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Rather than running a separate grounding conductor all the way back to the panel, you could use a ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI (also referred to as a GFI).These safety devices work by detecting any imbalance in electricity flowing out via the hot wire and back via the neutral.A few ground wires are connected to the cold-water supply, but I believe that they are for a 240v electrical-baseboard heater system.

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The electrical service was upgraded to 200 amps, but many of the outlets are still the two-pin style.

The wiring appears to be an older cloth-wrapped cable. Short of replacing all the wire, is there another way to upgrade this system so that I can be sure it is grounded safely?

If there’s more than a minuscule discrepancy, the GFI cuts power to the receptacle or the circuit.

The idea is that if there’s a difference between what’s going out and what’s coming back in, that difference in current might just be leaking out through a person.

The trigger level for a GFI is 6 milliamps for 40 milliseconds.