Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>will this set up be to code ?
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tomana
will this set up be to code ?
tomana

I have an old house (this old house) built in '51. All the electrical outlets are 3 prong, except in the living room where, of coarse, the Audio/Video stuff resides. The metal wall box (you should see it, thick metal painted black - nothing like todays stuff) has no ground connect & just two wires (hot & neutral). In order for a surge protector to work it needs to be connected to a 3-prong outlet. The exterior walls are block with plaster coating. Can I just drill a hole through the block from behind the outlet wall box and then drive a copper rod into the ground or does the ground on the outlet have to go back to the breaker box? I have the current 2-prong outlet being fed from a GFCI outlet as per code.

I live in Albuquerque NM. I know how to run Romex, fix it with staples 6" from outlet boxes, etc, just need to know if it will be up to snuff if I do it this way

A. Spruce
Re: will this set up be to code ?
A. Spruce

What is code in our part of the world and what is code in your part of the world are two completely different things. You need to be asking a local electrician or your local building department what the code is pertaining to running grounds.

What I can tell you is, no, your plan will not pass code in my jurisdiction.

For the budding DIY'r, and fellow professionals alike, I highly recommend the book called Wiring Simplified. It is updated every few years to encompass new code requirements and such. It is a well written and easy to follow book on the basics of wiring everything from a simple switch or outlet to wiring a service panel. The key here is to know your limitations and when to call in a professional. Electricity is a dangerous thing, never take it for granted, never work on a live circuit.

dj1
Re: will this set up be to code ?
dj1

I would place a call to an electrician to come and look at the wires. I sense that your receptacles are not grounded.
Just having 3 prong receptacles doesn't necessarily mean they are grounded.

The way to ground is thru the panel and a rod into the ground.

Mastercarpentry
Re: will this set up be to code ?
Mastercarpentry

All grounds must tie together at the panel which must be properly grounded itself. Perhaps what you suggest will be OK as long as you make the panel tie-in, but check locally as codes and their enforcement vary. And check the entire system while you're doing electrical work to be sure it is all up to snuff.

Phil

Re: will this set up be to code ?

ditto all of the comments.

Grounding is more than driving a rod in the earth. There must be an interconnection of metal "likely to become energized" which forms a "grounding system".

Non-grounded receptacles on two wire circuits can legally be made into grounded circuits but if there are too many receptacles to be reworked it may be cheaper to pull new wire.

Benjamin
Re: will this set up be to code ?
Benjamin

Are you sure that there is no ground at all many times the ground is cut short and grounded to the box. It is also very possible you have no ground but i would look very closely at it before going any further. At first glance it looks like the wiring in our house has no grounds but they are there in the back of the box. It is a real pain to attach to those short ground wires though. Wiring this way was common in our area in the 50s and 60s but i have no idea about your area

Mastercarpentry
Re: will this set up be to code ?
Mastercarpentry
holler2 wrote:

but they are there in the back of the box. It is a real pain to attach to those short ground wires though.

Crimp sleeves and StaCon pliers are my solution to these. Twist on a bare pigtail wire, crimp the sleeve on, and done. Just about that fast too.

Phil

Re: will this set up be to code ?

You can fish a #12 solid bare copper wire from the nearest grounding point (e.g. a grounded electrical box or copper water pipe) into the box and then install a 3-prong outlet. If you go to the water pipe, make sure it's electrically continuous because sometimes water mains are plastic or the electricians didn't jump the meter with #6 copper jumper, or portions of the water lines could be plastic.

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