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Discussion Starter #1
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? :confused:

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
duessel said:
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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cherrybombking said:
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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Discussion Starter #5
duessel said:
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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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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cherrybombking said:

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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Discussion Starter #8
duessel said:
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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No, you cannot ground an outlet box to a metal pole running into the ground!!!!!!!:eek: :hurl: :cussing;

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. :2cents:
 

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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! :cool:

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ok, so i wont ground just that box. even though i still want to. :D..

so you can see from these pictures where the wire enters the garage, and where it attaches to the house. from there it runs down through my roof, through a wall, through a floor and to the breaker box which is on the other side of the house, in the basement.. so running a ground wire could be more complicated than simply running the wire..
 

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Don't mess with electricity

The NEC defines when and where you can run a separate ground rod for electrical service originating from a separate building where the service is grounded as the wires come from the street access. I don't have that in front of me, but one requirement is for the building to be a minimum distance from the main panel. In most cases, this exception is designed for wiring a barn or other large building that will be pretty far from the main panel.

The best and safest procedure is to run grounded wire to your garage from your main panel on your home. You may not like that option, but as far as curbstone advice off this web site, which does not specialize in home repair, that is the best advice without getting in trouble or electrocuted in the event of equipment failure or other short.

I had new operating system installed on my computer, and when that happened I lost the links, but there are several sites I have visited that will have forums for home repair, and I have posted questions about electrical wiring and have had electricians answer (it sometimes takes a week or so to get the right person to respond). You should try that route if you do not like my advice, which admittedly is from someone who is not a state certified electrician (and even if I was, it would not be in your state), and while I have done several wiring projects, including installing sub panels, and while I have read a lot of the NEC for my own use, I am not an expert. However, I am confident that my advice about how to ground your outlet, especially when it will be servicing a moderate to high current draw electric motor, is the best route to take.

I have explored the option of using a separate ground rod to service a sub panel that was pretty far from my main service, and the unanamous answer from electrical experts is that it cannot be done and should not be done because it compromises the ground circuit created by the main panel. All shorts need to ground to one location, which is at the main service panel, unless you have a building with its own sub panel AND the building meets the other requirements in the NEC. If you are not familiar with the National Electrical Code or your local electrical code, you should consult a local certified electrician. This is not the same as repairing sheet rock or installing kitchen cabinets!
:2cents:
 

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If I were you I would have a registered electrician look at your wiring. Depending on the size of the service in your house you may have to change that in order to put a sub-panel in your garage. My suggestion to you would be to have a 200 or 250 amp panel installed, and then have them run a sub panel to your garage. Don't do anything that will burn your house down or kill you. When it comes to electic make sure it is done right.
 

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I have the same problem in my house the wiring in your house does not have a ground wire it is probably the metal clad type. The only way to do it correctly is to:

1. If you have the old style screwin fuses that are 60amp you need to change the box to a new style breaker box a 150amp box will run you about $750 installed, go for 200amps if you can, that includes new service to the electric companys wire attached to your house.

2. You need the electrican to install new updated three wire cable to the garage on Its own circuit breaker

I had my panel changed before I closed on my house last year and will run new wires into my garage. I have a couple of electricians in the family so the labor will be free and they usually bring the parts for free but waiting for them to have some spare time sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks for all the info everyone, you probably kept me from either dying or burning my face off.

i traced the wire from the garage clear to the breaker last night, it will be a pain to re-run, but thats really my only option it seems. i guess until i can get that done ill just continue to use it ungrounded.
 

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Definitely get someone who knows what they're doing... maybe get Duess's connection to come over and take a look some evening and let you know what it'll cost, etc?

It could be worse... The line could be buried (like mine) instead of aerial! When I re-do my line from the house to the garage, i have to dig up my back yard. When I do that, I'll probably run water and gas line too! (at least the gas for a heater).

Bagger... that was Mr. Mom right? (I remember it was Michael Keaton who said it)

Joe
 

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If you need some electrical advice shoot me a pm and I'll try to walk you thru it.

I belive NEC is or will be udating their code. I just replaced my electrical box, upgraded to a 200amp service from the old pushamatic 100amp breakers. Working in the electrical industry has been in my family for 4 generations, plus I work for an electrical engineering firm.

Best bet, like mentioned before, buy new and replace the wire and ground it to the buss bar in the panel.
 
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