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What would be the reason to have an open junction box in the…

Customer Question
What would be the...

What would be the reason to have an open junction box in the crawl space of a house?

Contractor's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?

I am buying a house but the inspection turned up some electrical issues.

Contractor's Assistant: How old is the system in question? And have you consulted an electrician yet?

Havent consulted an electrician. the house is 57 years old. all of the outlets have been converted to 3 prong outlets but none are grounded and there are no GFCIs installed. If GFCIs are installed in the receptacles, don't you still have to run ground wires to the fusebox if the receptacle has no ground? Also, the house has an recent addition which none of the outlets nor the ceiling fan work in. Then there is the issue of why is there an open junction box in the crawl space. I am a 63 year old lady with no knowledge about electrical wiring except what I have been trying to understand on the computer. I don't want to end up with a mess on my hands. Help!

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

No..........I know nothing about it.

Contractor's Assistant: Anything else we should know to help you best?

I put everything in the paragraph up above.

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Electrical
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
6/30/2017
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 10 months ago
Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,289
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
Verified

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) It is a code violation to have an open junction box. All electrical boxes require a cover. Most likely, the previous homeowner forgot to install a cover plate on the Jbox. This is a simple fix. Jbox covers are sold at any Home Depot or Lowes.

2) GFCI protection is allowed to be installed per code where the branch circuits do not have a separate equipment grounding conductor. It is a code violation to install 3 prong receptacles where no ground wire was installed or where GFCI protection was not installed on the individual branch circuits.

3) As far as the dead receptacles and the dead fan, most likely there is a loose wire or a faulty wire splice. Troubleshooting would be required to locate the problem.

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Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 10 months ago

Does that help to answer your questions?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
They are telling me that there was no code for this 57 years ago and GFCI protection will fix the whole problem. But I have read on the internet that this fix will only keep someone from getting shocked, that my electrical appliances are subject to be damaged without a ground. So what needs to be done to get all of the receptacles grounded? Mind you, I am an old 63 year old lady who knows nothing about this so the plainer you put it the more clear it will be to me. :)
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
No, that's okay. Im a broke old lady. That's why I'm buying a 57 year old house and not something newer.
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Is the proper way to get each receptacle grounded to run a wire back to the fuse box on each of them or is there an easier way?
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 10 months ago

Thanks for the replies.

1) Most homes built prior to around 1965 were not grounded. Code permits GFCI protection which will only provide against any potential shock hazards. Even if installing GFCI protection on a branch circuit that does not contain an equipment ground, the GFCI will not provide a ground since no ground exists.

2) In order to get all receptacles, wall switches and light boxes grounded, the circuits would require to either install a grounded wire to each box or to re-wire the entire home. If the circuit wiring was installed with metal conduit (pipe), then the boxes are grounded. Sounds like the home was wired with a cable system such as older NM Romex cable that did not contain a ground? If so, this was very common back in the day.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I would assume the older cable was used since there is no ground. Is installing a ground wire to each box ever a fire hazard and should it be done by a certified electrician rather than someone who is not certified?
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 10 months ago

1) I recommend to obtain 3 firm bids from locally licensed electrical contractors. Have them provide you with a firm bid price to either install ground wires or to re-wire the entire home. Most likely, it will end up as a total re-wire job. Pick the middle of the road bid price and use this to your advantage to reduce the asking price on the home. Have the seller eat the cost of re-wiring the home.

2) Electrical work should only be performed by a licensed electrician and never by a handyman. Handyman are not licensed and they are not intimate with electrical codes.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Thank you, Kevin! You have been really helpful! Have a great day!
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 10 months ago

No problem, glad to assist.

Best of luck on the new home. Have a great day and weekend as well.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.................Kevin:)

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Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 10 months ago

Any other questions?

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Kevin
Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,289
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Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License

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