The Nashville Noodle!

Renovators go a long way to try and fool home inspectors.  In the electrical area, they have an older pre-1960’s house with 2-wire cloth insulated wiring without equipment ground or even worse knob and tube wiring; and the resulting ungrounded outlets.  Sure don’t want to re-wire the house ($) to get the coveted grounded electrical outlets suggesting a re-wired house…..So lets noodle them outlets!



The equipment ground terminal and neutral ground terminals are bonded in the photo with the bare copper wire (the noodle).  This will give the appearance of a properly grounded outlet to a standard plug tester.  No matter what they tell you (yup I have had at least 1 electrician try and convince me this was ok) this does not ground the outlet and does create a possibly unsafe situation.  Just general logic tells us if this was kosher; there would be no reason to have an equipment ground 3rd wire in modern systems in the 1st place!

The report comment reads as follows; Safety- Original 2 wire wiring is present at the electrical outlets. A jumper wire has been installed between the neutral ground terminal and equipment ground terminal at outlets randomly selected for cover removal. It is noted removing electrical outlet covers is outside the scope of inspection and not all covers were removed. This condition is assumed to be present at all outlets. Bonding the neutral and equipment ground terminals does not provide an equipment ground. The equipment and neutral ground systems are to be bonded together at the main disconnect panel only. This configuration is unsafe as it is possible to feed power from the neutral ground system back to an appliance metal frame through the 3rd prong of the plug. If there happens to be reversed polarity in the system somewhere, which sometimes happens in older installations, the full voltage could be present on an appliance frame. The best option is to replace the remaining 2-wire wiring completely. At a minimum, new NM cable with equipment ground present should be installed at outlets serving permanently located 3-prong plug appliances and wet areas (Kitchen counters, bathroom, exterior, refrigerator, clothes washer, computer, flat panel TV, musical equipment. Etc). Remaining outlets that still have older wiring present should have the jumper wires removed and the 3-prong outlets should be replaced with 2-prong outlets. GFCI outlets can be installed on 2-wire wiring systems to provide personal shock safety but will not provide an equipment ground. It is noted installing ancillary equipment ground wires at electrical outlets and then bonding them to local supply plumbing is improper. All equipment ground wires should terminate at the proper bus bar in a service panel. A licensed electrician should be contacted to evaluate and perform repairs.

Hard to catch unless you are experienced and know what you are looking at!

Seeing Knowing Noodling Inspector Bill Carlson

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s