Electrical question - grounding

All my outllets in living and dining have no ground. I need to change them over to three prong plugs.
I took one plug off that had a 3 prong plug installed and it had a small ground wire running from the ground wire of the plug to the neutral.
Does this mean it is grounded or does this wire even serve a purpose? Will it cause any problems?
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Check with your local authorities have jurisdiction. We used to do that but it has not been an approved method for many years now.
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Any reasons why it's not approved. Does it actually work as a viable grounding option?

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No Hockey wrote:

If I read your original post correctly, you were saying there is a jumper from the Grounding terminal to the "Neutral", which would be the WH wire. That is absolutely prohibited and is not a "viable option".
A better question is: Why do you "need" grounding recepts in these rooms? What appliances need grounding? Would you be better served by installing GFCI recepts instead? These can be used where there is no grounding means at all.
Jim

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They Can? I'm not an electrician by trade, but I thought GFCI [Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters] used the ground [not the load bearing neutral] as a reference ground. Without a proper ground they wouldn't work right.
I thought that a new circuit had to be ran with both a ground and neutral for GFCI receptacles to work correctly.
--
Zyp
"Speedy Jim" < snipped-for-privacy@nls.net> wrote in message
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A GFCI receptacle needs no ground or ground reference to operate properly. See: http://home.howstuffworks.com/question117.htm

Incorrect.

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Thanks for the link.. [it answered my question that you DO NEED A NON-LOAD CARRYING GROUND] but your link does say to connect the 'ground'. Follow your link and read the "how to install GFI"
http://home.howstuffworks.com/framed.htm?parent=question117.htm&url=http://www.homestore.com/home_improvement/howtoguides/CreativeInstallinggfci.asp ?
--
Zyp
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This subject has been covered pretty thoroughly recently. You do not need a ground to install a GFCI, it should however be marked "no equipment ground". You do need a ground for a surge suppressor to function properly. The jumper to neutral you describe is not approved and is dangerous.
Dan
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That is how you would install a new GFCI receptacle if you have a ground in a new or existing location.
If you don't have a ground you cannot ground it, and don't have to. Every GFCI receptacle sold has a bunch of stickers - 4 which read "GFCI protected outlet" 1 for the GFCI and 3 for any possible downstream outlets which are also protected . There are also 4 stickers which read "un-grounded outlet" in the event you're installing the GFCI groundless, and want to protect 3 ungrounded, downstream outlets.

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Hi Jim,
Computer mainly. I also run a tv, dvd, and stereo system on one of the circuits.
Thanks for your help.

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Because it is dangerous. No, it is not a viable option.
I've replaced dozens of 2 prongs with 3 prongs and when there is no ground wire present, I just leave the ground empty. Ideally, I would run a single ground wire to each of the outlets and ground it properly, but somehow never got around to it.
PJ

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If you have armored cable then use the armor as a ground. Just make sure that the other end at the breaker panel is also grounded. This is done a lot in older homes that have that kind of wiring.
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scott snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

laboratory as type AC that has the bonding strip inside the armor to make it behave as a conductor instead of as a choke. Many homes are wired with the older BX cable that has no bonding strip inside the armor. Under fault conditions the armor of BX can heat to cherry red in seconds and ignite nearby combustibles within minutes. In the absence of the bonding strip you have three viable options. Replacing the wiring with a listed type is the best followed by running a separate ground wire with ground fault protection as the last resort. -- Tom
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And that thin little bonding strip is going to prevent that .... I don't think so. Or, maybe I don't understand the mechanics of BX.
HorneTD wrote:

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The bonding strip is only supposed to short out segments of the armor to eliminate most of the choke effect. The loin's share of fault current still flows in the armor
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You do, he doesn't. We've been through this many times on this group and it appears that there's a faction that hates AC (BX is the original trademarked name) and bad mouths it at every opportunity. The usual chicken little, world's about to end, your insurance may not pay up, horror scenarios are described but the facts are that the outer armor of AC with and without the bonding strip is widely used as equipment ground especially in the older cities and its use as such is supported by the literature (even recommended in some books I've read).
Ignore the plaintive wailing of the doomsayers.

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Art Todesco wrote:

The laboratory testing and subsequent field experience has demonstrated that the bonding strip does in fact make the armor of laboratory listed type AC cable a fully adequate Equipment Grounding Conductor (EGC). I have personally fought four fires that resulted from fault heating in the old BX cable in thirty years of volunteer fire and rescue service. I strongly suggest that BX not be used as an EGC. The newer AC cable has no such track record. -- Tom H
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Plug up the non-connected ground hole in the outlet, turning it into a 2 prong outlet, so nobody gets confused.
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If I understand you properly this is a VERY DANGEROUS idea. It converts a small danger into a major danger.
Specifically, if any of your outlets are miswired so that the neutral and hot are switched (which unfortunately is not all that uncommon) then in your case, the ground will be "hot" meaning that the metal case becomes hot giving you quite a surprise.
As other posters suggested you have several choices: - Stick with 2-prong sockets using only appliances that don't require grounding (most electrical items actually don't require a ground) - Replace 2-prong socket with GFCI - Bring in a separate true ground wire and convert to modern 3-prong outlet - Bring in whole new circuit using modern cable with ground wire to create a proper grounded outlet [This is what we have done in our house]
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Notwithstanding all the other advice so far...but, when you mention the "small ground wire" that suggest you may have an "old style" of Romex that had two full-size wires for the current, and a smaller-gauge ground wire. That would suggest your wire is 30 to 50 years old. My perspective, for peace of mind, would be to install all new romex with a full size ground wire, connected properly. I don't know if the older romex is "illegal" but for peace of mind I would replace it.
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Jedd Haas - Artist
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