Electrical Outlet Replacement

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On Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:29:38 -0700, Taxed and Spent

There was a period of time where the NEC required a ground wire to the box but the 5-15 receptacle was not required. You can look for ground wires in the boxes/panel or you can use an adapter and a 3 light tester as an indication. Those wires were smaller than the ungrounded conductor but still should be big enough to trip the over current device in a bolted fault.
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:16:43 PM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

I know you said "almost certainly" no ground so you are not wrong, but it should still be brought into the conversation. I speak from experience.
My house house was built in 1956. Except for the family room addition, all receptacles were 2 prong. The 2nd floor was wired with 14/2 w/o ground (cloth covered wire). However, the 1st floor was wired with 14/2 *with* ground (also cloth covered wire) and the ground wire was attached to the box. I was able to simply replace the 2 prong receptacles with 3 prong receptacles and a pigtail back to the box.
That is why I mentioned it to the OP. Situations like that do exist.
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On 9/12/2016 10:38 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

makes you wonder why upstairs and downstairs differ.
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:43:07 PM UTC-4, Taxed and Spent wrote:

Always has. :-)
I've also always wondered why they used *one* Edison circuit to apparently save about 15 feet of wire. They ran a length of 14/3 w/ground from the panel to a junction box about 15' away in the basement ceiling. From there they ran 2 lengths of 14/2 w/ground to create 2 runs of receptacles on the first floor. It's the only Edison circuit in the house and all they saved was one junction box and a couple of lengths of 14/2 w/ground.
Considering how well the rest of the house was built (1x6 T&G subfloors and roof deck, 3/4" thick interior walls (3/8" gypsum board and 3/8" plaster), hardwood floors, etc.) I'm surprised they did those weird things with the electrical.
I can only assume that they used what they had on hand and made it work.
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On Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:43:05 -0700, Taxed and Spent

Transition time - when grounded wire was just coming in and grounded outlets were not yet required. The electrician started wiring from the top and used up all his old wire, or started at the bottom and ran out of the new wire so finished the job with what he had left over from another job.
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:38:06 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

"very likely" would have been a better choice of words than "almost certainly".
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On Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:38:02 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Used to be code compliant to just bolt the outlet into the metal box with the "earthed" mounting tab providing the safety ground connection to the grounded metal box.
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 11:12:29 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Better call the cops on HD, *again*! They still sell self-grounding receptacles. Mostly that's because they are still code compliant.
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On 09/12/2016 12:16 PM, trader_4 wrote:
[snip]

The fact that it has been done disproves that rule.
BTW, I didn't say it was safe. NOTHING is perfectly safe.
[snip]
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:53:53 PM UTC-4, notX wrote:

Have the idiots take over? When someone comes here and asks a basic question, isn't the assumption that they want to do it right, to make it safe and code compliant? Do I have to start off by saying, well you can do the job with a switched neutral, you can put a receptacle next to a sink without it being GFCI, you can wire that circuit with no breaker or fuse, but "it would wrong, a code violation, etc? WTF?

Which of course is irrelevant. DerbyDad and I gave the right answer, now run along.
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I have done some work on many places in/on old houses there is nothing that you should be surprise of, including bare wires, fuses on the neutral instead being on hot line install by "professional" or by home owner, many years ago if you new how to use screw driver and hammer you were professional. Question here is do you; as professional corrected the problem or live it as you found it. To limit liability tell costumer if you want me to do it you need rewire the whole house or tell prospective customer sorry get some body else I can do the work for you as is... --------------------
Customer's choice. I'd point out what I believe is dangerous and ask if they want it fixed.
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Mon, 12 Sep 2016 23:28:56 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

That's what I tend to do. If I see something like that, I let the home owner know. They then have the option of myself and crew doing what needs to be done to correct it, or, we happily leave the jobsite and it's someone elses problem. I'm unwilling to knowingly do something that's non code compliant and/or dangerous. It's not safe for the home owner, myself/crew, and I don't want to deal with lawsuits because the home owner lies his/her ass off if something happens after I've done the work they hired me for. I'd rather lose the job to a competitor (that doesn't care) than do it wrong and/or leave something unsafe.
It's not just for liability issues, but, that's a big part of it. It's the fact im putting my name on this work, it's going to be done right, or, I'm not doing it. I treat IT work the same way.

Ayep. If they say no, just do what I hired you for, I politely explain that depending on the situation, I cannot do so until the issues are corrected. At that point, the customer has a decision to make. Do you want it done right? If it's just a matter of funds the customer really doesn't have, depending on the amount, I might even be willing to lower my rate and/or provide additional components out of my own pocket, just to be sure the job is done right.
I'll go out of my way to help someone who really needs it and just doesn't have enough available funds to do it. OTH, If you do have the funds for it to be done right and you just don't wanna spend it, you can find someone else. I don't want to work for you. You'll play the nickel/dime game when you get the invoice and the hassle just isn't worth it to me.
I've noticed that those who have limited funds are more willing to pay what you charge without badgering you than those who could afford it without even breaking a sweat. Doctors and lawyers are the worst around here too in terms of being paid what you billed for without hassle. Someone who's got one car that's pissing oil and looks like it hasn't seen a fresh coat of paint since it rolled off the assembly line are far more likely to pay me without any hassle. I'll go out of my way to help those people out.
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wrote:

Can be done - but not legally, perhaps.
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Here in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, conduit was required for all resi dential wiring for many years, including when my house was built by a well- known and respected local builder. When I replaced the 2-prong outlets with 3-prong outlets, I made a rash assumption that the conduit was making cont act back to the breaker box, and used the boxes as a ground source for the outlets. So far no problems, but I will have to get out my volt-ohm-meter and see wh at resistance I see between various outlet grounds and the ground at the br eaker box.
I do have gfci outlets at all locations where there is a chance of water, t he kitchen, bathrooms and all basement outlets. Too hard to find the first outlet in the power daisy chains.
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On Mon, 12 Sep 2016 20:23:22 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

There are some areas where conduit and BX were required - but across MOST of North America it is quite uncommon.
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On 9/12/2016 12:56 PM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

How the times have changed. In my parents house, built in the 30s, there was all conduit (actually iron pipe) going from box to box. And, when 3 prong outlets came into being, it was ok to just screw them into the box, which provides the safety ground, maybe. Do those pipes really make good electrical connections? In my 1st house, built in the early 70s it was wired with romex and all metal boxes were tied to the romex ground wire to provide the safety ground, maybe. The 3 prong outlets were all just screwed into the box. Again, do the screws holding the outlet, make good electrical connections? So if the OP tests for grounds on the 3rd prong and finds the 3rd prong grounded, it might be one of those 2 scenarios. Then again, the 3rd scenario might be no ground at all. My 2nd house is wired with romex and plastic boxes. All of the ground wires in the box are tied together with one going to the outlet or switch. BTW, older switches didn't even have a ground screw!
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On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 9:55:09 AM UTC-4, Art Todesco wrote:

"Pipes" from the 1930s, IDK, but if you use modern EMT/conduit, yes and it;s permitted. I would think older conduit, before grounds became code, would be suspect because it wasn't designed and installed with the intent of it being a ground. Which is similar to the question I raised about relying on old BX to be the ground if you want to upgrade two prong receptacles to grounded ones.
In my 1st house, built in the early

Yes, if it's a listed self-grounding receptacle.
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says...

Not legally, unless he provides a ground wire.
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wrote:

He will tell you he did a Souper Sekret Euler Sinewave Summation Equation inculcation that he can't share with you, but it proved that the outlet is providing DC.
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