I bought a house and rewired 3/4 of it. The reason I rewired it was because some outlets had intermittent hots, no or loose grounds, busted outlets and disconnected neutrals. Also, large chunks of insulation were falling off the existing wiring.
I pulled a permit for the rewire, and was testing all outlets and noticed two outlet boxes have an open ground. The grounds are there with new outlets, and the contacts have been cleaned to ensure good conductivity. I had to hop in the attic and connect the grounds for both outlets to the junction box(Why did the installed who installed this not do this?)
Both boxes(14/2 sheathed electrical cable) go to the attic into a fused junction box(1 20 amp fuse per load.) Current code says this is wrong(14ga for 20 amp circuit) but it is grandfathered in. This junction box connects to the old panel (now another junction box) though 10/3 BX(I believe) wiring. The metallic shield is connected at both junction boxes to provide a ground. From the old panel connects to the new panel through 5 seperate metal conduits, providing a complete ground path to the main panel.
When I plug in the outlet tester to these two outlets, the two orange lights are on, but the ground path is very very dim and flickers quite a bit. I want to say that the metal shield over the BX wire is corroded in the attic causing this (there was a leaky roof when the prev. owner lived here).
I am very aware that I could violate code and jumper the common to ground at the outlet as a temporary solution, but that is not what I want to do (I do want to pass final inspection!).
I do not want to rewire this circuit since I plan on remodeling the front/kitchen (no, these outlets are not in the kitchen, nor are they near water sources) in a few months and do not want to do major modifications now just to tear them back out in a few months. The junction box in the attic is not in a very accessible area either.
Are there any code compliant ways of resolving this issue without a major rewire of this? Granted there is a ground there, it is just the path of ground has a lot of resistance, and probably will fail if 20 amps needs to pass through it in the event something fails and shorts to it. I do want to keep this circuit working, and want safe protection from electric shock.
Is there a way of getting around having an intermittent ground by using the common line per code? All the connections are tight and clean. I also replaced the old wire nuts in the event this was causing the issue. Would a GFI solve my problem?
I am very careful as to not overload this circuit, since it can only safely hold 15 amps by todays code..
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