Electrical

Electrical Questions? Ask an Electrician Online.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Electrical

I have an unfinished basement that has outlets installed on

Customer Question
the walls in metal boxes...
I have an unfinished basement that has outlets installed on the walls in metal boxes with metal conduit, and they are severely corroded. Is it acceptable to change them to sealed plastic boxes and run the ground back to the metal box they are all fed from?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Electrical
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Answered in 1 minute by:
3/26/2011
Electrician: Jason, Service Technician replied 6 years ago
Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,287
Experience: Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
Verified

Jason :

Hello. Thank you for asking your question on Just Answer...

Jason :

Do the conduits go back to a junction box on the ceiling?

Jason :

Is there "romex" type wire inside the conduit?

Customer:

Yes they are all connected to a junction box

Customer:

no they are all armored cable

Jason :

Is there a ground wire in the armored cable?

Customer:

not that I have seen, I just assumed that the sheathing and the conduit would ground all of it back to the panel

Jason :

It may or may not have a ground wire in it. If it's very old, it's likely 2 wire BX, meaning no ground wire. Rather than running an individual grounding conductor, I would probably refeed the outlets with romex and new boxes. If you can route the new wire down the sides of the studs, you won't need to protect it with any tubing. If you just want to replace the boxes, and have 3 prong outlets... but there's no ground wire in the flex, you could replace the standard outlets with GFI type 3 prong outlets. This is a Code legal option, as long as you mark the outlets "No Equipment Ground". Technically, you didn't have an equipment ground before, if the distance from the outlet to the junction box is more than 6 feet.

Jason :

That answer is based on the assumption that you would replace the metal boxes with plastic boxes.

Customer:

I was planning on removing the whole thing and starting from the junction box replace all of it with pvc conduit and boxes, only because the condition of the existing boxes is so bad. They are all surface mounted on brick foundation, that apparently weeps enough water through it to corrode the metal boxes and the conduit that feeds them.

Jason :

Okay, now I understand your question more thoroughly. You can bond the ground wire that will be in each new conduit to the metal junction box that the new plastic pipes will terminate to. If you have the metal flex all the way back to the panel, then the described bonding will ground the outlets. However, today's Code mandates that any flexible metal conduit over 6 feet long is not considered an effective grounding path. But your installation would likely be grandfathered in.

Customer:

yes the two wires that feed the junction box run in a solid metal conduit that runs all the way to the panel so I assumed that if I ran a ground wire through the new pvc conduit and grounded it to the metal junction box the whole thing should be grounded.

Jason :

It would, but I would take a voltage reading from the hot wire to the ground wire at each outlet, after you get everything connected. I would want to know how effective the coiled metal flex is as a grounding path from the metal box back to the panel.

Jason :

Sorry, by "solid" metal conduit from box to panel, do you mean it's not a flexible BX type conduit from box to panel?

Jason :

Is it 1/2" metal EMT (thinwall) conduit?

Customer:

There isn't metal flex to the panel it is a solid metal conduit, but I see your point. Since none of the outlets even have a ground screw on them and they are only two prong the fact that they work at all must mean they are grounded through the conduit

Customer:

The conduit is thicker than the EMT I looked at

Jason :

Actually, the two prong outlets wouldn't be grounded at all, except at the metal yoke when they are touching the metal boxes. Since you have a solid pipe back to the panel from the metal box, and it only has two wires in it, you could add a ground wire to that pipe if you wanted to. However, you don't have to, as the solid pipe itself is considered an effective grounding path.

Customer:

So I can ground the new outlets through a pvc conduit to the junction box and it would be O.K.?

Jason :

Yes, it would be fine.

Jason :

Sorry I misunderstood your original intent.

Customer:

No problem, I know there is no such thing as and easy electrical question I have just never come across this kind of wiring and wanted to make sure I understood what was going on with it before I made a move on it.

Jason :

I understand. I think you have a good plan, it will be fine as described. I appreciate the opportunity to help.

Customer:

Thank you.

Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,287
Experience: Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
Verified
Jason and 87 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Jason Your Own Question
Jason
Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,287
4,287 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.

Jason is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future.

JimmyBagley, IA

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Mike

Mike

Master Electrician

1,425 satisfied customers

Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer

Jason

Jason

Service Technician

4,287 satisfied customers

Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.

Mike G.

Mike G.

Master Electrician

7,603 satisfied customers

Proven Professional 48 years Experience

Kevin

Kevin

Licensed Electrical Contractor

3,715 satisfied customers

30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License

AssuredElectrical

AssuredElectrical

Master Electrician

3,264 satisfied customers

Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade

electrifier

electrifier

Master Electrician

1,458 satisfied customers

Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise

Rich

Rich

Master Electrician

1,115 satisfied customers

Over 35 years residential, commercial, industrial wiring, install, troubleshoot, service, maintain

< Previous | Next >

Related Electrical Questions
Half rou d junction box for a ceiling light fixture. There
Half rou d junction box for a ceiling light fixture. There is a water pipe nearby where i want the light to go … read more
George Smith
George Smith
Vocational, Technical or Trade School
274 satisfied customers
IF YOU SPLISE A WIRE DO YOU INSTALL A JUNCTION BOX. JUST NOW
IF YOU SPLISE A WIRE DO YOU INSTALL A JUNCTION BOX … read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
7,603 satisfied customers
Mounting of junction box in wet location...outside...how
Mounting of junction box in wet location...outside...how high off of the ground does the weatherproof box need to be mounted. Is there a code requirement?… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
7,603 satisfied customers
I would like to convert a wall outlet to a junction box so I
I would like to convert a wall outlet to a junction box so I can add power to the room behind the current wall outlet....I have already removed the wall plate and can see that there are currently 2 wi… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
7,603 satisfied customers
Which wires go where? In replacing a switch and outlet in
Which wires go where? In replacing a switch and outlet in the bathroom I mistakenly didn't label the wires before I ran down to answer the door now I don't know where the three main lead wires into th… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
7,603 satisfied customers
I need help to Hard wire a nanny cam inside the junction box
I need help to Hard wire a nanny cam inside the junction box of a wall outlet. My problem is that the nanny camera camera only has 2 wires (black and white). On the other hand, the wall outlet has 5, … read more
Sam I
Sam I
Electrician
B.S.
379 satisfied customers
Question on wiring GFCI outlet... Late 80's...and no. Outlet
outlet is under the sink...bottom outlet goes to switch on the wall… read more
Sam I
Sam I
Electrician
B.S.
379 satisfied customers
Can you put a junction box In a line going to and electric
can you put a junction box In a line going to and electric stove 40 amp size or does it have to be one continuous run … read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
7,603 satisfied customers
I have a junction box with Al wiring. One Black One Red and
I have a junction box with Al wiring. One Black One Red and a stranded bare common. It used to have a drop in stove. I wish to change over to a new slide in stove with a 3 prong plug. Can I put a flus… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
7,603 satisfied customers
Need help determining wire size, wire type, and conduit size
Need help determining wire size, wire type, and conduit size for 200amp panel with a 200 amp subpanel. Here is a list of my questions: http://mnjustin.com/diagram.jpg… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
7,603 satisfied customers
I'm trying to locate a junction box on a 1988 cavco
I'm trying to locate a junction box on a 1988 cavco manufactured home … read more
ProGrade
ProGrade
Electrical Contractor
564 satisfied customers
What size wire is needed to run underground in conduit to a
What size wire is needed to run underground in conduit to a garage about 60 feet from the main connection at the power pole? This would be connected to a subpanel in the garage. … read more
Kevin
Kevin
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Diploma
3,715 satisfied customers
What would be the reason to have an open junction box in the
what would be the reason to have an open junction box in the crawl space of a house? … read more
Kevin
Kevin
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Diploma
3,715 satisfied customers
6 wires in junction box. 2 2 black 2 copper. About 10
Hook up light, flip switch and it powers off entire living room… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
7,603 satisfied customers
What is minimum size junction box for 200amp service line.
what is minimum size junction box for 200amp service line. … read more
Sam I
Sam I
Electrician
B.S.
379 satisfied customers
I am installing a 15 amp electrical outlet to a junction box
I am installing a 15 amp electrical outlet to a junction box that was not in use but is hot. When I removed the cover plate I discovered 3 black wires twisted and covered by a yellow plastic cover scr… read more
George Smith
George Smith
Vocational, Technical or Trade School
274 satisfied customers
Adding a receptacle to an existing junction box. The old
Adding a receptacle to an existing junction box. The old receptacle tests good but the new receptacle is showing an open hot/ ground. Getting continuity when I test the hot and ground wires. What's up… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
7,603 satisfied customers
Was just informed I might require a Hard Wire Junction box
Was just informed I might require a Hard Wire Junction box with installation of a water heater. Would like to know appx cost for this job and recommendations of electricians in my area … read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
7,603 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x