CONNECTION for 2-WIRE RECEPTACLE CIRCUITS- CONTENTS: how to wire an electrical receptacle ("outlet" or "wall plug") when there is no electrical ground present. POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to install and wire electrical outlets or receptacles in buildings.
This article series describes how to choose, locate, and wire an electrical receptacle in a home. In Carson Dunlop Associates' sketch at left the wire circuits shown at upper right and lower right are both two-wire electrical circuits where no ground wire is present. If no ground wire or ground path is provided, it is improper and unsafe to install a grounding (3-prong) electrical receptacle on that circuit.
Watch out: as you see in the two illustrations at the left of our sketch, a circuit with a ground wire will present a bare or green-insulated wire and there will be three wires (or more) present.
Before doing any work on the switch, the power source must be turned off by setting a circuit breaker to OFF or removing a fuse.
Our photo shows a conventional grounded three-prong electrical receptacle - the round hole is the ground connection - at the left end of the picture closest to my thumb. So where do the wires go: to which screws on the electrical receptacle (shown just above) do we connect the black wire, white wire when there is no ground wire?
You will see the hot black wire connected to the bronze or darker-colored screw on the receptacle shown at below right. The missing ground wire - since a two wire circuit has no ground wire, you should have chosen an electrical receptacle that does not include an opening for the ground prong on a wall plug. But the typical wiring instructions for receptacles include a ground wire that may not be present on your circuit - as we explained just above.
Watch out: Electrical components in a building can easily cause an electrical shock, burn, or even death.
The electrical receptacle must be properly screwed to or mounted in the junction box, and the extra length connecting wires carefully pushed back into the junction box so as to avoid crimping, damage, etc. Do not extend or add circuits, wires, or devices to an existing two-wire knob and tube electrical circuit.
The hot and neutral wires must be connected to the proper terminals on the electrical receptacle. Some appliances and some electronic equipment may be damaged if left connected to a reversed-polarity electrical circuit. Generally, if installed on a 2-wire circuit that has no electrical ground conductor, a GFCI electrical receptacle will protect against a hot to neutral short or a hot to ground short at the receptacle but its internal test circuit cannot be used - that is, you can't easily test to know know that the receptacle is working. Ground fault protection - GFCI's: The NEC also requires that only special ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected outlets can be installed in certain hazardous locations like kitchens, baths, garages, outdoors. Arc fault protection - AFCI's: Beginning in 2002 the NEC also required arc fault protection for electrical outlets for bedrooms.
AFCI's are similar to GFCI's discussed above, but they include an additional level of protection against fire by detecting small electrical arcing at a connection - a condition that can lead to overheating and fire. As you can see from this US CPSC photo, you can add Arc fault protection to a home circuit by installing a special circuit breaker in the electrical panel.
By this means you can provide arc fault protection and thus improved fire safety for all electrical outlets on the circuit - for example in the building's bedrooms. I was reading your sections on grounding on older home as I am currently in the process of having several two-prong outlets upgraded. I didn't go that route but was looking to see what your site had to say about the practice. Thanks so much for the question - in the article above and elsewhere I have mentioned the problem of the missing ground wire on a two-wire circuit and also the problem of unreliable ground connections through the receptacle mounting strap screw - but your question helps me see that I must not have made the point clear and easy enough to find. When you are replacing electrical receptacles ("outlets") in an existing two-wire (hot, neutral, no ground) circuit that is in good physical condition, the only recommended and code-approved solution (short of re-wiring) that I have found is to install new two-slot (no ground prong opening) electrical receptacles in the box.
I take it from your message that you already understand the danger of just placing a 3-prong receptacle into an ungrounded box, offering a "faux" ground that would be unsafe. In other words, if the circuit wiring into the junction boxes in which you ask about converting from 2-prong to 3-prong receptacles does not include a ground wire, do not install 3-prong outlets and DO NOT rely on just grounding the box to a new 3-prong receptacle's ground screw. Indeed, mechanically you can sometimes create a detectable ground via such a connection even when there is no ground wire if the box is metal and the incoming wiring is metal-clad BX cable.
Working on an older home in which someone had done this I encountered exactly this situation - it's not just "theory".
The box and BX cable I was working on became "live" (and shocking) when she turned on the vacuum cleaner!
If on the other hand, you are considering providing anew, separate local grounding conductor and local grounding electrode to which you connect a metal electrical box, other than a ground wire that passes all the way back to the main panel, that approach might be technically possible. We need to research the code details further about inconsistent system grounding; an example that comes to mind is the code requirement that a separate branch panel in a detached garage is often connected both to a local grounding electrode at the garage and back to the system ground bus (and through it to the main building grounding electrode) back in the main panel. In general I'm nervous about any home-brew wiring solutions that, even if they seem to "work", may be unreliable, may be confusing to an electrician working on the building in the future, and can certainly add confusion to troubleshooting.
Code compliance: any alternative local ground installation used to provide a true grounding conductor for a 2-wire circuit would have to be code compliant throughout its design, rout, and components.
Costs of grounding vs re-wiring: It seems to me that the trouble, time, and cost of installing custom, properly-wired new ground pathways connecting to each individual electrical box in an old 2-wire powered circuit would be quite a bit more than if we simply ran a new 3-wire circuit throughout. Please let me know if I've misunderstood your question or the nature of your proposed 2-wire circuit grounding solution.
Is it Safe to Use a 3-Prong Adapter to Connect a 3-Pronged Appliance or Equipment Cord to a 2-Prong Ungrounded Electrical Outlet?
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I'm changing out 2 prong receptacles to two prong + ground receptacles on a two wire system. That path, which relies on numerous parts that can often be loose, is unreliable: the path is from the new grounded receptacle's internal grounding connector through a rivet to a metal strap on the body of the receptacle, through mounting screws through the receptacle's mounting ears, through a threaded hole in the metal receptacle box, through a metal BX connector which itself relies on at least four parts to be secured to the metal box, through a set screw from that connector into the armored cable, and thorugh god knows how many more sets of these parts down the entire remainder of the electrical circuit. That path also is not intended to carry current, and should it do so in an emergency, someone touching the BX exterior could be electrocuted. Finally, the receptacle manufacturer provides a ground screw on the receptacle that is intended to be connected by copper wire to a ground wire, parts and codes being ignored if you try using the box and its wire as the ground path. On an ungrounded electrical circvuit you should install only two-prong, ungrounded receptacles - that is code compliant and that also lets users know that there is no reliable electrical ground present.
I have changed several receptacles in my 1994 home, but this time when removing the receptacle from the wall I see a third white wire attached to the side of the old receptacle. DW, it is just too dangerous to claim to know what wiring connections someone has made in a building that is unseen and untested. It would be common for an additional white wire connected to an electrical receptacle to be carrying the neutral line to another receptacle downstream. Regarding the un-used screw terminals on an electrical receptacle, you should simply screw them all the way in and leave them alone. Don't remove the screws - it's not necessary, they are deliberately hard to remove completely, and they could be needed in some future wiring change. Watch out: in some older installations the metal junction box is so tight that an extended, un-used wiring screw may be rather close to contacting the metal sides of the box. I have an existing outlet being used for lamps I wanna run one more outlet shares from the hot on is it okay?
I started installing a box-extender on a receptacle in my kitchen because I'm tiling my backsplash and need to raise the outlet above the tile. Iif the problem is the screw itself is stripped, simply purchase a replacement screw or a handfull of them from your elecrical supplier. For the case you describe, if the stripped problem is the mounting hole you'll need to either enlarge and tap the hole for tne next size larger screw, or purcase a clip-on adapter that slips over the stripped ear through which the original hole passed. For photos and step by step details on how to repair stripped electrical outlet mounting screws, see OUTLET BOX SCREW REPAIR.
I believe that the NEC (at least at one time in the past if not currently) allows replacing a 2-wire ungrounded receptacle with a 3-prong GFCI receptacle and leaving it ungrounded. I think it is not a perfect solution, but it may be an improvement over a std 2-prong outlet, and no one makes 2-prong GFCI outlets. JR not that I have found though I agree that a GFCI can add some safety features to an ungrounded circuit.
The risks of the approach you describe are several, such as providing a false indication that a safety feature is present when it is not, and other hazards not all of which do I list here.
When you test a GFCI using its test button an internal circuit exercises the trip mechanism.

When you test a GFCI using an external tester the tester creates a short to ground - the real ground - which doesn't exist in the case you describe. You are right that no one makes 2-prong GFCI receptacles, though there are certainly 2-prong standard receptacles available. Generally you never want to install a 3-pronged electrical receptacle on a 2-wire circuit because it gives a false visual indication that a ground is present and permits the plugging in of grounded plugs from appliances that expect that ground to be there for safety - it's not present. Yes you physically could wire up a GFCI receptacle to a two-wire circuit that does not have a ground. A better approach would be to put a GFCI breaker in the panel serving the circuit and to use only 2-prong electrical outlets. Upon further investigation at several outlet boxes, I found that the wiring, although old (it's that old silver colored cable) it does actually have 3 wires , black,white and copper. Looking in the outlet boxes, I can see that they actually took the ground wires and twisted them together. Of these boxes I checked, some are grounded via a connection to these twisted together ground wires, and some are not. 2- is this considered an appropriate ground (thinking the ground wire is connected to the cable connector, which is on the box)? 4- TO convert these two prong outlets to 'safe' 3 prong, can I just pigtail at each box the two ground wires in each cable and attach to the ground screw on the new 3-prong outlets AND ground to a ground screw on each box?
So it sounds as if there is a proper ground wire but it was not connected to the receptacles themselves; one simply needs to make that connection when installing new, grounded receptacles.
Question: why can't you just install a jumper wire from the ground to the neutral wire on the 3 prong outlet? It may not be obvious to a normal person who's not an electrician, but the neutral wire in an electrical circuit carries current.
Your tester may not indicate a problem but that's because it's not as smart as a GFCI, AFCI, or your local electrician. On an older 2 wire (hot and neutral only) electrical circuit without a ground, you should not install grounded electrical receptacles as doing so gives a false and unsafe suggestion that the electrical receptacle is safely grounded when in fact it is not.
Also do not use the metal jacket of the BX armored cable itself as a ground path as that too is unsafe.
Leon, if the motor trips the breaker I suspect either it's wired improperly ir there is an internal short in the motor itself.
Timothy Hemm has provided photographs of various electrical defects used at the InspectAPedia TM Website.
John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060.
Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the InspectAPedia Bookstore. Recommended books on electrical inspection, electrical wiring, electrical problem diagnosis, and electrical repair can be found in the Electrical Books section of the InspectAPedia Bookstore. The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. In this post, we’ll be exploring the first things you should be doing with your phone as a brand new Samsung Galaxy S5 owner. Because your smartphone holds a heap ton of personal information, your first act of business should be securing your phone.
Now that your phone is secure and you’ve effectively guaranteed nobody will make it past your lockscreen, now would be a good time to set up your lockscreen with some helpful contact information. Samsung kinda threw everyone for a loop when they introduced their new Settings layout for the Galaxy S5. Probably the most important part of your phone’s user interface is the notification area. The Toolbox is a floating button of sorts that when enabled, can give you shortcuts to apps you use often. With NFC, you can tap 2 phones together (providing it too is NFC-enabled), send photos via Bluetooth, or pair your phone to something like a Bluetooth speaker, even make purchases at 7-Eleven using your phone (providing you’ve set up Tap and Pay with Google Wallet or alternative payment methods). I talked about this briefly in my Galaxy S5 rant, but one thing some users might notice when using the phone is a slight amount of lag when opening apps.
Out of the box, your Samsung Galaxy S5 features a short cut to quickly open up S Voice, Samsung’s own virtual voice assistant app. Not only do we never feel the need to quickly access S Voice (you can always find it in your app drawer), but it can actually slow your roll.
You can do this simply by opening up the S Voice application, going into its settings by clicking the 3-dot menu in the upper right. Altogether, these are pretty extreme measure to simply squeeze a little bit of extra battery life from your phone.
Instead, options like restricting performance and grayscale mode will allow you to use your phone as normal, while ensuring your Galaxy S5 is using only a minimal amount of battery while being used.
Because even LED lights can drain your smartphone’s battery, turning off the LEDs that light up the multitasking and back buttons could help conserve precious juice.
When you first get your phone, we’re sure the first thing you noticed was that intense lockscreen.
Simply jump into your Settings app, scroll down to Motions and gestures and turn off everything you don’t think will be very beneficial to you. Google+ will store an unlimited amount of photos at 2048 pixels wide (roughly 3MP in size).
And that should pretty cover everything you should do as a brand new Samsung Galaxy S5 owner.
For the Latest News of the Samsung Galaxy S5, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. An email signature is a simple way to include important contact information on emails that you write. But if you have an existing signature that is missing some important information, such as your phone number, you might be wondering how you can include that information. While this tutorial is specifically about adding a phone number to your iPhone email signature, you can also take this opportunity to customize your signature with any other information that you want to include, such as your name, address or website address.
If you decide that you no longer want to have a signature on your iPhone, you can learn how to remove it completely. You can add a new phone number from the Personal Information section of your home page using the Home Phone link. Note: If you have problems adding your phone numbers, you can submit an Address Change Form to the Enrolment Services and Student Records office. At right in the photo is the type of electrical receptacle to use on two-wire (no ground) circuits. The flexible metallic conduit exterior of BX cable, for example, is not a safe, usable pathway for electrical grounding. We don't rely on it, and in event of certain short circuits it's unsafe: the exposed metal sheathing of the wire becomes live, risking a shock.
You can see our white neutral wire connected to a silver screw on the receptacle in our photo, below-left.
The receptacle we used for these photos happens to be a 20-A rated device that permits the wire to be inserted straight into a clamp that is tightened against the wire by the screw. You can also see our ground wire connected at the left side of our previous photo, above-left. Installing a receptacle that includes a third opening for the wall plug's ground connector is dangerous if the circuit is not really grounded. You can replace an existing damaged 2-wire receptacle in either circuit type but you should not extend or add receptacles and wires to an existing knob and tube circuit. A GFCI-protected electrical receptacle includes circuitry that turns the electric power off at the outlet quickly should a ground-fault (electricity flowing to earth, such as through your hand and down a water pipe) be detected.
Neutral wire short: similarly unsafe but more subtle is a short between the neutral wire and ground anywhere in the circuit. Turning off power to a circuit on which I was working, I tested to see that the hot wire was "dead" before touching anything. The BX cables from several circuits had some metal contact points in common and the neutral circuit was flowing through the BX not through the proper neutral wire (or part of the current was thus flowing). Even if you didn't care about shocking someone or starting a fire, the "apparent ground" path in this case is unreliable because it passes through a great may often loose connections (metal clips that connect each segment of BX sheathing to each electrical box) - connectors that are not designed for nor intended for secure electrical contact to serve as a grounding conductor.
Bond the grounding conductors together and where a metal box is installed, also include a wire that connects the box to the grounding conductor.

In other words the incoming neutral is connected to one terminal and the outgoing neutral is connected to a second screw that is electrically common with the first.
This can be particularly dangerous (risk of a short circuit) if down the road the receptacle becomes a bit loose in the box.
These screws are a standard thread and length, but longer versions are available at any hardware store.
The reasoning was the the GFCI circuitry would trip from the unbalanced hot-neutral current flow, obviating the need for a grounding wire. So we won't really know if the GFCI is going to protect the circuit nor under which conditions.
Don't forget to confirm that the ground wire circuit is complete back to the panel and to the required earthing connections at the building. If you then place that current on the grounding conductor or ground wire you are making the ground system live.
The issue is that I have three prong outlet and have used the BX metallic conduit 3-wire to connect to the the existing outlet. It is possible that someone used the wrong wire colours and that in your house the orange was supposed to be used as a ground - a mistake easily tested using a DMM or VOM in the hands of an electrician. Your electrician could label each orange wire in each box using green tape to show its a grounding conductor. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. With a fancy new user interface usually comes hundreds of software features and you may not have the slightest clue where to start. Whether you want to do that with a password (high security), pin (medium security), or pattern, the Samsung Galaxy S5 makes this process a little less painful with the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner in the home button. This will ensure that, in the event you ever lose your phone, a good Samaritan will have all the info they need to contact and return it to you safely.
Useful for quickly jumping to apps without even having to visit your homescreen, this too can be custom tailored to suit your tastes. When turned on, you can quickly summon the Toolbox by simply long pressing the back key on your phone. A TouchWiz feature that allows you to use 2 applications simultaneously, this too will take some setting up for maximum effectiveness.
Located on the back of your smartphone, there’s a tiny chip that is only activated when in very close proximity to a reader. Just make sure that once you turn NFC on, don’t forget to also turn on Android Beam and S Beam for full functionality. Because the app is sorta redundant, you may want to stick with Google Search which we’ve found to work better all around (executed by long pressing the home button). For instance, by default, power saving mode goes all out, blocking background data, slowing down performance (making the phone slower when scrolling through menus), and finally, can make your phone display only grayscale (black and white). Because of the amount of messaging applications that rely on background data to function — apps like Hangout, Facebook Messenger, Kik, etc. I mean, you don’t need color or a silky smooth UI to chat with friends or send a tweet, right?
One of the coolest parts about the Galaxy S5 is they actually give you the ability to turn them off.
What that also means is if you use a black background on your lock screen, your phone only has to light up the time, date, and other small text. While some are kinda neat, we found that we didn’t actually need any of these to further the enjoyment of our phone.
If you don’t want your quality to suffer at all, you can always store them at full size, but that will eat into your Google Drive storage (about 15GB when you include Gmail). Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but we think we covered most of the basics. Since the signature is automatically included on any email that you write on your iPhone, it makes sure that you do not forget to include that important contact information. You can change a phone number at any time by typing over the phone number and clicking the SAVE button.
In this case the circuit appears to continue to "work" properly, in that lights light or a device is powered when plugged-in; but the BX exterior sheathing will be carrying the return circuit all of the time that the circuit is in use - potentially shocking someone, and again unreliable as I explain in the next point. My helper, working in the same room, plugged in our shop vac to begin some cleanup, connecting the shop vac to a nearby receptacle that had a different hot wire entering it. Is it acceptable to screw a bare wire to the box with a self tapping screw and hook to the ground screw?
I spent way too much time bent double under my cabinets trying to get it to bite, but when I finally gave up and pulled it out it was stripped at the tip (which was as far as it'd go in). Its design suggests that a ground is present when one is not: a condition that is innately risky since some appliances require a ground for safe operation. Someone then touches a pipe, a metallic armored electrical cable jacket, the screw in a receptacle cover, or anything else connected to the grounding system and also touches ground and they get zapped.
Indicators that improper or amateur electrical wiring was done mean that there may be other improper and unsave wiring details that could electrocute someone or cause a fire. This will ensure you can easily unlock your phone using 1 hand, instead of 2 like in Samsung’s demo. With so many options, it’s worth taking a minute to set up this portion of your Galaxy S5. When the shortcut is enabled (executed by pressing the home button twice), your phone will always wait for a second key press, every time you simply want to return to your home screen.
Instead, we found that turning them off, while unproven, should help battery life, even if only slightly. During the small set up process, you’ll be asked if you want to back up your photos to Google+.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for our Galaxy S5 Tips and Tricks post, detailing all the cool things you can do with your shiny new Galaxy S5. I've also seen cautious electricians wrap the whole receptacle sides with electrical tape before pushing it back into a small box.
There is a third wire that I see in the box but it seems to be Orange color and it is not connected. I tried to wire it to the electrical outlet on the wall but when I turned the motor off, it would trip the breaker. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Some might not even notice the delay, but for those looking to increase the speed and responsiveness of their $600 investment, just turn the dang shortcut off.
I mean, your Galaxy S5 watching to see if your eyes are looking at the display has got to eat up some battery, no matter how minimal. One wonders if at that point, if we're that worried, we ought not to be installing a larger junction box. I connected the new outlet wires to the existing outlet (black to black and white to white) and then connected the green wire to the ground screw on the old outlet. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Don’t forget that you register up to 3 fingerprints, so feel free to register more prints using the 2-handed method as well. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order. This way if you lose your phone (or move onto a new one) all of your photos and videos will be securely tucked away in the cloud. I can't seem to find any concrete answer on the Orange color wire (some sites say it could be high voltage line) so I didn't want to risk connecting green wire to that.

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