DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > rewiring to fix open ground?




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Old 12-19-2013, 01:14 PM  
bud16415
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Ya you really want the power off before you even try and pull the receptacle out especially with a metal box. Plug a lamp in it and have one of the kids yell (if old enough) when the light goes out. Then go to other rooms and see what’s also off and you will have a clue to what’s feeding what.



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Old 12-19-2013, 06:11 PM  
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Plug a lamp in it and have one of the kids yell (if old enough) when the light goes out
Plug in a radio and turn it up real loud. You will know when the circuit goes off. with out help.


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Old 12-19-2013, 06:22 PM  
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i wish it was that easy lol would have to be one hell of a loud stereo. i cant even hear my GF yelling for me when she's upstairs and im in the basement. need a middle man to relay the message.

or i could just crank the amp gain and volume up and lay the guitar across the top of it. pretty sure the neighbors 3 houses down would know when that thing quit squeeling.

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Old 12-19-2013, 06:36 PM  
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Run an extention cord for some distance down the stairs so could hear a radio playing while flipping breakers.

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Old 12-20-2013, 06:31 AM  
bud16415
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Do they still make radios that plug in? I know they do, we used to use walkie talkies for such things but now with everyone packing a cell that’s the method of choice over screaming. How many times have you called someone you were with in Walmart to figure out where they are at.

There are devices on the market that you plug in an outlet and it sends a tone on the wire, you go to the basement with the other half of the device and touch the breakers to find the correct one. Another method I have seen is to get a heavy duty Xmas 120v flasher box and plug a 100 watt bulb into it go to the panel and use a clamp on amp meter to find the wire that’s pulsing like the light. I have seen electricians build a homemade load box with a switch to trip a breaker, never looked safe to me and if you see one described to build DIY I would not recommend doing that. I never trust any method and once I figure out what breaker it is I still check the wires before going to work on them. If there is even a remote possibility that someone is going to turn that breaker back on you need to post a sign or something warning (Life on the Line) or something meaningful. In an industrial setting we use a system of” lock out tag out”. But that’s not practical for home DIY.

What I would recommend is taking the time once to go thru your house and map every outlet and light and then figure out what breaker powers each. For some reason there is a place to record that inside the panel but they are labeled so poorly it’s hard to figure out at least in the homes I have owned. Do it once and be done with the job and in an emergency you won’t have to mess around. It’s also good to know that outlets on the same circuit are broken up between different rooms etc.

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Old 12-21-2013, 12:08 AM  
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thanks for all the help folks. i shut the power off and hooked the ground to the outlet and it seems to have done the trick. now im wondering how many other outlets are like this.

the whole house rewire we were planning may not be half as bad as we expected, if the rest of the 3 prong outlets have modern wire behind them also and just need grounded that would be great, i was expecting knob and tube. there is knob and tube wire hanging all over in the basement and attic running here and there but im wondering if they just never pulled it when they installed the new pannel and ran the newer wiring to most of the rooms.

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Old 12-21-2013, 06:50 AM  
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Glad it worked out. My house they left all the knob and tube also. Take your time test it and rip it out. What worries me in your case is why anyone would wire grounds like that. And it would still be a good idea to pay a pro to look it over to see if they didn't do something else crazy. Don't be a stranger to the forum. And good luck with the music.

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Old 12-21-2013, 11:17 AM  
Brandon_Hanley
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
Glad it worked out.
My house they left all the knob and tube also. Take your time test it and rip it out. What worries me in your case is why anyone would wire grounds like that. And it would still be a good idea to pay a pro to look it over to see if they didn't do something else crazy. Don't be a stranger to the forum. And good luck with the music.

im still going to post pictures and stil going to have a pro come and finish converting everything to more modern wiring and make sure my family isnt going to burn to death


stranger? nah lol not as long as this place is half as helpfull with the rest of the home repair catagories. this is our first house and i want to learn to fix it up.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:47 PM  
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Seems like insurance companies get nervous when houses have K&T.

Also, your house may be lacking wall insulation to avoid overheating the old wiring. This can checked by looking at your heating bills.

You could check if the remaining old wire is even carrying power. If it does, finding the source and routing for the neutral and hot conductors can be challenging.

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Old 12-21-2013, 02:41 PM  
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Originally Posted by Wuzzat? View Post
Seems like insurance companies get nervous when houses have K&T.

Also, your house may be lacking wall insulation to avoid overheating the old wiring. This can checked by looking at your heating bills.

You could check if the remaining old wire is even carrying power. If it does, finding the source and routing for the neutral and hot conductors can be challenging.
heating bill was insane, so we put in a wood burner last spring for this winter. while putting the wood burner it we confirmed that the walls arent insulated, just some sort of plaster crap with wooden slats coverng the studs then brick.

some of the knob and tube is definatly still carrying power, all the outlets in areas like hallways and in a couple of rooms still have knob and tube behind them, attic lights and outlets are all knob and tube and who knows what else. im only going to mess with it on an as needed basis untill i can afford to have someone come and replace it all in the next year or two.


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