07/21/07
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
if the entire ground path of the circuit is more than six feet - armored sheath may not be used for ground. Same goes for greenfield.

Read your code rules Bill.

You can't namby pamby run intermittant equipment grounding conductors and/or start BONDING conduit for equipment grounding on only part of a branch circuit. You start the process you have to finish it throughout the entire circuit and debatebly throughout the entire service. It is NOT maintenance and you lose any grandfathered issue once you start.


05:48PM | 07/21/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
You know that it is easier to actually read the code rather then trying to make up your own.

"250.118 Types of Equipment Grounding Conductors

The equipment grounding conductor run with or enclosing the circuit conductors shall be one or more or a combination of the following:


(8) Armor of Type AC cable as provided in 320.108.


"320.108 Equipment Grounding

Type AC cable shall provide an adequate path for equipment grounding as required by 250.4(A)(5) or 250.4(B)(4)."

"250.130 Equipment Grounding Conductor Connections250.130 Equipment Grounding Conductor Connections

(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


FPN:See 406.3(D) for the use of a ground-fault circuit-interrupting type of receptacle."

From the 2005 NEC Handbook.

"Exhibit 250.49 shows a branch-circuit extension made from an existing installation.

This method is also permitted to ground a replacement 3-wire receptacle in the existing

ungrounded box on the left, where no grounding conductor is available."

And the fig showes 'namby pamby' wiring.


06:06AM | 07/22/07
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts

You abuse your status on this board all too often. You often mis-quote and mis-use the NEC, spouting incomplete information and spout erroneous conclusions, and frankly often DANGEROUS advice. TRY REVIEWING WHAT I ACTUALLY SAID...IT WAS ENTIRELY AND COMPLETELY CORRECT. YOUR LAST POST WAS NOT.

Suggest you re-read the introduction to this area of the board again. Your use of ambiguous and slang terms, wild assumptions, spelling errors, tirades, temper tantrums and personal attacks are outrageous and not worthy of anyone sporting a supposed moderator status.

You said: "the existing wiring is in metal conduit ( or armoured cable (commonly called BX) was used and properly connect to the metal boxes then the box is grounded. Then a grounding jump can be run between the ground terminal on the receptacle to the metal box.

A separate ground wire can be run back to the ground electrode system or some part of it or some part that connects to it."

What did I say? my title was "using armored SHEATH of BX cable not legal beyond 6ft per circuit"

That is TRUE - you cannot use the sheath/armor of AC (old or new and meeting the current code definition of AC) for EGC, or for bonding to equipment you have to use/rely upon the copper/aluminum bonding wire within the armor for EGC.

I said in my post "if the entire ground path of the circuit is more than six feet - armored SHEATH may NOT be used for ground. Same goes for greenfield. (referring to the ORIGINAL BRANDED COMPANY TRADE NAME). What else I said is CLEARLY referring to 250, and is correct.

*Not all metal conduit is allowed to be used for EGC in excess of six feet per circuit, three examples are never allowed to be used for any connection which is to remain flexible. If the connections are not using listed fittings LISTED FOR GROUNDING, it is not PROPERLY BONDED and cannot be used. The existance of metalic conduit is NO ASSURANCE OF proper EGC bonding/proper path. Armored cable not meeting CURRENT STANDARDS MAY NOT BE USED FOR EGC. The STEEL ARMOR ITSELF OF ARMORED CABLE IS NOT WHAT IS RELIED UPON FOR Continuity EGC OR BONDING OF SAME.

First of all you cannot use the following metal conduit in excess of Six Feet (in total, for a branch circuit - and that includes any combination of the following - total maximum of any or in total is SIX FEET PER CIRCUIT) for EGC: Listed Flexible Metal Conduit (FMC), Liquid Tight Flexible Metal Conduit or Flexible Metallic Tubing. That's right in 250.118 - so your "the existing wiring is in metal conduit..." WAS WRONG THERE. I was SPECIFIC about your use/description of what AC was - and SPECIFCALLY NOTED one could NOT USE THE ARMOR, or Metalic SHEATH of the Armored Cable Assembly FOR EGC - that is RIGHT. Check OLD comparable historical versions of the NEC and you'll see WHEN IT WAS ALLOWED IT WAS LIMITED TO A SIX FOOT RULE but never when unsecured, fished (where it could be pushed to curve beyond its radius without splitting) or in a DAMP or WET location, which by the definitiion of a Damp location includes voids of outside walls, transitions between conditioned and unconditioned spaces, etc.; required to remain flexible.

Now...what did I say? I said you cannot use the armored sheath for grounding beyond six feet total in any circuit - that is right - in the case of OLD or NEW AC, (but I was referring to BRANDED BX, and LITERAL "GREENFIELD" (developed by Edwin Greenfield & Gus Johnson) which you incorrectly associate with Current listed AC and use the terms interchangeably, which is SLANG, and just plain WRONG - I made the DISTINCTION, but anyway you are still wrong and I am right - for it is NOT the ARMOR WHICH IS PERMITTED TO USE and RELY UPON for EGR, but the BONDING WIRE WITHIN MADE OF COPPER OR ALUMINUM, NOT THE STEEL ARMOR, WHICH IS USED. IF YOU CHECK THE LISTED USE you'll see to USE the STEEL ARMOR for EGR you are limited to SIX FEET MAXIMUM PER CIRCUIT, IN TOTAL, and NEVER allowed to do so where the connection IS REQUIRED TO REMAIN FLEXIBLE.

First Generation and Second Generation Old BX, Old Greenfield DOES NOT MEET THE MODERN DEFINITION OF Armored Cable as defined BY the 2005 NEC - and MAY NOT BE USED for EGC AT ALL.

For example: REAL older BX (brand name), or Greenfield (company name) used Type R rubber insulation - subject to thermal-aging and cracking (useful life of 25 yrs if not exposed to excessive temperature or moisture). Cotton-braided covering on conductors and overall braided or paper covering did little to prevent moisture damage to the RUBBER insulation. When the bonding wire was FIRST added, it was flat (ribbon) and SUBJECT TO BREAKAGE (a simple partial twist or bend - for example when fishing or pulling - oftentimes BROKE or BREAKS this older bonding wire - and the earlier versions didn't even contain that!). In addition, it (and even the armor itself) was often mistakenly used as the neutral conductor. The other problem was the lack of proper cutting tools. Old cutting methods, such as as hacksaws or pliers for crimp cutting or twisting and breaking the steel armor, were very unsatisfactory and often led to nicks on the insulation and conductors, creating circuit opens or shorts. Also early manufacturing method provided for galvanizing the steel for the armor before it was cut and formed to armor - this meant that the edges were not galvanized and prone to RUST - modern AC armor is galvanized after it is cut and formed. The fibrous material used in early bushings. Modern AC cable which has been made with THERMOPLASTIC INSULATION, IMPREGNATED PAPER MATERIAL for wraps INSTEAD OF COTTON BRAIDING, fitted with THERMOPLASTIC ANTI-SHORT BUSHINGS, and which uses a NEW STYLE BONDING WIRE which is in constant contact with the armor, instead of the FLAT, easily breakable, detachable bonding RIBBON (of the 2nd generation of BX/Greenfield), And that which was used a correct Armor Cable Cutting and fitting method is different.

BIG DIFFERENCE, and the Armor ITSELF is STILL NOT what is relied upon for continuity or bonding for EGC even using MODERN AC - it is the BONDING WIRE.

Still cannot rely upon even that BONDING WIRE in locations where AC is being used due to REQUIRED FLEXIBILITY IN THE CONNECTION.

THE SIX FOOT RULE for limitations on three types of metalic conduit is found in 250.118 (5)(c) and 250.118(6)(c) for example. The introduction of 250.118 REQUIRES the EGC be PROPERLY INSULATED. Older first and 2nd generation BX and Greenfield doesn't MEET THAT REQUIREMENT (with or without the old flat early breakable bonding wire/ribbon). You MAY NOT de-construct a manufactured CABLE and use its componants, for it is NOT LISTED FOR USE that way (in any form of de-construction of its original cable assembly). You MAY NOT thread a WIRE in a CABLE ASSEMBLY - that is NOT A LISTED USE.

In conclusion:

1) you cannot pull a wire in cable - it is not legal, period. There is no code provision to do so, it would be a modification of listed equipment and voids its listing and is beyond the limitations of ANY LISTED USE..

2) When one uses MODERN Armored Cable (WHICH MEETS CURRENT DEFINITIONS OF AC IN THE CODE) properly bonded/connected/installed with LISTED FITTINGS and INSULATED BUSHINGS does NOT use or rely upon the armored helictical armor to comply with 250.118 &320.108, and all of 250.4, but IN FACT the "internal BONDING STRIP OF COPPER or ALUMINUM INTIMATE CONTACT WITH THE ARMOR FOR ITS ENTIRE LENGTH"(320.100). IT IS THIS STRIP WHICH MUST BE PROPERLY BONDED to an approved, properly installed, listed for grounding fiting; and properly insulated (320.40) (bushing).

3) Original "Greenfield" and "BX" did NOT have a bonding strip/wire AT ALL. Later versions incorporated a FLAT TAPE which was prone to breakage and DID NOT MEET THE CURRENT CODE PROVISIONS/DEFINITIONS of AC Construction (not in "intimate contact" with the armor for its entire length).

4) I've named three types of metalic conduit which by code is subject to the six foot per circuit (or six feet total in any combination thereof), are never allowed to use as EGC if the connection is required to be flexible.

I didn't make that up, you obviously have a very limited experience in CORRECTLY APPLYING the NEC, especially to EXISTING Systems and equipment.

The Original Post(er) indicated the lack of Equipment Grounding. Your information, rant, and advice was incomplete, wrong on its face, and your personal attacks erroneous and unjustified.

250.4, 250.102, 250.118, 320, 248.60, 350.60.

and Most importantly you MIS-read and MIS-UNDERSTAND and do NOT apply correctly just what all of 320 and specfifically what 320.108 actually says and means especially as it pertains to the entirely of 250.4 and 250.118.


07:22AM | 07/22/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
1. I did not say that one could run another wire in a cable. What I said that one could ADD an EGC conductor. The code always runing a completely separate conductor for this purpose.

From the NEC handbook.

"Section 250.130(C) applies to both ungrounded and grounded systems. It permits a

nongrounding-type receptacle to be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle under

the following conditions.

1. The branch circuit does not contain an equipment ground.

2. An existing branch circuit is being extended for additional receptacle outlets.

3. An equipment grounding conductor is connected between the receptacle

grounding terminal to any accessible point on the grounding electrode system, to any

accessible point on the grounding electrode conductor, to the grounded service

conductor within the service equipment enclosure, or to the equipment grounding

terminal bar in the enclosure from which the circuit is supplied.

The requirement in 250.52(A)(1) does not permit this separate equipment grounding

conductor to be connected to the metal water piping of a building or structure beyond

the first 5 ft of where the piping enters the building or structure unless the conditions of

the exception to 250.52(A)(1) can be met.

Exhibit 250.49 shows a branch-circuit extension made from an existing installation.

This method is also permitted to ground a replacement 3-wire receptacle in the existing

ungrounded box on the left, where no grounding conductor is available."

If the attachments works you will see the illustration from the NEC Handbook, "Exhibit 250.49 Branch-circuit extension to an existing installation, per 250.130(C),

illustrating a separate equipment grounding conductor connected to the

grounding electrode system."


"320.100 Construction

Type AC cable shall have an armor of flexible metal tape and shall have an internal

bonding strip of copper or aluminum in intimate contact with the armor for its entire


And from the NEC Handbook.

"The armor of Type AC cable is recognized as an equipment grounding conductor by

250.118. The required internal bonding strip can be simply cut off at the termination of

the armored cable, or it can be bent back on the armor. It is not necessary to connect it

to an equipment grounding terminal. It reduces the inductive reactance of the spiral

armor and increases the armor's effectiveness as an equipment ground. Many installers

use this strip to help prevent the insulating bushing required by 320.40 (the ``red

head'') from falling out during rough wiring."

AC cable meets the requirement for use as an EGC. There is no 6ft limit.


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