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another code question


jodil
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The majority of homes I have inspected here were built around 1900-1930. Most of them have updated or semi updated electrical.

Heres the problem I am running into that I need your help with.

Most of these homes have had "some" new wiring. I say some, because most of them all have updated breaker boxes and three prong outlets but none of the outlets are grounded.

I reported on one just like this a couple of weeks ago and asked the seller if I could come back when the electrican came by to fix the issues. Needles to say the electrician was not so happy to have me there, and told me that because the house is that old and not ALL of the wiring is new, that it is fine for the three prong outlets NOT to be grounded because its a "grandfathered in" type situation.

So is this the case? I dont feel that this is ok..

Whats your'e opinion.

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And.......

If an electrician wants to behave foolishly, that is their prerogative.

Develop your reporting style so your observations are "untouchable", i.e., even if the doofus sparky goes on about why he doesn't have to do something, the basic intelligent recommendation in your report & commentary still shines through his bullshit. You want have your comments impossible to misunderstand, and irrefutable in their logic.

It's a developed skill. Katen's got it, so does Walter. I have to work on it constantly; I tend to be a right brain thinker.

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Hi,

The rule is that if you install a 3-hole receptacle it's supposed to be grounded. Some electricians will fall back on the FPN (fine print note) in the code that says it's OK to place a GFCI receptacle in the first receptacle of the voltage stream and then label everything downstream "GFCI Protected" but there's nothing that says it's okay to update receptacles and, due to age, nothing else is required. Heck, even I know that and I'm a moron when it comes to electricity.

So, If I'm a moron, what does that make a sparky who can't find his backside with both hands?

Next time he feeds you a line like that, ask him if he also goes to the proctologist when he needs to get his eyes and ears checked.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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I guess what I am trying to ask is:

If a home has had some electrical updating are there any components that can still lie under the "old code?" Or does any modification or upgrade automatically place the entire system under scrutiny of current code?

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Originally posted by jodil

I guess what I am trying to ask is:

If a home has had some electrical updating are there any components that can still lie under the "old code?" Or does any modification or upgrade automatically place the entire system under scrutiny of current code?

In general, you can upgrade a little bit at a time without having to rewire the entire system. If a state were to prohibit this, the net effect would be to encourage bootleg work.

There is usually a tipping point if the remodel is extensive enough. If you were to completely gut a home, they'd probably make you rewire from scratch.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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It can be a number of different situations, depending on where you are. In the city here, if you have the power shut off to a house they won't turn it back on until everything is up to current code. That hasn't resulted on a lot of heavy makeovers though, because now folks just transfer the bill over to the new name when there's new owner; no shut off between owners. I suppose it does make the city more money, since they have a minimum bill for every month a house sits unoccupied.

The county has no such rule at all.

Brian G.

It's Their Party [:-party]

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So if a house has had an upgrade and switched over to a breaker box from an old fuse box and all of the outlets are now three prong, it is safe to say that the wiring should be new as well? Or would they just leave all the old wiring, replace the box and the outlets?

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Originally posted by jodil

So if a house has had an upgrade and switched over to a breaker box from an old fuse box and all of the outlets are now three prong, it is safe to say that the wiring should be new as well? Or would they just leave all the old wiring, replace the box and the outlets?

Hi Jodi,

Around here it's common for them to market a house as "re-wired." One goes in, sees a brand new breaker box and 3-hole receptacles and then you find that all they did was replace the panel, stick 3-hole receptacles on the old K & T, and collect their check. Of course, it might be that all the electrician did was put in a new panel and collect his or her check and it was the homeowner who stuck in the 3-hole receptacles without grounds. In any event, I write them up anyway.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by jodil

So if a house has had an upgrade and switched over to a breaker box from an old fuse box and all of the outlets are now three prong, it is safe to say that the wiring should be new as well?

Certainly not.

Or would they just leave all the old wiring, replace the box and the outlets?

They might. There's nothing wrong with doing that. (As long as the 3-slot receptacles are either grounded or GFCI protected.)

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by hausdok

. . . Some electricians will fall back on the FPN (fine print note) in the code that says it's OK to place a GFCI receptacle in the first receptacle of the voltage stream and then label everything downstream "GFCI Protected" but . . .

Just for the record, the GFCI thing isn't a FPN, it's a legitimate part of the code in 406.3(D).

In terms of personal safety, GFCI protection on an ungrounded receptacle is much safer than a properly grounded but non-GFCI-protected receptacle.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I use this: (I think I copied it from somewhere on here)

===========

There are several outlets that have been converted to 3 slot receptacles without adding a ground wire or ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This is not safe. Repairs should be made for safety. One way to do this is to provide Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection for the circuit.

Some of the receptacles in the house are two-slot, receptacles, which are typical of a house this age. These receptacles are not grounded; this increases the likelihood that somebody might be shocked.

Safety would be improved by upgrading the receptacles to modern standards.

One way to do this is to install GFCIs in place of the two-slot receptacles, though other ways may exist.

Only you can choose what level of risk you and your family live with. Have a licensed electrician fix it as he and you agree would be best.

==========

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