Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    574

    Default Branch wire - grounding conductor

    This picture is not very clear, but it is an older house 1960 with green braided branch wire. The grounding conductor is smaller than the hot-neutral conductors. I know this was OK way-back then, but is it something to be concerned about today? The outlets where changed to three prong type and all test OK with the smaller ground wire.

    If this is a problem, what should I report to client?

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Member Benefits1
    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Branch wire - grounding conductor

    I would not be concerned about the undersized grounding conductor. I would be more concerned whether they properly grounded the receptacles to the boxes. If the light on the tester indicating that the receptacle is grounded was as bright as the other light, then its probably ok.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Branch wire - grounding conductor

    Is that photo upside down or is that main breaker upside down?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Branch wire - grounding conductor

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Richter View Post
    Is that photo upside down or is that main breaker upside down?
    It used to be allowed to be that way, it is no longer code compliant, think it went away in the late 1970's. The reduced grounding conductor went away in the 1968 or1975NEC. Edit: The requirement was 240.81 in the 1975 NEC requiring "ON" to be up when a circuit breaker is in the vertical position.

    Last edited by Rollie Meyers; 08-25-2014 at 12:24 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Branch wire - grounding conductor

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    I would not be concerned about the undersized grounding conductor. I would be more concerned whether they properly grounded the receptacles to the boxes. If the light on the tester indicating that the receptacle is grounded was as bright as the other light, then its probably ok.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    It used to be allowed to be that way, it is no longer code compliant, think it went away in the late 1970's. The reduced grounding conductor went away in the 1968 or1975NEC. Edit: The requirement was 240.81 in the 1975 NEC requiring "ON" to be up when a circuit breaker is in the vertical position.
    OK. So if it we shouldn't be concerned about it, why was the code changed?? It was most likely changed because of a safety or fire issue. This type of wire isn't allowed in homes anymore for a good reason.

    If we see solid aluminum branch wire in homes, or we see Non-GFCI outlets in damp or wet areas we call it out, even though these were not code issues prior to 60-70's. Why do we call these out in homes of all ages? It seems like we are not consistent. Don't you think we should be consistent or should we just hit the hot buttons that the insurance industry harps on us about.

    MMM! Just some food for thought and maybe some healthy debate.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Luxemburg, Wisconsin
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Branch wire - grounding conductor

    The main is OFF in the picture.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Branch wire - grounding conductor

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    OK. So if it we shouldn't be concerned about it, why was the code changed?? It was most likely changed because of a safety or fire issue. This type of wire isn't allowed in homes anymore for a good reason.

    If we see solid aluminum branch wire in homes, or we see Non-GFCI outlets in damp or wet areas we call it out, even though these were not code issues prior to 60-70's. Why do we call these out in homes of all ages? It seems like we are not consistent. Don't you think we should be consistent or should we just hit the hot buttons that the insurance industry harps on us about.

    MMM! Just some food for thought and maybe some healthy debate.
    When calling out a damp area without GFCI in an old home, the call out is done as a safety suggestion. If a GFCI were to be installed, then if it was done to current code compliance, running a ground wire would be required. However, since a GFCI will safely disconnect an unbalanced load without an earth ground, it will be effective as a safety device when installed without a corresponding wiring upgrade. The ground wire guarantees the appliance cabinet is not energized (above ground potential), should an unbalanced load not be detected by the GFCI.

    As for the undersize ground wire, which was code compliant when installed, the circuit load would have to exceed the capacity of the ground wire, before a safety condition would exist. The code was upgraded to require a path to ground, equal to the phase conductor, to remedy those rare situations when the ground load exceeded the ground wire capacity, compared to the phase conductor capacity.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Branch wire - grounding conductor

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Low View Post
    The main is OFF in the picture.
    No it is not.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Luxemburg, Wisconsin
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Branch wire - grounding conductor

    I stand corrected. Initially it appeared to be the type that hides the on or off but I now see that the top sliver of "on." The position of the switch is difficult to discern in the photo.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Branch wire - grounding conductor

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    OK. So if we shouldn't be concerned about it, why was the code changed?? It was most likely changed because of a safety or fire issue.
    That is true for a long, very long, list of code changes. Are you going to list them all in your report for the 1960's house?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    This type of wire isn't allowed in homes anymore for a good reason.
    If we see solid aluminum branch wire in homes, or we see Non-GFCI outlets in damp or wet areas we call it out, even though these were not code issues prior to 60-70's.
    It is a hazard to a lesser degree, no doubt. Raymond recently found cloth and paper insulation that was rotting away on the wiring in a damp basement. So old wiring does have some safety issues and it is not getting better with age.

    I think as time goes by and client awareness goes up we will be reporting even more of this old stuff as due for replacement. The chimney and water pipes are old too.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •