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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
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garage wiring question..

I hope somebody has some insight on this. None of the outlets in my garage are grounded. they have 3 prong outlets, but the ground in the box isnt connected to anything. one outlet specifically will be running a compressor, so it would be better if it were grounded

the garage construction has a huge steel I beam running the legnth of the ceiling, which is supported in the middle by a steel pole which runs into the concrete, and i am assuming the dirt beneath.

if i run a copper wire from the ground on the socket and connect it to the I beam, would that ground the outlet? in the event of a spike, would the spike just disperse to the ground via the beams? or would it jump like lightning to my face and kill me?

thanks
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 07:05 AM
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The outlet box itself should be grounded. You might just be able to hook your ground to that.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by duessel
The outlet box itself should be grounded. You might just be able to hook your ground to that.
the box is just sitting in a hole cut into the cement block, not connected to anything..
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cherrybombking
the box is just sitting in a hole cut into the cement block, not connected to anything..
Does the box have a ground(copper) running to it anywhere? If not you got to find a ground. Steel beam was not a bad idea.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by duessel
Does the box have a ground(copper) running to it anywhere? If not you got to find a ground. Steel beam was not a bad idea.
the box is at least 60 years old, as was the 2 prong outlet that was in it. only 2 wires in the box, old as hell too. no ground wire at all. the whole house is that way, the home inspector said it was common in houses built in the 40s.

its probably not a huge deal, just thought it would be good to ground the heavy equipment. but i dont want to turn my garage into a giant radio antenna.. or a tesla coil.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 08:29 AM
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We have a few electrical people on the site...check over on the club site too.....you may want to rewire that shiot. Should not cost much if you can get someone to do it on the side. Only cost would be if you needed a new electrical panel and those dig deep into the pockets. Otherwise wire and conduit does not cost that much and is not hard to run.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cherrybombking

its probably not a huge deal, just thought it would be good to ground the heavy equipment. but i dont want to turn my garage into a giant radio antenna.. or a tesla coil.
You will need it for the compressor. My compressor messes with my garage electrical because it draws so much juice. I got a buddy coming out this summer and doing a service and a breaker box for me.

Let me know if you need someone to come out. My man does it cheap. and he is goooood
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by duessel
You will need it for the compressor. My compressor messes with my garage electrical because it draws so much juice. I got a buddy coming out this summer and doing a service and a breaker box for me.
seperate breaker box is great idea man, i hadn't thought of that. that would allow me to run 220 out there for an arc welder. nice...

let me know what he charges you to run the box i may be interested in the future, low on $ right now.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 08:59 AM
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No, you cannot ground an outlet box to a metal pole running into the ground!!!!!!!

Your load center ("fusebox" for you non-electrical folks) MUST be grounded for proper (i.e., local and National code requirements) operation, and all outgoing circuits are grounded to the ground bus on the load center (in a three wire 220 circuit it normally goes to the neutral bus bar). If you try to gound a cirucuit like you want to do, you may cause a short ground curcuit that will mess up your load center in the event of a disaster where you need the ground circuit working properly. The ground circuit must run to one common point at the load center, not somewhere else.

So, if the boob who wired your garage did not use a three wire run to the box, you need to buy a fish tape and run either a separate SOLID bare copper wire or solid insulated (green) wire back to your load center, remove the cover (turn off power first), and find the ground bus, and attach the ground wire to a free screw terminal. There you have it, and with an electric motor drawing that much current I would not want to use it without a grounding circuit unless you want to die if you touch it when it shorts out.

Another option would be to run a ground to another circuit close by that has a real ground wire that runs back to the load center. Make sure it is really a ground circuit that is really attached to the ground bus at the load center.

Fuster

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 09:01 AM
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like someone else said, the stuff isn't that expensive... got to lowe's a get the boxes, conduit, outlets, etc (the wire is cheaper with the more you get). You always need more wire than you think and the stuff doesn't go bad... buy a nice spool and you'll have it around for other projects.

me and my dad re-wired my garage last year and it's so much better with 10 4' flourescent lights out there to work under!

Joe

Last edited by joe-yamma; 02-25-2004 at 09:04 AM.
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