Am I grounded? Electrically speaking.

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Chantecleer wrote:

It's not grounded. If you want safety you need to add a grounding wire from the box to the breaker buss. I don't know about code, but I would simply add that wire to the surface of the wall and cover it with a wooden strip. To meet code you would probably have to run it in conduit.
Yes, your assumption about the GCFI is correct, and would still need to add a grounding wire to meet code. But GCFI doesn't need a ground to operate, so you would be safe(r).
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

Why not just use that extra red wire for a ground? Wrap green tape around it at each end to signify that it is ground instead of hot.

GFCI does not need to be grounded for old work. I had to do that in my kitchen. If it's not grounded, there should be a sticker attached that says "No equipment ground".
Best regards, Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

Damn, I missed that, he does have 3 wires so its simple as you said.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:
Chop the top

Since I'm close to the Water Heater, and it does have cold, hot pipe and gas pipe bonded, I assume I could run a copper wire to the box which is 5 feet or so away. If I were to ground the box, I'd be done.
Bare copper would be a bad idea? I do have shielded green groundwire. But since the pipes are bonded together with bare copper behind the water heater, I could just extend that wire. Guess I need to look up the code. I think around here they adhere to NEC 1996.
Thanks for your help.
Chantecleer
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Chantecleer wrote:

See zxcvbob. You already have a third wire, so use it. If you bonding wire leads back to the box, I assume you can use it, otherwise not. I think you need the wire protected, but other here can answer exactly, if you know who to believe. Or ask your friendly electrical inspector.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

The third wire is Red in color. I had considered using it and just put it on the ground block, but I'm not certain about the marking.
And after talking to my so called "Electrical Inspector" on a couple of other items, I believe I'm better off with doing the research myself. To be safe and to be to code. This idiot does not live in reality. I will stick to the code and common sense. (Oxymoron in a lot of cases.)
Chantecleer
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Chantecleer wrote:

If you wrap green electrical tape around both ends just up from where the insulation is stripped, it is no longer a red wire. All the red in the middle doesn't count.
Seriously, Bob
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Both the NEC and CEC prohibit this.
You can make a white wire "hot" by marking it (with tape or nail polish), but you can't make a black or red wire into a ground or neutral.
Strange, but true.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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Chris Lewis wrote:

??? Large gauge wires are only available in black and are routinely (in Minnesota, anyway) taped white for grounded service entrance conductors. The local inspector requires that the grounded conductor be marked. I realize that service wires might be different than circuit wires, but where are you gonna get white #6 wire? Or even #8?
Not arguing, just confused. (for old work I'd tape it green even if it was a technical violation)
Bob
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200-6 of the NEC is very explicit in requiring that conductors No. 6 or smaller be "identified" (marked as neutral) by a "continuous outer finish" for their entire length. There are some exceptions, but none would apply here.
See: http://www.ecmweb.com/ar/electric_mark_ends_conductors/ for more detail.
It's also mentioned in the electrical wiring faq (I think) where it talks about marking white wires black.

I probably would too, and an inspector would probably okay it as well, if it meets a "complying with the code imposes undue hardship" thinking that they usually do.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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zxcvbob wrote:

Super. That's what I thought. Just was not sure if it is to code. There must be a way to reuse all those wires in all the buildings in the world. Problem solved. Thanks
Chantecleer
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Chantecleer wrote:

Chris L. pointed out that it is not to code for wires smaller than [something huge I don't remember]. But in a follow-up he agreed that it might be the way to go here anyway, and there's a good chance the inspector would OK it.
Best regards, Bob
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#6
To his summary posting, I said I'd use a GFCI in two wire mode and not bother with trying to ground it unless I figured it was _absolutely_ necessary to have a ground. A GFCI generally protects people from shocks better than a ground does anyway. There are times where you really do want a ground - ie: computers.
If it was for something potentially life endangering (eg: poolside lighting or a spa heater), I'd bite the bullet and pull new wire.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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Chantecleer wrote:

It's the other leg of the 240. I see zxcvbob has told you how to proceed, just folllow his advice. It looks like you have it pretty easy.
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Hi, I just had an electrical inspection done by Ontario Hydro, forced on me by my insurance company. This was on a house that I just bought that was converted into a triplex sharing the same hydro meter. Some of the wiring is older two wire with no ground, but using three pin outlets. His advice was to either block the ground hole with epoxy to make it two pin, or to use GCFI's where a ground was needed, or run a ground cable to one of the water pipes. This put the wiring within code and also acts as a safe or safer circuit as any shorts to ground are picked up quicker than conventional wiring using the ground to blow the fuse or breaker. Unless you can get to a copper water pipe, the GCFI will more than meet your needs. Rob

out.
Depot
says,
a
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Never use pipes for safety grounding. Safety grounds connect to pipes only to 'remove' electricity. Never dump electricity into pipes - a serious safety hazard.
Rob wrote:

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I don't know if it is different in your state, but in Ontario I was told in writing by the electrical safety guy that I could bond the ground wire to any copper water pipe close to an outlet. Think about something. The ground is not normally used in a circuit unless there is a short or a problem, so you would not be "dumping" electricity under normal circumstances. Second, All the water pipes would be joined, obviously, to your main water coming in. The ground in most cases is attached here. A simple ohmmeter would let you know if the pipes are conductive or not. The only exception to this would be if there are plastic pipes in line.

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wiring is

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I _am_ in Ontario.

When was this?

Yes, obviously the water pipes would be joined. But these days, there's a very good chance that it's NOT all electrically conductive.
With the advent and popularity of plastic water pipe, and the fact that many new homes are on plastic main water pipes too, the plumbing system is no longer considered a reliable ground generally.
Both the NEC and CEC have moved away from using water mains as ground electrodes. You _still_ have to connect the water pipe _to_ ground (if it's metallic), but that's to protect you from getting shocks from the plumbing, not to use the plumbing as a grounding conductor.
The CEC states very clearly now that you shouldn't use the the plumbing system as a grounding conductor, except in special situations requiring the plumbing to be tested for electrical conductivity.

An ohmmeter is in inadequate test. It doesn't prove that the plumbing has enough ampacity to push fault current - it could be a stray whisker through a rotting dialectric connector. For that, you need to test under load. See the electrical wiring FAQ.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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The grounding wire might carry current if there is a leak and no GFCI to catch it. Grounding to a cold water pipe is OK as a last resort, but can be a hazard later to the plumber unlucky enough to cut the pipe somewhere between your ground clamp and the water meter. I've also heard (but don't necessarily believe) it can cause the pipe to corrode and eventually leak. Why take a chance?
In this case, I would replace the outlets with ungrounded replacement outlets and GFCI's in the bathroom, kitchen, etc. Or run a ground wire as best you can all the way back to an electrical panel.
I have lots of ungrounded outlets in my 50 y.o. house. I wanted at least one grounded outlet in every room, so I ran green wires through the wall cavities back to the service panel and fastened them to the service grounding conductor with a big split-bolt connector.
Best regards, Bob
Rob wrote:

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zxcvbob wrote:

Replying to my own message just to clarify something -- I fastened the ends of the green wires to the big ground-ING conductor running from the panel to the water meter -- the house's primary equipment ground. Not the service ground-ED conductor (the big neutral wire.)
Bob
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