Somewhat OT post regarding the NEC requirements

To set the stage for this question, my daughter this week purchased a home in which the outlets were not grounded, and connected to a modern
distribution box with 2-wire flex without a ground.
I lack a copy of the NEC, hence this request is for anyone owning one or familiar with the code.
Can I add runs of #12 insulated, single conductor, green wire back to the distribution box meet code requirements, or must I pull and replace the 2-conductor flex without ground and replace it with flex containing an integral ground conductor?
Electrically, both would function equivalently, but what does the NEC say about this, if anything?
Thanks in advance, and pardon me for posting this on possibly the wrong newsgroups, but I know that some of the craftsmen here are well informed not only metal working machinery but also electrical code requirements.
Harry C.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I asked my electrician about this very topic when I had my service upgraded to Circuit breakers.
He said I would be fine running 12 guage THHN or similar jumper from outlet to outlet and then tying into a home run to ground.
I have also seen a suggestion recently that adding a GFCI to the first outlet in each string gets you similar or better protection since the GFCI will trip on the least imbalance in line vs. return.
OF course, if the old two wire flex is too brittle or has been heavily overloaded, you might be safer to swap it out anyhow.
Another option is to add new circuits for appliance loads and leave the old stuff for 75 watt lightbulbs.
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"fine" just like the wife is just "fine" when she is pissed off and doesn't want to talk about it?
For this to approach fine, you need to run the new ground wire with the other circuit conductors. THis is less important with wood frame than steel frame studs, but you definitely do not want to go around the other side of any metallic objects like gas or water lines, other wiring and the like.

It gets you different protection, both of which can help you in the event of the same fault. A gfci provides you better protection against shock, which grounding won't.

jk
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jk wrote:

HUH???
Are you aware that THHN is single conductor, insulated wire? Please explain your concerns about metal objects.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

SHould be run "with " the circuit you are grounding.
It also depends upon what you mean by the term "flex".
You could mean a two conductor flexible cable ["Flexible Cable" has a distinct meaning in the code].{ IF this is what you mean, then it already doesn't meet code requirements no matter how you ground it.}
A flexible conduit with two conductors in it [Which is what is most commonly refereed to as "flex".]
But I suspect you mean something like two conductor romex, [Type NM] cable.

If it does not run with the conductors of the circuit you are grounding, with will not be quite the same electrically.
jk
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I'm curious. Why is it better to run it with the conductors? Karl
jk wrote:

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I'm curious. Why is it better to run it with the conductors? Karl
jk wrote:

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I don't have a definitive answer about stringing grounding wire. It used to be an acceptable practice.
Electrical wiring can be required to meet local, as well as national codes. Your local codes may determine what's acceptable, as well as who is qualified to do rework/upgrades and inspections.
The insurance provider may have specific inspection requirements.
Property ownership transfer in some areas may require a qualified electrical inspector's approval, and any failures may be the responsibility of the seller. Old residential wiring systems can be a nightmare. There's no way to anticipate the absolutely crazy things that previous "handy homeowners" have done. I've seen taped wire junctions inside walls without a box and numerous other scary situations.
You may be referring to armored BX as flex. The steel armor was considered at one time to be acceptable as the earth ground wiring. The trouble with that system is that the box connectors weren't always properly tightened at the time of the installation, and also that the connections loosen over time. Grounding for 3-wire receptacles was accomplished thru the steel mounting tab screws, but I doubt that will be acceptable anywhere, today.
The GFCI receptacles don't provide infinitely better protection than a proper 3-wire grounded receptacle for appliances/equipment that have 3-wire cords and plugs. GFCI protection is very good for it's intended purposes. It's great protection for 2-wire appliances used around sinks, tubs, and outdoor circuits.
A GFCI without an earth ground wire won't ground the metal cabinet of an appliance with a metal cabinet. Elimination of the earth ground wire will eliminate RF shielding in some equipment, and eliminate the earth ground needed for EMI/RFI filters in some equipment. The effectiveness of surge protection devices can be reduced, or partially eliminated.
A complete electrical upgrade is often the only way to ensure that it's safe. This would be beneficial for the occupants' safety, and the market value of the residence.
WB ...........
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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To Bill and the other responders, I hear you and thanks.
Just to clarify, the home in question is a "starter home" for my daughter, and hopefully she will be there for a lifetime. Still, my concern is making any modifications I make to the wiring deficiencies totally code compliant, in case of a future sale.
Also, to clarify, I may have incorrectly used the term "flex" to refer to what is actually "Romex", liikely NM-B wihout ground, not armored BX,
Since it is only a 1-floor structure with a full basement, rewiring should be easy, plus I'm an engineer with 40 years industrial wiring experience, so while not a professional electrician, I pretty much know what I am doing. No disrespect to the "real" professional electricians, but whoever wired this place had to be a real dunce.
To start with the hot wires and neutrals are reversed in most of the outlets, and the grounds are non-existant. That's where I am starting from!
Electrically, I believe that running a ground wire of suitable gauge and re-wiring the outlets would be sufficient, but am not sure that a ground wire external to the Romex meets NEC or New Hapshire requirements. Of course it would be totally safe and work...but. What happens if they go to sell the home in 5 years?
That's what this question is all about.
At this point I'm pretty pissed at the guy who wired this house, and while buying a first rate distribution box, wired most of the house with minimal cost #14 Romex without a ground (which I didn't realize that was still being sold) with incredibly sloppy wiring technique. Evidently the licensed electrician was a real klutz, but smart enough to use the cheapest wire that he could find assuming that no one would ever notice.
Right now I'm trying to decide whether to rewire the entire house with #12 Romex with ground, or simply to install a separate ground wire from each outlet.
Decisions, decisions.
Harry C.
Wild Bill wrote:

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Hi, I was a commercial/industrial electrician until a few years ago. I still have my union ticket. Anyhow I lost my NEC book but you could go to this site and get a professional opinion instead of guesses:
http://www.mikeholt.com/codeforum/ultimatebb.php?ubb=forum ;f;hardset00;start_point=0
First off, I've never seen a place wired with an added ground as you are contemplating. I don't know if it's legal or not. It's not "workman like". Code requires all installations to be "workman like". That sloppy electrician may have broken the law by the way. You don't mention how old the house is but newer houses require a ground.
Two things: 1. If you do add just a ground, why bother to daisy chain from one outlet to another? Too much work !! Here's an idea: Go to the basement, run a bare copper wire around the perimeter of the house near the floor joists. Then run your THHN ground straight up to the individual outlets. One end ground to your barewire. Or you could forget the barewire and ground to waterlines if those are plentiful. That might work well.
2. I wouldn't even consider doing this seperate ground wire personally. Rewire the whole house with a good #12. (2-wire plus ground. It's not called 3 wire. You don't add the ground in the number of wires. 2 wire PLUS ground. one hot, one neutral, plus a ground. 3-wire is 2 conductors, one neutral)
Think of resale. Also you can have peace of mind that you've replaced any hidden mistakes that that boozo "electrician" did.
Bad "electricians" are everywhere. Do you know why ? You may not realize it but in a nonUnion electrical outfit, ONLY the contractor owner needs a license to wire a house. What I mean is that a guy could get his license, then hire 10 illegal mexicans to actually wire your house ! These mexicans(or someother people of the street) often have never even seen a wirestripper before....it doesn't matter. These sleazy contractors will give the mexican 10 minutes of training and then set them loose ! You definate get what you pay for.
You have to be careful(as you probably already know) with ALL contractors. You have no idea what's going to show up at your door. It's a sleazy business often.
Also some maybe curious to know that a GFI works by senseing any difference between the current leaving the outlet on the hot side and the current returning on the neutral. See, if they aren't identical, that means that current is "leaking out" somewhere in the circuit. Pretty slick I think. That's safety beyond anything a ground can give you. All areas that may be wet should have GFIs installed. But always ground.
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Thanks Gather.
My current inclination it to simpy rewire the entire house, since it is only one story with a full basement. Simply yand out everything there and replace it with #12 Romex with ground.
That way I know that I am code compliant, and also that the job is done in a workmanship style...something that to me is important. After that, I will attack the cruddy hot water heater installation, which uses copper tubing dangling in air for its gas supply (also noted by the home inspector.)
Still, the home is nicely constructed, but was moved from its previous location to a new foundation back in the late 1990s, which is when all the crappy electrical work appears to have taken place. You can't find the workmanship in this home available today. Evidently the original house was built in the 1920s, and the floors and details are wonderful. Also, a very nice neighborhood.
Definitely this is a home worth fixing the minor electrical and other problems. Given the crap on today's home market, I believe my daughter chose wisely. Given a week or two of electrical work and plumbing from 'old dad', she should be able to safely enjoy it for many years to come.
Harry C.
GatherNoMoss wrote:

http://www.mikeholt.com/codeforum/ultimatebb.php?ubb=forum ;f;hardset00;start_point=0
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On 17 Jul 2006 14:04:37 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

sounds very doable. If it dates from the 20s, it likely had "wire and spool" wiring originally. Its a damned shame the "electrician" (spit) simply didnt spend the couple of extra dollars and run Romex with ground and save everyone the trouble.
Gunner

The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong.
In the past few decades, a peculiar and distinctive psychology has emerged in England. Gone are the civility, sturdy independence, and admirable stoicism that carried the English through the war years . It has been replaced by a constant whine of excuses, complaints, and special pleading. The collapse of the British character has been as swift and complete as the collapse of British power.
Theodore Dalrymple,
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Mmm. Do this. It's your best bet and also the easist one in the long haul.
Jim
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I would definately run new NM-B cable and just be done with it. I'd also suggest using NM 14-2/wg cable rather than 12-2 for MOST of the circuits. It is so much easier to snake in, takes smaller holes, pulls much easier, and the wires bend in the boxes easier. But the real incentive to use 14 ga is that many of the boxes are sized so that you can have an extra 14ga wire where the NEC will require you to go to a larger size box if you use 12 ga. Kitchen requires two 20 amp circuits so that has to be 12 ga, bath should get 12 ga also.
This is also a good time to map your ciruits and make some sense of them. Adding a couple extra circuits is good practice also.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Speaking of crap I just worked on a house with 1/2" masonite siding. No sheathing. Drywall on the inside of course. No steel bracing that I could see. Glad I don't live there. Karl
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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On 18 Jul 2006 06:36:23 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

Welcome to the oil patch.
Gunner

The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong.
In the past few decades, a peculiar and distinctive psychology has emerged in England. Gone are the civility, sturdy independence, and admirable stoicism that carried the English through the war years . It has been replaced by a constant whine of excuses, complaints, and special pleading. The collapse of the British character has been as swift and complete as the collapse of British power.
Theodore Dalrymple,
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1/2" - wow that must have been a heavy duty one. When plywood was going through the roof 40 years ago - I bought a house with 1/4" and it was wood grained. But the house was expensive just the same. It was an early Eco attempt.
Glad when I moved. I was concerned the sides would rip off with a jet stream touch down, hail storm, tornado, blue northerner.....
Martin Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member http://lufkinced.com /
Gunner wrote:

-
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The way I would look at this is; The work is about the same if you cobble in a ground system or if you pull all the old wire and install new stuff in a proper manner. If it were my daughter's house I wouldn't think twice about it. I couldn't sleep well knowing that some klutz wired the house and sure as shit there is a screw up waiting to bite one of the grand kids or burn the house down. The 12/2 w/ground would cost a bit more but how much is a good nights sleep worth?? YMMV Glenn
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