How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Alex Your Own Question
Alex, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1783
Experience:  Owner of independent electrical contracting company. Licensed Electrical Contractor in CT.
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Alex is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was told by an electrician that older outlets could be grounded

This answer was rated:

I was told by an electrician that older outlets could be grounded by pigtailing a ground wire from the outlet box to the new grounded outlet. Or by finding the first outlet on the branch, putting a GFCI outlet there, then the rest of that branch would be grounded...
Even better, the wire in the wall is old but they had 3-wire...but the outlets are not grounded? Oh boy...
Hello and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to help you.

Is there a bare or green wire in the boxes? Are the boxes metal ?

Do you have volt meter with two probes?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Good morning Alex,

The boxes are metal, the house was built in 58 and it appears most of the old wiring has the insulation around all the wires. There is no green wire, but I am not on site currently.



I had a handyman replace some of the outlets to grounded and they test as grounded, but the rest of the house has the 2 slot ungrounded. I'll be on site in 5....



So the wires have metal shield around ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, sort of the old "braided" black and silver sheathing that is pliable, clamped in the box at entry point.

I understand. Can you see where they enter the box? Sometimes what they used to do is wrap the bare wire around outside sheath right where they enter box.

Can you see that or do you have volt meter with two probes?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Alex, I after digging in deeper it looks like there was a ground wire that was wrapped around the the two wires...argh, so good news.

So now, just pigtail a lead from the ground to the box and to the outlet?

That is correct. You can by green pig tail with screw at Home Depot . Pig tail ground to the box and to the outlet and you good to go. However once done check with outlet tester if it shows that outlet is grounded.

Let me know how it goes.
Alex and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Had some grounding wire, did as described. Tested correctly.


I feel I may have taken up some of your time on this one. I should of checked deeper into the wall and box prior to asking, just didn't see ground tucked up and away. Both hot and neutral were so evident it looked as if there was no ground. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX a good exchange.

You are welcome .

please consider rating my answer when satisfied as its the only way I get paid my share of your payment.

You can bookmark my profile for your future electrical question. That way you can find me easy.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Good morning Alex,


I did in fact rate you...perhaps it didn't go through?


Take a look, let me know.


Thanks again,



It did go through,

Thank you