07:06AM | 06/19/04
Member Since: 06/18/04
1 lifetime posts
my old 1953 house has 2-prong circuit/voltage tester is telling me that the receptacle is grounded (i touched the tester to the hot slot and the other wire to the screw that holds the receptacle cover and it lit up)...the box that the receptacle is in is metal and the wires going into and out of it are contained in a brown cloth-like cable...

can i:

1. replace the receptacle with a self-grounded 3-prong receptacle?

2. attach a clip or screw to the metal box, connect a green grounding wire to it then connect this green wire to the 3-prong receptacle's ground screw?

3. install a gfci receptacle (i don't really want to do that but will if i absolutely have to)?

i think i can do all 3 options but i'd rather hear that from an expert (or two)...

thank you so much for any insight you can provide...

Tom O

04:03AM | 06/20/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
Somehow, I doubt that you really have an equipment ground available at teach box. The cable you describe is the old version of non-metallic sheathed cable and the physical description sounds about right for that era. It did not contain an equipment ground.

If your tester uses a neon lamp, you may be getting a false indication of ground. Before betting your life on an inexpensive tester, hire an electrician to come ouot & check to see if the boxes really are grounded.

1. If the metal box should prove to be properly grounded, yes.

2.If the box is properly grounded and the device yoke will make metal to metal contact, don't bother with clips, screws or jumpers. You'll need to remove the little retaining washer from the screws. Or, you can buy receptacles that have a spring clip that assures positive contact. The spring holds one of the screws in place. Again, you won't need to mess with clips, screws or jumpers. If you like doing electrical work, your way is also acceptable.

3. Permitted, but it is not a solution for all locations. The NEC requires certain equipment (if it is not double insulated) to be grounded and there are no exceptions that allow the use of an ungrounded GFI for this instance.

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