Grounding issues

Ok, I’ve got a home that was built in 1994 so it is post NEC grounding requirements. All outlets, except for the new addition, were reading open ground with the tester. The electrician decided he was just going to replace the three prong outlets with two prong outlets and of course he didn’t care about the GFCI’s as the ground isn’t required.

My question: Would you guys still write it up seeing as how the home had been built for three prong?

Food for thought: I’m leaning towards a bad service ground to the home on this and will be asking the electrician to test accordingly.

Yes for sure this is a safety concern .
CYA for sure this strange about the electrician .
I wonder is he really an electrician Roy C

(" Food for thought: I’m leaning towards a bad service ground to the home on this and will be asking the electrician to test accordingly. ')
I would say nothing about your thoughts they could come back to haunt you

The use of an EGC with the branch circuit and a three prong receptacle was required when the house was built so I don’t see how the EC’s remedy was code compliant.

Can you elaborate on the “bad service ground to the home on this and will be asking the electrician to test accordingly.” From what you’ve stated it sounds like the new addition had receptacles that were properly grounded.

A bad service ground would have nothing to do with device grounding. This might be a bonding issue.

Agreed Robert and the fact that the new addition is ok but the main house isn’t is what’s mind boggling to me… ran this by a Master Electrician friend of mine and he stated he has seen this before with a bad service ground. The current “electricians” solution isn’t a solution in my opinion and unfortunately we can’t talk code compliance unless licensed by the UCC.

You mind elaborating on that comment? If a home has a bad service ground and the main panel is reliant on said service ground, how would it not have anything to do with it?

I get the bonding issue too but what’s mind boggling is that the addition is perfectly fine…

The problem Jim and I are having is with the term “bad service ground”. What does that mean? Is there no connection to a grounding electrode, no main bonding jumper (MBJ), no connection in the service panel of the branch circuit EGC’s?

I think that what Jim was guessing is that “no service ground” means no connection to a grounding electrode. If so as he stated correctly that has nothing to with the grounding of a receptacle. Receptacle grounding would be accomplished by using an EGC with the branch circuit and the connection of the MBJ in the service panel.

If the system were completely ungrounded due to a missing required component then the addition receptacles would not be grounded either. Maybe you can provide some further information and we can figure out what the problem is. :cool:

In my comment, the service line ground would be the ground from outside service supplying the home.

I also had the same thoughts about the addition reading proper wiring… that’s what’s so mind boggling. The outlets have grounds but show open, if you place a meter on the hot and ground you get a reading of about 22 volts and if you check continuity from the ground and neutral there isn’t any and it reads that way for all grounds in the main house even though they clearly have grounds fastened to the ground bar.

Robert, I was assuming the bad service ground was a rod and gec. is needed.

That’s what I thought. I agree more info is needed, some photo’s of the actual panel interior would help. This is actually pretty complex and without the proper terminology it’s hard to know exactly what’s installed.

Greetings Mr. Jones,

I also would be in the camp that the phrase “bad service ground” is a bit misleading. Since the requirement for EGC’s “Equipment Grounding Conductors” clearly was required in 1994, if they are missing for some reason then simply report that fact and move on.

If the case happens to be that no “main bonding jumper” or no “grounding electrode system” or no “grounding electrode conductor” or no “grounding electrode(s)” exist then report it specifically as to the defect that is missing so that the “licensed and insured” electrical contractor know exactly what the issue is and it can be rectified without delay to each party involved.

The evidence or lack of evidence should be shown within the panel enclosure as to the validity of the safety grounding system (EGC’s) installed and if not simply state that fact. The other items I mentioned can also be wholly or partially verified in the same location and reported accordingly.

Yes, GFCI’s of the Class A and B do not necessarily need an equipment grounding conductor (EGC) to function. However, the use of them in an installation that should have an EGC and doesn’t will not remove the fact the EGC is not present during a time frame that would have required it. The GFCI can be a huge benefit in remodels and retrofits but alas again it should not be a “carte blanche” approach to installations where a EGC should be present at the time of installation and someone choose to not install one.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

Thanks for the detailed reply, my terminology of “bad service ground” was referring to the actual service line coming into the meter. I assumed everyone would know when I said “Service”, my apologies.

Grounding for the service has nothing to do with device grounding. Entirely different purpose. Devices are grounded by the grounding conductor run for the circuit or a metallic conduit.

Are you referring to a grounding electrode conductor running from an electrode (E.g.-ground rod) into the meter? As Jim stated that would have little to do with the function of the equipment grounding conductors run with the branch circuits.

Well to be honest you can say “service” all you wish but if you are talking about the “grounded” conductor of the service then your statement would not lead anyone to that conclusion. As I stated, clarity is always best to express if you are talking about an EGC, GEC, GES, EBJ, MBJ and so on. I won’t elaborate on the acronyms above since they are covered in my previous post in their full description.

Clarity is always best…never assume anything in a world where we have teens eating tide pods and spraying lighter fluid on themselves in an ONLINE challenge.

Lmao, good point!

So everyone knows, it was the ground coming from the pile into the house. Penelec came out fixed it free of charge. Thanks for all the replies.

I think you mean pole which would make it a very dangerous defect. Glad you caught it and persisted to have it repaired.

You’ll find that the electricians that help us on this board, e.g. Paul Abernathy, Robert Meier and Jim port, are very knowledgable especially in using the correct terms for an item that is referred to in our questions. :slight_smile:

So you’re saying that the grounded conductor (neutral) from the pole was open?

I assume you mean the Grounded (Neutral) Conductor. If this was the case you should have had a lot more mess on your hands with an open grounded conductor…

Either way glad you got it all straightened out.