Without going into all the details about no free breakers, location of
junction boxes, finished ceilings, etc., I'm looking for a "yes it's code"
or "no it's not code" answer to this question:
There's a junction box with a 14/2 without ground coming directly from the
panel. Leaving this box is a 14/2 without ground and a 14/2 with ground.
The ground wire is attached to the junction box but of course it isn't
Can you run a single insulated ground wire from the panel to the junction
box to provide a ground for the 14/2 with ground that leaves the box.
The 14/2 without ground that leaves the junction box goes to GFCI
receptacle as the first receptacle on that run. That's fine for now.
However, the 14/2 with ground goes to some receptacles which should have an
equipment ground. My friend would like to add that ground in the easiest
manner possible, which is to simply add a ground wire from the panel the
junction box. Can he do that?
I agree you probably could run a whole new cable/wires, but if it is
code, why not just run the ground, and, you don't have to be profane
in your description of the proposed solution, have you priced wire
lately, there are folks who are on limited budgets!!!!
I took his "wiring like that" comment to be related to the existing
situation where the circuit leaving the junction box is grounded to the box
but there is no ground coming in. I was wondering how he would "see" that
If he was indeed talking about the external ground wire, that's different.
Of course, since it allowed by code, I wonder if he would still run away
from an otherwise acceptable house.
Yes, you can, but as others have said, it makes a neater job to install
a new cable to the box. This way it is also clear what the cable is and
what it's doing. A single ground conductor, bare or green isn't
necessarily going to be obvious as to it's purpose and could be cut or
I agree with what everyone says about the new wire vs. just the ground.
I mainly wanted to know if a separate ground was even allowed.
As for the details into the situation, I purposely left something out so
as not to confuse the issue. OK, maybe I even lied a teensy bit.
What is really going in the junction box is that it is part of an Edison
circuit. Pulling a ground wire just to supply a ground for the circuit
that he wants grounded leaves everything else just as it is. It would
take some pretty serious rewiring to eliminate the Edison circuit since
it incorporates part of the first floor and part of the second.
Pulling a new run of Romex with a ground wire would still mean that only
the circuit he wants grounded will use the new ground wire, which might
be just as confusing for someone else later on. Finding an Edison
circuit in a house is confusing enough for most people. Any way that we
supply a ground to one side of it is going to be just as confusing.
In any case, whatever we do will be labeled both at the panel and at the
junction box. I already used a Sharpie on the junction box to note that
it contains the neutral for an Edison circuit.
Converting from an Edison circuit to two seperate circuits
really has nothing to do with the ground issue, does it?
If it's as you described, then the new Romex with ground
enters the first junction box. From there one cable leaves
which has a ground. It's now grounded. The only possible
confusion is that the other half of the edison circuit doesn't
have a ground, but that's what you have now. And that
half is GFCI protected from the first receptacle on.
Finding an Edison
It must have been a rework that resulted in only one
half being grounded. Sounds like they tied one half onto
an old circuit, the other half was a new run with ground.
But I think running a completely seperate ground wire
is taking it to another level of being weird. For example,
if a home inspector saw a seperate ground wire running
from the panel to the junction box, for sure
it's going to raise questions and call for a closer look.
He'd probably call it out in his report.
If all that is there is a romex there from panel to junction
box, then it looks perfectly normal.
Thinking about this a bit more, if I understand this
correctly, the Edison circuit splits at the junction box,
correct? The only shared neutral is between the panel
and the junction box, correct? If that's the case, why
not just replace the double breaker with two
single breakers, run two new Romex to the junction box,
one for each circuit? Then you have one regular grounded
circuit and one circuit that is ungrounded and they are
not sharing anything in common.
And thinking about it still more..... You stated:
"There's a junction box with a 14/2 without ground coming directly
panel. Leaving this box is a 14/2 without ground and a 14/2 with
The ground wire is attached to the junction box but of course it
actually grounded. "
But later you said that what's going into the junction box
is part of an Edison circuit? How do you do an Edison
circuit, ie shared neutral, with one 14/2 coming from the panel?
I'm very confused.
While others have answered as originally asked here, "yes". There are
exceptions in several places to allow the equipment grounding conductor
for the grounding-type receptacle that has been added to a circuit where
no equipment grounding conductor is available to be run separate from
the other circuit conductors and to run by itself without a cable or
W/o the whole Code the various subsections that allow the conductor to
be run separately from the circuit conductors go to 300-3(a) and (b)
exception, then to 250-57(b) exception No. 3. To follow the Code on why
this conductor can be run by itself without a cable or raceway go to
250-92(c)(2) and the exception.
The Code is realistic in approaching existing work understanding there
sometimes just isn't a practical way "to get there from here".
What I didn't notice anybody else mentioning was that there's another
alternative as well. And that is one from
250-50(a)and(b) Exception --
"For replacement of nongrounding-type receptacles with grounding-type
receptacles and for branch-circuit extensions only in existing
installations that do not have an equipment grounding conductor in the
branch-circuit, the grounding conductor of a grounding-type receptacle
outlet shall be permitted to be grounded to any accessible point on the
grounding electrode system as described in 250-81."
It doesn't _necessarily_ have to go back to the panel iow.
I don't have recent copy at hand and didn't work at trying to find
online--the above is from a ca '96 NEC release. I don't believe any of
this has been changed altho as always, if it is really necessary to
follow Code it's the local jurisdiction that is going to control so a
phone call to City Hall is probably the ticket.
As for the Edison circuit there's not enough info give to fully
understand what was done (at least in the parts of the thread I've read)
so I'll not try to address it directly.
The following link, however, does had a pretty complete list of the
points NEC makes that you can use on the actual configuration to check
Scrolling around on that page will lead you to other useful areas as well...
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.