How to improve an old house?

Ok, my friend is considering buying a house in Northern California, and
it's a little older. The outlets are not grounded. It's only 2 prong.
It DOES have use circuit breakers, and NOT fuses though.
I know that simply replacing the outlets with grounded ones, while
cheap, is illegal. However using 3-prong adaptors for everything is a
pain, and makes replacing outlets look very tempting.
So I guess my question is, what can be done to improve things without
much effort? Replace the breakers with GFCI breakers? Just forget
about it and replace the outlets anyhow? What?
Reply to
Anthony Guzzi
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050422 0534 - Anthony Guzzi posted:
The most effortless way would be to change the circuit breakers to GFCI breakers. If you want to change the outlets to grounding outlets, then you would have to go through the whole house and add a grounding wire to all of the outlets and tie them all back to the main panel and make sure that the main panel is properly grounded outside with a ground rod system that complies with the local standards.
Reply to
indago
In a house where the wiring insulation is as old as yours is I would hate to touch any of the outlets. As long as you don't disturb the wiring there will be no further damage to the insulation. Trying to pull out all the outlets and replace them without replacing the wiring could cause many fireworks.
Anth> Ok, my friend is considering buying a house in Northern California, and
Reply to
Kilowatt
Make the current owner have it rewired or knock off a very large chunk of money from the asking price.
Ok, my friend is considering buying a house in Northern California, and it's a little older. The outlets are not grounded. It's only 2 prong. It DOES have use circuit breakers, and NOT fuses though.
I know that simply replacing the outlets with grounded ones, while cheap, is illegal. However using 3-prong adaptors for everything is a pain, and makes replacing outlets look very tempting.
So I guess my question is, what can be done to improve things without much effort? Replace the breakers with GFCI breakers? Just forget about it and replace the outlets anyhow? What?
Reply to
Brian
1) Each GFI breaker will require a position on the neutral bus in your panel, and will cost more than a GFCI receptacle. It would be best if you go that route to hire an electrician so that you don't have to wire things inside the service panel. The electrician can add an additional neutral bus, as required.
2) You can install a GFCI receptacle as the first receptacle on each 15 or 20 amp branch circuit, and feed the rest from the load side. It is then permissible to change the 2 prong receptacles to 3 prong receptacles, even if there is *no* ground at the receptacle location. It is better to avoid doing that on circuits to the fridge, freezer, sump pump - places where you are not likely to notice a power outage unless damage (spoiled food, flooded area,?) occurs.
3) If it is properly wired with armored cable, you have ground available at the junction boxes via the armor. It is then permissible to install a 3 prong receptacle.
4) One reply addressed possibly bad insulation on the wire. (The insulation does deteriorate with age.) That is a real possibility.
Ok, with those points in mind, the most attractive approach, generally speaking, is the installation of a GFCI receptacle in the first position of each selected branch circuit. That provides protection to the whole branch and requires woking in only one jucnction box per branch. And it is the least costly method of improving things. If the wire insulation is in good shape, you can then replace the two prong receptacles with 3 prong receptacles. (Even if it is in bad shape, it can be dealt with, but as the other poster pointed out, disturbing that wiring might bring some difficulty.) Sump pumps should be double insulated - I'd recommend changing to that style if you have one and if it is not double insulated. Fridges and freezers should be connected via correctly grounded receptacles. That's worth installing a new circuit (if needed) in my opinion.
Ed
Reply to
ehsjr
If the old wiring is piped through metallic conduit, you can either 1) ground the outlet 3rd terminal to the mettalic box or better yet, 2) have an electrician pull in new wiring to the CB panel. I opted to do the latter on a 1947 vintage house and all worked well at a reasonable price, including a new 200Amp CB panel.
Anth> Ok, my friend is considering buying a house in Northern California,
Reply to
**THE-RFI-EMI-GUY**
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free 400pp handbook is available online (pdf) Step by step, you will learn how to design or revamp an electrical installation.
"ehsjr" a écrit dans le message de news:c%jae.434$Nc.398@trnddc08...
Reply to
UQBGP
|
formatting link
| This free 400pp handbook is available online (pdf) | Step by step, you will learn how to design or revamp an electrical | installation.
The PDF only has one page. I tried downloading the rest of the PDFs but the directory disallows access.
Do they have an FTP site?
Reply to
phil-news-nospam

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