09:33AM | 08/03/05
Member Since: 08/02/05
2 lifetime posts
There are some outlets in our new house that are not grounded. Is it difficult to do? I bought a HomeDepot 1-2-3 Electricity Book. After reading it, it seems that a lot of the projects I can do my self - including grounding.

I guess I was wondering if I can "splice" or tap into the wires that are coming out of the exisiting outlets that are grounded, in order to ground other outlets.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


10:17AM | 08/03/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
There are several options.

IF, the existing wiring uses BX or metalic conduit then the metal box is grounded and you can attach a ground to the box.

You can run whole new grounded circuits.

You can replace the receptacles with GFCI's or upstream GFCI protection. If you do that the receptacles are suppose to be marked No Equipmeent Ground. That gives you the same personal proctection as having true grounded receptacles. However, do not use it for appliances such as refigerators, freezers, or sump pumps as false tripping of the GFCI can cause addtional damage.

Also you won't get full protection if you use surge protector with electronic equipment. They need a true ground.

Or you allowed to run a separte ground wire (green or bare) back to the main panel or back to ground connection in a box that goes back to the main panel.

Which is what you asked about.

HOWEVER, you need to verify that those recetpacles are properly grounded. They might not connected to anything, they might have a "bootleg ground" where the ground terminal is connected to the neutral, or they might be connected to the nearest water pipe.



10:26AM | 08/03/05
Member Since: 08/02/05
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for the reply. Bare with me, as this is my first house and I'm not really keen on electricty!

How do I determine if it's BX or metalic conduit?

I would like to do it right the first time, so I guess I'm thinking either running "whole new grounded circuits" (but how) or "back to ground connection in a box." However, how can I really be sure that they are grounded correctly? Some outlets are grounded.

Thanks for the info about the water pipe - a great help on that for sure!


11:25AM | 08/03/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
I suggest that you get a couple of other books.

How to Wire a House by Rex Cauldwell

And Black and Deckers Complete Home wiring.

I don't know what is in HD book.

You will need to look at where the wiring is can be seen such as the main panel or in the basement.

Conduit will be a thin metal tubing, called EMT. Normally it is not used in homes, but a few areas require it such as the Chicago area.

BX is a brand name for AC (armour clad) and there is a newere MC cable. These have the wires covered by a flexable metal spiral. You can see both of these at the big box stores.

To see if the exisitng grounded receptacles are properly wired remove one. See if there is a wire connected to the grounding terminal. It should either be bare or green and connected to a like wire or to a metal box and the circuit feed with BX or metal conduit.

Tom O

01:31PM | 08/03/05
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
If you'll send me your e-mail address, I'll send you a FAQ that covers this subject,

Keep in mind that grounding is a complex subject and if this is one of your first wiring efforts, you may want to consider gaining a little experiance before tackling this.

[email protected]


03:07PM | 08/03/05
Member Since: 05/03/05
79 lifetime posts
bpagan said: Bare with me, as this is my first house and I'm not really keen on electricty.

That being said, PAY a licensed electrician to come out to YOUR house and do a walk through identifying problem areas. ASK nicely what can be done to fix the problems and how $$.

Ask your friends and neighbors who they have used in the past and if they were satisfied.

I think you will benefit from an electricians expertise. He may even allow you to do the work then return to inspect what you have done.

Be prepared to pay!
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