The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#197636 - 12/11/10 10:15 PM grounding second story outlets
schenimann Offline
Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 194
Loc: Western North Carolina
I am pricing a job of grounding outlets in an old house. The house is 2 story and has all (app 75) the outlets cut into the baseboards. Two questions. Am I better to remove the box, install ground wire and use a rework box for the new outlet. What is the best way to get to the second floor outlets. Do I remove the box and fish a ground down to the box(hopefully no purlins). There is a wide open attic with walking space. There is a old plank flooring down that can be removed if necessary. I haven't grounded outlets in a job like this before.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
#197637 - 12/11/10 11:18 PM Re: grounding second story outlets [Re: schenimann]
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8560
Loc: SI,New Zealand
You are better off to just rewire the place.
Save yourself the pain down the track.
Do it once, do it properly.

This is one of the reasons why self-certification is good, you don't have people doing dodgy work that they have to sign for.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
#197639 - 12/12/10 06:27 AM Re: grounding second story outlets [Re: Trumpy]
Tom Offline
Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
Whichever way you decide to go, put in plenty of money. Re-wiring can be very time consuming and frustrating.

I think Trumpy has you on the right track. It is almost as much work to install an equipment ground as it is to install a new cable. If you go for installing equipment grounds, keep in mind at some point you may need to use #6 copper, see 250.120 (C)

When I was doing house re-wires, for a 2 story house, I usually took the new circuits up to the attic and dropped down to each receptacle. Perhaps you can determine how the house was wired and use the existing cables to pull in new cables.

To sum up, throw plenty of money into your quote. You could easily end up working for minimum wage or less. Rewiring is a good way to burn up man hours.

Since Trumpy is a Red Green fan, always keep your stick on the ice.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
#197641 - 12/12/10 07:57 AM Re: grounding second story outlets [Re: Tom]
twh Offline
Registered: 03/11/04
Posts: 899
Loc: Regina, Sask.
I don't think I've seen a house with the plugs in the baseboard that wasn't lathe and plaster. The would also mean K&T and K&T boxes. Around here, we call that a re-wire.
#197642 - 12/12/10 08:32 AM Re: grounding second story outlets [Re: twh]
leland Offline
Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
I agree with the others,The time it will take for 1 conductor as opposed to a ckt.The same.
My experience: once you start messing with the K&T,you wind up replacing most of it anyway.

My thought would be,price out the material,then set a labor rate.

GFI,rarely work on a K&T setup,based on the way it is tapped hard to get all down stream covered with 1..If this route is taken,go with breakers.
#197643 - 12/12/10 12:47 PM Re: grounding second story outlets [Re: leland]
schenimann Offline
Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 194
Loc: Western North Carolina
The house in k&t. Can I install gfcis at each outlet or at least the ones that are unaccesible. I don't know exactly what he wants. I got the info from the GC. I like the idea of doing it right and pulling new circuits. however I don't know if the homeowner had a rewire in mind. The HO had an earlier quote of $25 per outlet. A set price on a job like this makes me cringe unless it is over and above like you said. I like the material and labor cost quote.

This quote also involves a service upgrade. Outside of these jobs I am rewiring the kitchen, guest room and porch for the GC.
#197645 - 12/12/10 02:12 PM Re: grounding second story outlets [Re: schenimann]
KJay Offline
Registered: 11/27/07
Posts: 763
Loc: MA, USA
I think you could lose your shirt on this job with that fixed price. Often with K&T, if you so much as bend or otherwise disturb the wire the insulation disintegrates and you are now back to square one. The existing device boxes may be too small for the addition volume of another conductor.
Fishing new NM cables in a building with balloon construction shouldn’t be too bad. You can often fish new feeds alongside the chimney right up to the attic.
Just a thought, but I think if a permit is going to be pulled for the job, as it should be [CYA], the inspector might as well be consulted ahead of time as to what he thinks, as that is likely what will make or break the job. That also puts this job on his radar, so that it will be more difficult for the HO or GC to award the job to someone that has undercut legitimate bids because they are unlicensed or otherwise working without a permit.

#197646 - 12/12/10 06:48 PM Re: grounding second story outlets [Re: KJay]
Tesla Offline
Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 1280
Loc: Sacramento, CA
The FIRST question: is it balloon construction?

IF it is, then fishing tends to be a breeze -- even to the second floor.

I agree with others... Skip the bonding conductor -- go with Romex.

Expect to swap out the panel and provide room for AFCIs.

I rather expect that this upgrade is at the insistence of lenders/insurers.

#197649 - 12/12/10 08:45 PM Re: grounding second story outlets [Re: Tesla]
schenimann Offline
Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 194
Loc: Western North Carolina
Thank guys,
I sent the quote on. time and materials.
#197653 - 12/13/10 06:21 AM Re: grounding second story outlets [Re: schenimann]
harold endean Offline
Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
There is another option, though it may not look as pretty. You can always use Wiremold and go around the room with that equipment. It might be quicker than trying to get to each individual outlet.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Shout Box

Recent Posts
Looking for older post
by sparkyinak
01/23/17 12:27 AM
License exam
01/22/17 11:33 PM
Members: Non-Members: Did you know?
by Admin
01/22/17 02:34 PM
Safety at heights?
by HotLine1
01/21/17 08:51 PM
International Wire Colour Codes
by Texas_Ranger
01/21/17 03:29 PM

Who's Online
2 registered (Admin, sparkyinak), 82 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
New in the Gallery:
Desk-mounted "power-board"
Top Posters
gfretwell 9066
Trumpy 8560
pauluk 7693
HotLine1 6833
sparky 5545
Member Spotlight
Member Since: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069

ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals