Friend of mine is remodeling the kitchen in a 40's home. No ground circuit
to anything. He wants to add some GFI receptacles to the kitchen. Is this a
good or bad idea? As far as we can tell, the wire to the kitchen area is
imbedded in plaster. Does not appear to be in conduit. The fuses are screw
in plug fuses.
It's supposed to have a little sticker on it that says, "No Equipment
Ground". That makes it OK. :-)
The kitchen outlet right by the sink is like that in my house. It's on
an exterior wall, so very difficult to run a ground wire to it. I just
put in a GFCI outlet and let the ground float. There was just one
kitchen circuit, so I ran another one and it's grounded.
The NEC tells you you can replace ungrounded circuits with GFCI
receptacles, so you can have some type of ground fault protection.
Can't remember off the top of my head for you actually read it, might
be 406 something. Check for 'receptacle replacement'.
As for cons, I've been told many electronic items use the ground to
dump excess voltage. So, electronic items might have a lowered life
expectancy. Plus, since check with user manuals if you can operate
certain applicances without a effective equipment ground.
tom @ www.WorkAtHomePlans.com
When adding new pieces of wire and new outlets to an existing ungrounded
circuit, be sure your friend does not connect the ground wires between the
new outlets. This could create a dangerous condition where a fault in one
appliance could energize the external metal case of another device plugged
into the next outlet.
Also check the loading of the circuits. Houses with those old 60A 'Edison'
type panels and fuses tend to not have adequate number of circuits.
One house that I bought in had 4 total 120V circuits with only 1 circuit
feeding the entire kitchen, garage, and laundry. There was an additional
'Edison' (shared neutral circuit) for DW/disposal which was added at some
point external to the panel, but the wires in the rest of the kitchen were
uncomfortably warm to the touch. The sellers insurance forced them to
upgrade to a 100A breaker panel but the electrician just left everything the
same after upgrading the panel. I had to add, divide and run new circuits
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