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Wall Outlet Wiring and National Electrical Code

Wall Outlet Wiring and National Electrical Code

Wall Outlet Wiring and National Electrical Code

(OP)
My son just entered his freshman year in college in Boston and moved into a nearby dormitory where I discovered that none of the wall outlets in his room have any ground connection at the wall plates, a situation which is both dangerous and, I suspect, illegal.

I have been given to understand that the wiring may be in violation of the National Electrical Code's Article 250, Grounding and Bonding, but I need some good advice here!

Please, can anyone help???

John Dunn
ambertec@ieee.org

RE: Wall Outlet Wiring and National Electrical Code

That's a local building code issue, amber.  If the dorm was built a long time ago, the wiring may well be "grandfathered".  In most cases, unless there's a very major rennovation in the building, the rewiring is not necessary.  Call the codes enforcement department in the city and ask them.

If you only plug 2-prong devices into the 2-prong outlets, not using a "cheater", it is perfectly safe, assuming the 2-prong system is functioning properly.

RE: Wall Outlet Wiring and National Electrical Code

(OP)
I am very happy to report that the building wiring in my son's dormitory has been re-done and brought up to modern code. "Grandfathering" may have its place, but that old wiring dated from the 1920s when the building was first electrified and it was NOT safe!

I made many long-distance phone calls to a lot of people at the local Buliding Department, at the Fire Department, at my son's school and at two other schools which use the same dormitory service. The upshot was the correction of the wiring problem and the identification and on-going correction of some fire code violations as well. My phone bill hit five-hundred dollars for all of that, but it was worth it to have my son's safety properly seen to!

John Dunn
ambertec@ieee.org

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