I have a house that was built in the 50's and none of the outlets are
grounded. I am getting ready to add new molding through out the house
would this be a good time to ground all the outlets as well?? i was
thinking of running a single copper wire from the ground at the breaker
to the rest of the outlets. my house is on a slab so basement is out of
the question and i have valted ceilings. i just wanted to know if this
was a bad idea or not?
It's a good idea to do the wiring before installing the molding, as you
will most likely have some plaster to repair, however, IMHO, installing
just a single wire is a waste of time. Whatever labor is involved
getting the single wire to the outlets is going to be the same as if
you installed Romex. For an extra $200 -300 (US) you'll have a far
superior installation. After you do all that work, you will be glad
you spent the extra $.
You'd be hard pressed to find K&T installed in the fifties, and the NEC does
allow a separate ground wire run to correct his problem. That being cleared
up, Volts500 still has the most practical solution
If the wiring is BX its very possible he doesnt need ground wire added
and may be able to use the existing armoring as ground provided it
just change receptables and add pigtail between box and ground
connection n new receptables.
avoid at all costs those cheap backstab outlets they are terrible and
cause flakey connections
This is exactly what I did in my late 50's house. Everything was wired
with BX. However, it had cloth covered rubber insulated wires. Talk
about brittle flakey old insulation. Just removing the outlets was
enough to crack the insulation. In many cases I ended up running new
BX, In others, I covered the pigtails with heat shrink tubing.
Surprisingly, only the wires coming out of the BX were brittle. If you
cut back the armour, the wires still inside the armour were like new.
So if you open those boxes up, take care with the insulation.
Here in Cleveland (OH), K&T was the *only* material
used in res work well into the 60's.
Can't give you an exact cutoff date, but I suspect
that the grounding requirements ca. 1965
prompted the permission for NM cable.
The labor is exactly why it remained for so long.
Cleveland was/is a labor town and they controlled
what city hall wrote (ordinances) for a long time.
Outlying areas (several counties in fact)
continued to follow the Cleveland practice for
nearly as long. As a result, we have literally
millions of homes with K&T. Can you picture
the mountain of porcelain knobs that would be created
if all these homes were stripped at one time? <g>
Well, like you point out, newer grounding code is what killed K&T. In many
respects it really was the Cadillac of wiring. David Shapiro mentions in his
book that San Francisco used it up until the forties, and parts of New
Orleans , up into the eighties
Whoa! Copper was a *big* contender for the DWV market
from the late 40's thru the 60's/70's.
for the many sizes available.
The arrival of PVC in DWV form finally killed it off.
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