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Author Topic: !970 [Maybe 1950s?] House. No Grounds.  (Read 4893 times)

brian maddox

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!970 [Maybe 1950s?] House. No Grounds.
« on: August 02, 2018, 01:52:11 pm »

Okay, much like a recent Poster, i just bought a house too.  But mine is considerably newer [Built in 1971].

Single Story Ranch style brick.  1650-ish Sq. Ft.  No basement, but tiny crawl space under the house.

All of the outlets in the house are 3 prong, but NONE have a ground connected.  I knew this when i bought it [it came up in the inspection], so at least it's not a surprise.

What's the best approach to dealing with this?  I don't relish the idea of re-running all the circuits, especially since there's a good bit of spaghetti both under the house and in the attic to try to sort out.

Can i run a separate ground wire to each outlet?  GFCIs?  I just don't know what the best approach here is.

Thanks in advance.


p.s.  The house had the roof torn off along with the electrical supply line in a recent hurricane, so it came with a fresh roof and fresh copper from the street.  For some reason, they saw fit to install 200Amps Single phase power.  400 Amps is just a crazy amount of juice for my little house.  Best i can tell, they looked at the breaker box and just added up the breaker capacities.  Of course, several of the larger ones were no longer in use [Dryer relocated, Furnace relocated, etc.], so this was a flawed approach.  Oh well.  When i get a hankering to do some acr-welding while my two Tesla's are charging, at least i'll be covered....  :)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 03:03:02 pm by brian maddox »
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Matthew Knischewsky

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Re: !970 House. No Grounds.
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 02:21:57 pm »

Okay, much like a recent Poster, i just bought a house too.  But mine is considerably newer [Built in 1971].

Single Story Ranch style brick.  1650-ish Sq. Ft.  No basement, but tiny crawl space under the house.

All of the outlets in the house are 3 prong, but NONE have a ground connected.  I knew this when i bought it [it came up in the inspection], so at least it's not a surprise.

What's the best approach to dealing with this?  I don't relish the idea of re-running all the circuits, especially since there's a good bit of spaghetti both under the house and in the attic to try to sort out.

Can i run a separate ground wire to each outlet?  GFCIs?  I just don't know what the best approach here is.

Thanks in advance.


p.s.  The house had the roof torn off along with the electrical supply line in a recent hurricane, so it came with a fresh roof and fresh copper from the street.  For some reason, they saw fit to install 200Amps Single phase power.  400 Amps is just a crazy amount of juice for my little house.  Best i can tell, they looked at the breaker box and just added up the breaker capacities.  Of course, several of the larger ones were no longer in use [Dryer relocated, Furnace relocated, etc.], so this was a flawed approach.  Oh well.  When i get a hankering to do some acr-welding while my two Tesla's are charging, at least i'll be covered....  :)

Installing a ground wire for each receptacle can be time consuming and in many cases impossible without opening up the walls. Installing GFCIs can get expensive for the receptacles but faster.

In my area the utility company's minimum residential service size for new installations is now 200 amps, so that might be what happened in your case.

Matt



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lindsay Dean

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Re: !970 House. No Grounds.
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2018, 02:25:20 pm »

1970s house you're not cursed with aluminum wiring are you
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brian maddox

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Re: !970 House. No Grounds.
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2018, 02:26:46 pm »

...

In my area the utility company's minimum residential service size for new installations is now 200 amps, so that might be what happened in your case.

Matt

That does make sense.  Although i've probably got 2-4 times more power at my house than any neighbor within a 5 miles radius.

hmmmm.  Maybe a Tesla charging service isn't such a bad idea?
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brian maddox

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Re: !970 [maybe 1950s?] House. No Grounds.
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2018, 02:40:36 pm »

1970s house you're not cursed with aluminum wiring are you

Thankfully no.  I just looked to be sure.  :)


Edit:

The Plot Thickens...

So apparently NEC Code began requiring Grounded Outlets in the early 1960's.  While the paperwork lists my house as being built in 1971, many of the houses in my neighborhood were built in the 50's and my house closely resembles many of them.  The oldest wiring in my house is definitely missing a ground, so i'm beginning to wonder if the house wasn't actually built in the 50's.  It has several additions that were added a few decades ago that may have caused the paperwork to reflect a 1971 build date.

Still, the original question remains.  To GFCI or not to GFCI...
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 03:04:47 pm by brian maddox »
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: !970 House. No Grounds.
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2018, 03:01:04 pm »

My house has no grounds either.... I have upgraded to GFCI outlets for the expected hazard areas (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room). I have further dropped in my own DIY ground bond wire for the one kitchen outlet next to the sink, and the washing machine, dishwasher, etc, not to mention ground bonding my copper pipes and hot water heater that did sting me once when the old water heater rusted through.

I have also noticed some old 2 circuit outlets that ran hot or intermittent from old age (elevated contact resistance). 

While the instructions for my wall oven installation advised bootlegging that ground, which I did, I would absolutely float safety grounds for your existing outlets, not in hazardous areas. While generally plumbing is the typical ground path hazard. Cable boxes are often grounded so need caution when near them.   

If using some old audio gear with questionable ground integrity, maybe selectively use GFCI outlets there.

If installing a new panel they may offer whole branch GFCI/RCD protection breakers.

 JR
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Rob Spence

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Re: !970 [Maybe 1950s?] House. No Grounds.
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2018, 03:20:52 pm »

Since 200 amp is the most common these days the panels are easy to find and cheap compared to other service sizes.


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brian maddox

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Re: !970 [Maybe 1950s?] House. No Grounds.
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2018, 03:28:38 pm »

Since 200 amp is the most common these days the panels are easy to find and cheap compared to other service sizes.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

I looked a little closer a few minutes ago and realized that the entire panel had been replaced.  Not sure why i didn't notice that before.  So yeah, what you are saying makes  a lot of sense.

I do think it's funny that they dutifully reinstalled at least a half dozen breakers for circuits that are no longer in use.  But i guess they figured that just in case they go BACK into use, they'd be covered...
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brian maddox
bdmaudio@gmail.com

'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'

Tim McCulloch

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Re: !970 [Maybe 1950s?] House. No Grounds.
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2018, 03:36:36 pm »

I looked a little closer a few minutes ago and realized that the entire panel had been replaced.  Not sure why i didn't notice that before.  So yeah, what you are saying makes  a lot of sense.

I do think it's funny that they dutifully reinstalled at least a half dozen breakers for circuits that are no longer in use.  But i guess they figured that just in case they go BACK into use, they'd be covered...

Yes, otherwise they'd have needed to remove the abandoned wiring or at least trim it back to where it could not be spliced onto and reused.  Code wants stuff to be right or be unusable.
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Tom Roche

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Re: !970 [Maybe 1950s?] House. No Grounds.
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2018, 04:51:24 pm »

My early 60s ranch style house also does not have grounded outlets.  At about $25K, it's too cost prohibitive.  If it were my forever home, I might consider it.  In the interim, I installed GFCI outlets in the bathrooms and remodeled kitchen.  Replacing the main panel is next.
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Re: !970 [Maybe 1950s?] House. No Grounds.
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2018, 04:51:24 pm »


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