1952 electrical help.

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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1952 electrical help.

Post by BriMac »

Hey all, we recently purchased a home built in 1952 and have a few questions about the electrical that we haven’t been able to get a definitive answer on. First a bit of info: the house was built in 1952 with some additions in the 80/90s. The additions as well as the original kitchen and bathroom are all good, but the 3 original bedrooms and living room all have ungrounded 2-prong outlets. The previous owner had two of the breaker boxes updated to code before we bought the home, but the outlets and wiring did not get updated. Two of the rooms will be offices handling a decent load of electronics as well as the normal amount in the living room. After researching, I first tried self grounding outlets, as the boxes appear to be metal. However, when tested, it was still showing open ground. So we had an electrician come to assess rewiring and we’re vaguely quoted (tens of thousands of dollars) to get the 3 rooms and living space rewired. We can not afford this. I unfortunately was not there for their visit, but it was relayed to me that he suggested changing the breakers that supply these areas to arc fault / ground fault breakers and to change the outlets to gfi ones. However, I’ve seen online that this may not be the case. So my questions are:

1. What is the safest alternative to rewiring that house were we can have safe 3-pronged outlets.
2. If we were to replace the breakers, how would one go about finding which one is the correct replacement? As most of what I’ve seen says to use the same exact breaker, which doesn’t help when switching to an arc / ground fault.
3. Is switching out the breakers AND outlets redundant or will this actually create a safer system?

Thanks for any input / advice. It is greatly appreciated.

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