Do I have to add ground to ym wiring?

Sun-n-ClayJuly 7, 2012

I'm a novice at all this electrical stuff so please forgive me if I don't use the correct jargon.

I live in a 1950s house with two prong plugs galore. There is no ground. When we got Uverse installed, the electrician had to install a proper setup for my TV and computer. He also converted the plug by the sink to GCFI.

I would like to convert all my plugs to three pin plugs because it is a pain to use the adapters to plug in anything with three prongs.

Do I need to get the electrician to also add ground to all my plugs? I am hoping that someone can explain in simple terms why I should or should not.


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You can use GFCI receptacles in place of two prong plugs at each location.
Keep in mind this does NOT create a ground, just protects people (pretty well).

Electronic equipment needs a 3-prong plug with a solid ground for protection from static electricity (among other issues).

If you own the house you could start to upgrade circuits (in most places) dedicated to computers and other expensive electronics a little at a time.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:49AM
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Being 1950s vintage, it probably has metal j-boxes, and metal conduits, giving you excellent grounding all the way back to the main panel. If so, then you only have to drill and tap the individual j-boxes for a green GND screw, then connect the new 3-prong receptacles to GND with a short "pigtail" of green or bare copper wire, of proper gauge.

Architectural side note: is house by any chance a cool 50s style, such as MidMod or Atomic Ranch?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 2:14AM
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Ron Natalie

Actually, depending on the region 50's construction could be anything from knob and tube to to early romex. Can't say I've ever seen residential conduit around here. Around here that era is most likely to be old-style BX which has very dubious grounding.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 5:47AM
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The major change from BX to AC was the bonding strip to make sure the coils armor coils remained bonded.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Mah bad, I have regional bias, and OP doesn't say where they're located.

OTOH, K&T, as late as the 1950s(!), really? Shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!... lol, pun intended.

Please enlighten my ignorance and name any regions/locales that used, or even allowed, knob and tube, in NEW construction, post-WW2.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 12:58PM
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