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#89614 - 10/10/04 04:34 AM romex from the 1960's
shortcircuit Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/04
Posts: 608
Loc: massachusetts
I want to upgrade the plugs to ground type in a house built in the 1960's.The old romex has a reduced size (#16 I think)grounding conductor in the cable that is wraped around the romex and pinched in the connector or under the clamp of the metal box.
What is the correct way to convert to ground type plugs in this case?
Is the reduced size ground wire in the romex OK to use for grounding?

shortcircuit

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#89615 - 10/10/04 05:20 AM Re: romex from the 1960's
CharlieE Offline
Member

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 204
Loc: Indianapolis
There is nothing wrong with the reduced size grounding conductors. The reason the grounding conductors were required to be made to match the circuit conductors in the smaller cables (#10, #12, and #14) is that too many DIYs and jacklegs were using the grounding conductors for circuit conductors. I have even seen the grounding conductor used as a phase conductor where a single-phase switch was converted to a three way without replacing the cable (they just taped up the grounding conductor and connected it to the switch and light fixture).

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Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis, Utility Power Guy
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Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis Utility Power Guy

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#89616 - 10/10/04 08:12 AM Re: romex from the 1960's
shortcircuit Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/04
Posts: 608
Loc: massachusetts
Table 250.122 requires a #14 copper grounding conductor for a 15 amp overcurrent device protected circuit...so how can the #16 grounding conducter in the old romex be used for grounding when upgrading a house to grounded plugs?Is there an exception somewhere?

shortcircuit

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#89617 - 10/10/04 08:27 AM Re: romex from the 1960's
jdevlin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 402
Loc: welland ontario canada
Wouldn't the existing ground conductor be considered grandfather in? It met exisitng codes at time of install.

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#89618 - 10/10/04 08:40 AM Re: romex from the 1960's
capt al Offline
Member

Registered: 06/20/04
Posts: 203
Loc: Norton, Ma USA
shortcircuit, If you are doing this in MA check 406.3(D)(3)(b). 250.130 (C) is not acceptable under MEC.

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#89619 - 10/10/04 08:45 AM Re: romex from the 1960's
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 727
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
Charlie, I was taught the reason the grounding conductors size was increased was for fault clearing, that is, to prevent the grounding conductor from burning open before the OCPD opens.

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#89620 - 10/10/04 09:38 AM Re: romex from the 1960's
CharlieE Offline
Member

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 204
Loc: Indianapolis
BigB, the smaller wire works just fine for fault clearing the same as smaller wire works for fault clearing on larger circuits. Remember that the fault will be cleared before the current will destroy the grounding conductor or table 250.122 would not be valid.

Depending upon where you are working, you may or may not be "grandfathered". You need to check with your local laws and ordinances. In Indiana, you are permitted to continue to wire an addition with the Code that was in force when the home was built.

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Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis, Utility Power Guy
_________________________
Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis Utility Power Guy

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#89621 - 10/11/04 09:43 PM Re: romex from the 1960's
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Table 250.122 has full size grounds for circuits 15 - 30A!

15=14
20=12
30=10

But I too believe it should be OK as an existing installation. Just check with the AHJ, to be sure. If not, GFCI them!
_________________________
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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#89622 - 10/11/04 10:14 PM Re: romex from the 1960's
NORCAL Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 807
If it met the code in effect at the time of installation shouldnt it be Grandfathered in?I was always under the impression that the code was not retroactive but, assuming things can cause lots of trouble.

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#89623 - 10/12/04 03:42 AM Re: romex from the 1960's
CharlieE Offline
Member

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 204
Loc: Indianapolis
 Quote:
Table 250.122 has full size grounds for circuits 15 - 30A!
E57, I understand that, please read my first post and then my second post.

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Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis, Utility Power Guy
_________________________
Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis Utility Power Guy

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