No ground in old building


#21

Adding a ground wire the correct way is most likely impractical. All three wires should be run together. Maybe for you stereo circuit it’s worth it.

That is 3 wires from the receptacle all the way back to the originating panelboard. I’d just put in a GFCI and call it a day.


#22

I could do the gfci but it would have to be one of those panel ones so I could still use the soloist. which is fine.
I will get some quotes (and cancel my amazon order)
Thanks so much!!


#23

Putting in a GFCI will not give you that extra ground wire to ground your components, but it will protect you if there is a short circuit. If you cannot run a wire back to to your main panel or cold water pipe, which is also grounded to the main panel anyway, you can put in GFCI or leave it alone.


#24

Hmm I could to the cold water pipe, it is about 30 feet away, around the building but there is a wire next to the incoming water cutoff that is connected to the pipe but nothing else…I’ll have a look and see if it was the victim of overzealous trimming…


#25

Note that you do have a ground wire in a way. The neutral is grounded at the panel through a bonding jumper in the main panelboard or at the utility meter. What a 3rd ground wire does is provide for a fault path should a short circuit occur: say a short from the hot to your amplifier case. Without a 3rd ground wire, the amplifier case will be energized and the circuit breaker protecting the circuit won’t trip (no low impedance fault path back to the panelboard). That’s the real purpose of the ground wire. Running a conductor to a copper cold water line is against code because the conductors aren’t run together in the same bundle of wire or raceway. A GFCI will provide some life safety protection. Your stereo will be fine without a 3rd ground wire, under a bad fault condition, you might not be.

EDIT: A house without a ground wire is the same thing as an amplifier manufacture telling you to use a cheater plug to eliminate a hum in an amplifier. The same basic safety consideration is at play.


#26

Thanks @amsco15 and @waymanchen11 I think the prudent thing is to just call an electrician. The last one I called replaced the outlets with three wire ones and grounded each outlet to the old metal outlet… but then put the gfic at the panel which covered most of the outlets but my stereo is on its own. So when he switched out that outlet with the soloist he just tied the neutral and ground of the soloist together.

Anywho, thanks for all the advice, I feel like I am officially in over my head and will call a new person and make sure they do it right.


#27

Good luck. It’s worth having it looked at. It’s possible the code allows odd grounding (water pipes) practices in old houses without a 3rd ground wire to terminal devices. Un grounded systems aren’t something I run into much.

Good luck, let me know how it works out!!


#28

Hey Amsco here is the quote the electrician gave me. There used to be a hot tub out back but the 50A service is still there. The guy is going to install a sub panel and change it to 60A if the wiring allows and run 2 20A dedicated lines and possibly another for a mini split off it. He then is going to ground my current dedicated outlet as well. There are a couple lights in his quote for a hallway that has no lights. I really have no gauge as to what is normal, can you take a quick look (anyone else feel free to chime in)

It’s totally ok if you don’t know as well, I thought I would at least ask!


#29

I my neiborhood, this would be considered an incredible bargain.


#30

You are making me feel better about this. Thank you!


#31

The price seems good. I’d put in a minimum of a 12 pole panelboard (future) fed from the 60A-2P hot tub circuit (assuming the existing conductors are big enough, #6 awg copper if standard THHN wire, yes you have to use the 60deg C column). Run 3#10 awg (assumes THHN copper) to your new dedicated 20A stereo circuit (only #12 is required). This will give you a redundant ground to the sub panel (conduit is the main mechanical equipment grounding comductor). BTW, it’s not a real isolated ground until you bring the dedicated ground all the way to the main panelboard (not worth the money or effort).

Edit: there would be an expected up-charge for what I described but should be modest and worth it.


#32

Awesome, I will go ahead and schedule him and give him your notes so they can adjust as needed. Thank you!!


#33

Oh and I am pretty sure the hot tub was grounded to the main panel but I did tell him that I wanted it grounded back if it isn’t. He just had to snake the wire down the conduit that they already had to the main panel (I will make sure with him, may as well!)

Thanks again


#34

Quick other question, do you mean stranded or solid THHN? I just want to be specific with him. He already agreed to 10 awg, but I should have him put it into the estimate to make sure. and he left out the other dedicated line, which he said was no big deal other than wire cost as he was running it in the same conduit.


#35

Can’t sleep so here I am. Solid or stranded is irrelevant (I’m sure some audiophile would claim a difference). Your electrician will want to use stranded because it’s easier to pull. I like solid because of the better connection at the wiring device. Go with your electrician.


#36

I assumed the hot tub circuit was grounded. Still would need another “isolated” ground to make the recep a true isolated circuit.


#37

Awesome, thanks! Get to sleep!!


#38

Quick question. Do you tip your electrician?


#39

No tips but a cold beer is often much appreciated. I believe solid is a much better choice than stranded.


#40

Cool, thanks for the quick reply earlier. They used solid, didn’t even have to ask! They had to go get it when they got here, but it ended up nice