I live an an old house that has several electrical outlets that are not equiped with a ground port. I would like to upgrad them to recepticles that are equiped with a ground. Helpful suggestions on the best way to do that will be appreciated.
jimsdad please don't take jr's advice that's just an expensive swap that does absolutely nothing. Ground fault circuit interrupters are meant to trip when an imbalance of current is measured between the hot and neutral. They do not make a ground so putting in GFCI's really doesn't remedy a thing when it comes to a system like you have. The correct method is to run new wire to new devices, however it is a costly upgrade. No other options are really solving anything so the correct way to approach it would be to make the items you have that need a grounded plug to be used your first priority to replace. The best way to do this change out if you are planning on doing it on your own is a little at a time to ease the pain on the wallet. The other option is find a good electrician, but this is the DIY forum so my guess is your planning on tackling this one on your own. PM me if you have any questions at all.
Great advice goose you didn't give any. If you just want to use 3 prong outlets put in a gfci breake $40- $60 bucks its nec code approved method or you go goose route have your whole house rewired for several grand.I guess 20 yrs of being a electrical contractor isn't what it used to be
Installing a GFCI in a two wire line will not make it a grounded outlet. National electrical code requires all three prong appliances to be plugged into a properly grounded three prong outlet, answer... Run new wire. Now of course the NEC could contradict itself and allow jakesroost's fix as a better than nothing alterative in some cases but it must be labeled an a no-ground outlet.
I don't think he is looking for a "ground" I think he just wants to use a three prong rec. Yes, if he truly wants a ground then a ground wire must be pulled but if he just wants a simple fix for a three prong rec gfci is the only alternative that fix with a non grounded sticker on the device will pass any electrical insp. and home insp.
My old famr house had mostly two prong receptacles throughout. However, about half of them actually had ground wires running to the outlets, but they were grounded to the metal box instead of the receptacle. So it could be a simple matter of making sure the ground is connected to the house ground and switching receptacles. Or as one suggested fishing new three wire lines to the boxes. I have had to do it both ways. I still have two rooms to go to get rid of the old cloth covered wire and even found two strands of knob and tube lines behind walls. Fortunately already disconnected. Since I was also insulating and running new plumbing lines as well, I found it easier to pull down the old plaster wall and replace it with dry wall in some rooms.
Check and make sure your panel is grounded since if it is a very old install it might not be. If it is older houses sometime they used BX which is the metal sheathed that sometime was used as a ground………bad idea unless the wire had a bonding strip.
If you have BX and it has the bonding strip most likely the metal box is grounded and all you need to do is tap a screw into the box, attach a green wire, put in new receptacle attach black wire to the short slot, white to the side with the long slot and your newly installed green wire to the green screw on the receptacle.
If there is no visible grounding then installing the GFI as already listed is an adequate solution.
If this is a very old house be careful there in not knob and tube wiring and if it has, get professional help. I have seen people hook it up wrong and wonder why they blew out brand new TV’s.
Being an electrician...I have been thru many inspections....Using a GFI is an acceptable means and is also code compliant....If you can get a ground wire to the circuit that would be ideal. If not using a GFI is acceptable in this situation