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Grounded Outlets in 2 wire system

Posted by DBier on August 11th, 1998 05:12 PM

My friend's house is mostly 2 wire non-metallic. We've noticed that wherever there is a newer 3
prong outlet, there is a jumper wire from the outlet's neutral terminal/screw to the ground screw. I'm
guessing that this was viewed as a simple method of providing some emergency route to ground
should a 3 prong appliance short circuit. Wile we realize that a separate ground wire is ideal, we're
wondering if the current situation is a real problem - Don't ground wires and neutral wires come in
contact at the Neutral Buss bar back at the breaker panel? Is it simply a matter of greater saftey
through redundancy (i.e. a separate grounding wire)? Finally>> From reading past messages in the
Hometime archives, I've learned that, assuming pulling new ground wires is impractical, we can get at
least some shock protection by replacing all the ungrounded outlets with GFCIs (and labeling then as
ungrounded). Is the GFCI route a better alternative than what we have now? If we use the GFCIs
should we jump the neutral to the GFCI ground screw? Your thoughts are appreciated!

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