what is the best grounding option

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by tech526, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. tech526

    tech526 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I am looking into purchasing some older property (1956 built). This property has the old two prong plug outlets throughout (16),and i want to change them to 3 wire outlets. So, far i am told i have 3 options to do this. 1. Re wire the building (not in my budget) 2.Install GFCI breakers (for this type of breaker panel GFCI breakers will cost and arm and leg,and if they even make GFCI breakers for FP panels or ever did. 3. Install GFCI receptacles at the first recep. so as to protect the other receps. downstream. The problem here is that on a given circuit there are receps. that are located in different rooms.I can envision that running into a problem. Would putting GFCI receps. at every location be the most effective for this issue? The existing outlet boxes are metal and measure 2-1/4"DX2"WX3"H.
  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    don't forget just not buying
  3. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    You might be able to use ordinary 3 prong receptacles if you have armored cable with a bonding strip (not to be confused with the older BX cable without the bonding strip).
  4. tech526

    tech526 New Member

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    2
    the best ground option

    Most all problems these days require buying.Solutions is what i signed up to this forum for..Ok,so re wiring is not an option ,I suggested putting GFCI receptacles throughout,because not all receps. on a given circuit are in the same room. No BX to ground to either. What would an electrician do...
  5. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

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    Replace the Federal Pacific Panel and install a new one with GFCI breakers where needed. This is a safer option. You will not get UL listed GFCI FP Stab-Lok breakers for less than the cost of having a new panel installed which you need anyway.

    If you can't afford to properly repair the house then you really can't afford to buy it either. I see this all the time and the property value suffers because of it.
  6. iminaquagmire

    iminaquagmire DIY Senior Member

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    207
    Your only option if you don't want to rewire or use GFCI breakers is to use the receptacles. Find the first receptacle on the circuit and put it there. Do this with all of the circuits. Make sure all of your non-GFCI receptacles are marked with the stickers that come with the GFCI receptacles. You cannot put GFCI receptacles in every box, nor is it needed.
  7. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    And the reason for his first reply.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    grounding

    IF you are trying to provide grounding, then just installing GFCI anything, or anywhere, will not do it. GFCI's without a ground will provide an electrocution protection, but will do nothing as far as an actual path to ground is concerned.
  9. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

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    689
    Yeah, that.


    Don't even try to use GFCI receps in this kind of installation. A) Homeruns are very likely to go to ceiling/light boxes and B) GFCI's do not like to be squeezed into old, small jboxes.

    Also....Pull out a recep, You never really know, you may have an unutilized ground wire.
  10. PeteD

    PeteD New Member

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    Location:
    MA
    That is the first step. I lived in a house built in 1890 some years ago. Wiring had been redone at some point with limited fabric NM cable and mostly Romex. The two-prong outlets were being used with ground wires available. Pretty easy upgrade...
  11. rgsgww

    rgsgww New Member

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    Ia
    You might have a ground wire in there, might not. Around 1956-1960 code started requiring the metal box to be grounded.

    I would get that fpe panel out of there, its more of a hazard than 2 prongs are.
  12. sedin26

    sedin26 New Member

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    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Definitely take the advice either not to buy this in the first place or to replace the FP Panel with something new. The FP panel is not safe and it is not worth it to try to mess with it any further.

    If you put in some GFCI outlets, that is better than nothing but you still have an unsafe panel so you're not really in a great situation.
  13. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

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    Well I keep hearing it is a buyers market out there, so you should be able to name the terms of this house purchase.

    And buying a house is not like buying something at the store. Anything and everything can be negotiated and agreed to prior to purchase. Then contracts/agreements written as to the terms of the purchase.

    Also when buying a home, money can be placed in trust and held by a 3rd party to be sure something is paid as dictated by the contract.

    So for example the seller could agree to pay for all of this electrical work with the money they receive from the sale. And to be sure they pay after the sale, the proceeds from the sale could first go to a 3rd party (title company trust fund), then paid directly to you. (The seller could not run away with the funds after receiving them.)

    At the closing of a house sale, checks for this, that and the other thing can go flying all over the place. You might write some checks to pay for this and that. The seller might write a couple of checks to pay for certain things. And the title / trust company writes checks for various things. All accounts get settled at the time of closing.

    So get estimates as to how much this will cost to have done, then insist that you receive this money at closing or no deal.
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