I recently moved into a house in the western US built in the late 1950's. Most of the receptacles are two prong and don't have any ground wire running to them. I would like to have three-prong outlets so that I can plug in modern appliances and devices and so that things are as safe as possible.
From what I've read, including here, some of my options are put circuits on GFCI's and labeling them "no equipment ground" (either a GFCI receptacle at the beginning of a circuit, or use a GFCI breaker), run a separate ground wire to the receptacles, or pull a new wire to all the receptacles.
As I understand it the GFCI option is just as safe as having an earth ground except for two issues: 1) surge protectors (or surge protection inside grounded equipment) can't function without the ground, and 2) I may be hunting around to reset GFCI receptacles more than in a house with fewer GFCIs.
Edit: The service and main panel have been updated relatively recently (I don't know exactly when, but I'm fairly certain within the last 20 years) with 200A service and modern looking GE main panel.
I'm thinking of putting most outlets in the house on GFCI circuits and running new (grounded) wiring to a few outlets where there will be electronics with surge protectors or three-prong cords.
- Does this seem like a bad idea? Reasons are to avoid tearing up too many walls/ceilings and/or the cost of lots of electrician time if it comes to that.
- One electrician I talked to recommended pulling all new wire, not just because that's more time for his guys but "because your house is due for a rewire anyway" (this was over the phone, he hadn't seen it, just based on the age of the house). I understand the original wiring could be brittle/not the greatest (it's cloth-covered NM as far as I know), but does that sound right? I can't say I've heard "due for a rewire" before like it's a scheduled maintenance issue.