Upgrading Outlets

Hi all,
I have a house that was built in 1955. The elctrical outlets are of the two prong variety. I want to run a ground wire from the 100 amp service to all the outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms and then add GFCI outlets in these locations. I also want to run a ground wire to the outlets in one bedroom that I will be using as an office and as such it will have a fax, printer, and computer that all require grounded outlets. My question is, how difficult is it to snake the wires to the outlets? What if I just tape some three wire romex to the old wire at the outlet and pull it through the existing hole? Thoughts, opinions?
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On Sep 13, 10:08 pm, Jim Ellis at aol dot com wrote:

You can add GFCI's without having a ground as long as you mark the receptacles "No Equipment Ground", they do not require a ground to function. Running a ground to existing receptacles can be done but it can be a real pain. Taping a new 12/2 with ground romex to an existing 12/2 romex and pulling it through usually won't work because the the existing romex will be stapled to the studs unless it was fished in after the walls were finished.
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Or you can replace the circuit breakers with GFCI breakers. That will take care of the entire house including your 2 pronged outlets. instead of changing the outlets. That's what I did in my house. The code in my town allows this to be done.
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wrote:

I like that idea, seems simple and straight forward.
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Jim, Ellis, at, aol, dot, com wrote:

Just be aware that GFCI circuit breakers cost about 5x what GFCI receptacles do, while providing the same level of protection.
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<Jim Ellis at aol dot com> wrote in message

Unlikely to have much luck at your pulling idea; there are certain to be contraints on the wire.
First you want to make sure you don't have a ground available to the box that just isn't being used. Have you opened up a box and checked the wire going to it? 1955 sounds too new to be without a ground.
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No, I have not opened any outlets yet. I just thought that since all of the plugs are of the two prong type that they would not be grounded. If I understand what you are saying is that at the breaker panel there may be ground wires that are already attached and ran to the outlets, is that correct?
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com wrote:

Yes...
.. well, run to the boxes that the outlets are in, anyway. Obviously they wouldn't be connected to the outlets themselves, since there's no place to connect them. But yes, there may be ground wires there. It was common practice in that era to strip the ground wire back from the cable sheath, and tie it off to one of the screws on the cable clamp, without ever bringing it inside the box. Of course, you won't be able to see that without removing the box from the wall, but if you have any junction boxes in places where you can get to them easily (exposed wiring in a basement, crawl space, or attic, for example), you can see if the cables to those boxes have grounding conductors.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Sep 14, 10:04 am, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

If you do that you might as well replace the receps with grounded ones. Also instead of using the clamp screw just drill and tap the back of the box for a standard ground screw, then you don't have to bust up the plaster to get at the clamp screw (or if you have boxes with built in clamps, I would be skeptical that that would provide a proper connection for the ground wire.) you can get a tap with a screwdriver handle for just this purpose.
nate
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Better and quicker, use a grounding clip on the side of the metal box.
Joe
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Quicker yes, but why would a clip be better than a screw, that can be tightened?

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The clip actually puts as much (and maybe a bit more) bare wire in contact with a metal box as a screw does. Since grounds don't (or shouldn't) carry current either a screw or clip will be just fine. Cranking down on a screw only deforms the copper and adds precious little to the conductivity of the junction. Makes sense, then, to save some time on the project by using clips. HTH
Joe
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If the house was wired with steel cable (BX), that would provide the ground to each outlet, and you can buy short ground wires to connect from the box to new grounding type outlets or GFCI outlets. If it's wired in cloth two conductor non metallic cable, see other posts
<Jim Ellis at aol dot com> wrote in message

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Jim Ellis at aol dot com wrote:

It's often not that bad to snake a single green #12 or #14 wire thru the walls to ground the outlets. The ground wire does not have to run with the current-carrying wires when retrofitting old work. Connect the green wires to the big bare copper Grounding Electrode Conductor that comes out of your panel; using a big split bolt connector makes it easy. I think you can daisy-chain these supplemental Equipment Grounding Conductors, but I've been using a home-run for each one that I add to my house.
It *was* too difficult to run a proper ground wire to the outlet by my kitchen sink, so I just put in a GFCI outlet and a "No Equipment Ground" sticker on the cover.
Bob
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