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  1. #1
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    Default GFCI on 2 wire system

    One of my inspections yesterday was an older home with 2 wire system with a remodeled kitchen. The kitchen had 2 - 20 amp circuits. All were GFCI. The receps near sink were grounded and responded to testing. The receps on the opposite side of kitchen indicated open ground and did NOT respond to testing.

    Question: Does a GFCI breaker have to be grounded in order to operate correctly or is this a fauly GFCI breaker? I was told by senior inspector that adding a GFCI breaker to a 2 wire system adds protection without having to rewire the circuit.

    Thanks for input.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    ... Does a GFCI breaker have to be grounded in order to operate correctly...
    No. But if the kitchen was really remodeled, I would think the receptacles should have been brought up to current code, including proper grounding.

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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    The receps near sink were grounded and responded to testing. The receps on the opposite side of kitchen indicated open ground and did NOT respond to testing.

    "The receps on the opposite side of kitchen indicated open ground and did NOT respond to testing."

    Depends on how you tested them.

    If you tested them with your GFCI tester, then, no, they would not trip as your GFCI tester requires a ground for it work.

    If you tested them by pressing the Test button on the GFCI, that should have worked as that does not require a ground to work.

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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Thanks. I am not sure how professional the remodel was....The refrigerator was not on a dedicated circuit and recep connected to the sink GFCI. Looked nice but could have been unpermitted so I add that in my report.


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    I pushed the red test button on the breaker and it wouldnt snap.


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    Thanks. I am not sure how professional the remodel was....The refrigerator was not on a dedicated circuit and recep connected to the sink GFCI. Looked nice but could have been unpermitted so I add that in my report.
    Mike,

    This would not be a reliable method to determine if the remodel was professionally done. There is no code prohibition against having the refrigerator on the small appliance circuits, unless, manufacturers instructions call for the individual circuit.


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    I pushed the red test button on the breaker and it wouldnt snap.
    Mike,

    That means the GFCI is either bad or wired improperly. If it is a newer GFCI, they do not reset if wired improperly - but older ones did.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    I know we keep going round and round with this but a kitchen frig is not suppose to be on the circuit with the GFCIs. I know you folks will find it if you look. Even a recent thread brought that up. All new refrig and in different places in different books you will find this to be true. No I don't have any books in front of me or manufacturers installs but when it always gets played out there is always a quote on the matter that is definitive. Matter of fact I always say the same thing and everyone comes back saying I am wrong and then it get played out and someone posts it.


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Ted,

    The GFI protection is only required for the portion of the circuit that serves the countertop surfaces. There is no reason the refrigerator cannot be GFI protected, in fact in a commercial kitchen it is required to be. If the GFI trips from the refrigerator it would be because the unit must be leaking enough current to cause a life safety issue. I don't have access to the UL standard for refrigerators but I am sure they address the allowable leakage issue and it should be way less than the 4-6mA the GFI trips at, similar to a sump pump on a GFI.

    The code does not care if you lose a load of food.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    '08 nec requires refrig's be on GFI or AFI, right?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Ted,

    The GFI protection is only required for the portion of the circuit that serves the countertop surfaces. There is no reason the refrigerator cannot be GFI protected, in fact in a commercial kitchen it is required to be. If the GFI trips from the refrigerator it would be because the unit must be leaking enough current to cause a life safety issue. I don't have access to the UL standard for refrigerators but I am sure they address the allowable leakage issue and it should be way less than the 4-6mA the GFI trips at, similar to a sump pump on a GFI.

    The code does not care if you lose a load of food.
    Well I will have to dig into it I guess later on but the answer always comes up the same. There are a couple recent threads on here I was watching and I sat back and watched a while instead of digging it up. Commercial yes but homes should be on there own circuit and not on a GFCI and not on the small appliance counter receps. Forgive me for not getting detailed but I am not where I can check it out. I even think it was HG or Roland, maybe, that posted what I always find. My aswer was "what a concept" because I always say the same thing and most keep coming back with what you said.


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    The GFI protection is only required for the portion of the circuit that serves the countertop surfaces. There is no reason the refrigerator cannot be GFI protected, in fact in a commercial kitchen it is required to be. If the GFI trips from the refrigerator it would be because the unit must be leaking enough current to cause a life safety issue. I don't have access to the UL standard for refrigerators but I am sure they address the allowable leakage issue and it should be way less than the 4-6mA the GFI trips at, similar to a sump pump on a GFI.

    The code does not care if you lose a load of food.
    Jim,

    What Ted was referring to is a recent thread in which we went over refrigerators on ungrounded circuits and, as I recall from the manufacturer's installation instructions tossed about was: a) the circuit must be grounded; b) the circuit must be for the refrigerator only - per manufacturer's installation instructions, which are, by reference, also code.

    The other issue you are discussing, you are correct, modern day refrigerators (anything in the last 20 years I think it is going back that far) should not have any problem being on a GFCI protected circuit as the UL maximum allowable leakage is something like 0.5 ma, 1/10th of the level at which a GFCI trips.

    The problems with putting a refrigerator on a GFCI is not that of the refrigerator, but of something else tripping the GFCI and there goes the food, however, that is now erased as, per manufacturer's installation instructions, there should not be anything else on the circuit the refrigerator is on.

    The old Catch 22 is now gone because, per the manufacturer's instructions - it's supposed to be on its own circuit.

    So when someone, like myself, has a refrigerator in their garage, on the garage receptacle circuit ... it's writeupable (is that a word? ).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Rating on the nameplate of the refrigerator the 50% /80% rules for the circuit to share with other receptacles you might be thinking of Ted Menelly.


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    One of my inspections yesterday was an older home with 2 wire system with a remodeled kitchen. The kitchen had 2 - 20 amp circuits. All were GFCI. The receps near sink were grounded and responded to testing. The receps on the opposite side of kitchen indicated open ground and did NOT respond to testing.

    Question: Does a GFCI breaker have to be grounded in order to operate correctly or is this a fauly GFCI breaker? I was told by senior inspector that adding a GFCI breaker to a 2 wire system adds protection without having to rewire the circuit.

    Thanks for input.
    How was this grounded/bonding accomplished? EMT?

    Were these opposite side receptacles labeled "no equipment ground"?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system


    Kitchen refrigerator supply does not require GFCI protection, just an individual (15amp rating or more) branch circuit (if you have a refrigerator in the garage or an unfinished basement, 2008 NEC decided to put it on a GFCI protected circuit). You can use one of the two small appliance GFCI protected circuits, but an individual circuit makes more sense for this purpose.

    However, a dedicated GFCI for a refrigerator isn't a bad idea if a pasltic supply line used for ice making and drinking water from the unit breaks and leaks water down the wall.

    This chart gives you a pretty good idea where GFCI are required up to 2002 http://www.mikeholt.com/documents/ne...ment_page2.pdf


  16. #16
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    This is a current diagram from the IRC for kitchen outlet placement. Notice that the refrigerator is not marked GFCI.

    Attached Files Attached Files
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Olson View Post
    Kitchen refrigerator supply does not require GFCI protection, just an individual (15amp rating or more) branch circuit (if you have a refrigerator in the garage or an unfinished basement, 2008 NEC decided to put it on a GFCI protected circuit). You can use one of the two small appliance GFCI protected circuits, but an individual circuit makes more sense for this purpose. ..............
    This statement (outlined in red above) is not entirely accurate. Exception number 2 to 210.52(B)(1) "permits" an individual branch circuit as an exception to having the fridge on the SABC.

    In the sentence outlined in blue above, you seem to correct the misstatement made in red.
    So my guess is, that you're back on track, but the post might be a little confusing for others.

    Unless of course, you are stating that the refridge in the basement or garage can be fed from the SABC's in which case I disagree.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Oh well. I guess I don't have to dig it up anymore. Thanks Mr Jerry and Scott and others.

    Refrig recep is always behind the frig so it is not like you are going to pull the frig out to plug a blender into it. Yes it could happen but the likelihood is nill. There has always been something somewhere whether it me manufac specs or others that have called for it to be on its own circuit for quite some time. As far as putting it on a GFCI is just an all around not great idea for food spoiling if popped and load in older homes.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 03-20-2009 at 05:02 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Olson View Post
    Kitchen refrigerator supply does not require GFCI protection, ...
    Nor is the refrigerator prohibited from being on a GFCI.

    Pretty good chart but a bit out of date, so here are the most recent charts:
    - AFCI
    - - ( Construction and Litigation Consultants html file)
    - - ( http://www.constructionlitigationcon..._page-2008.pdf pdf file)

    - GFCI
    - - ( Construction and Litigation Consultants html file)
    - - ( http://www.constructionlitigationcon..._page-2008.pdf pdf file)

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 03-20-2009 at 04:50 PM.
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    I pushed the red test button on the breaker and it wouldnt snap.
    It's a recent installation = new GFCI breaker on 2-wire. Most likely wired incorrectly, easy fix.
    HG is correct, those outlets should be marked as ungrounded, or the downstream outlets can be 2-prong outlets with no ground hole.


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Thanks to all of you for the knowledgable replys to my original posts. From what i could peice together from examining the main service panel, there were 3 new runs of 12 gauge wire to the panel that appeared to be properly grounded. One of them must have been for thee bathroom. I was surprised when one of the circuits in the kitchen tested to be ungrounded so I went back to the panel to double check if ground wire waas not connected but it was ok so I am thinking the GFCI was not connected properly or somewhere the ground was lost though a bad connection somewhere along the line.

    For the refirgerator, I always write it up if not on a seperate circuit. If it is conected to GFCI then I say advised to isolate it so avoid refrg from tripping. I have rarely seen a refrig on a dedicated GFCI. It never hurt to tell the buyer about conditions.

    Thanks again to all of you. I rally appreciate the quick responses and constructive input.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    Thanks. I am not sure how professional the remodel was....The refrigerator was not on a dedicated circuit and recep connected to the sink GFCI. Looked nice but could have been unpermitted so I add that in my report.
    and you'll kindly include why 210-52(b)(1) ex no2 is you local requirement vs. the option the N.E.C. dictates Mike?

    ~S~


  23. #23
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
    and you'll kindly include why 210-52(b)(1) ex no2 is you local requirement vs. the option the N.E.C. dictates Mike?

    ~S~
    I totally agree, Sparky. See my post #17.


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    Thanks. I am not sure how professional the remodel was....The refrigerator was not on a dedicated circuit and recep connected to the sink GFCI. Looked nice but could have been unpermitted so I add that in my report.
    Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
    and you'll kindly include why 210-52(b)(1) ex no2 is you local requirement vs. the option the N.E.C. dictates Mike?

    ~S~
    Welcome to the board, got a name?

    We use our names here so we can get to know each other.

    Also, where are you located, it helps with the questions and answers to know what area, city and state, where the poster is from.

    By the way, Mike didn't say it was a "requirement".

    Mike only said "I am not sure how professional the remodel was...." and the refrigerator might not be the only signal he saw which triggered those thoughts.

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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Oops, didnt know the post doesnt include my name/info. I live in Sonoma, CA and cover all of the north Bay area (Napa, Sonoma, Marin)

    And thank you Jerry for noticing that I am careful what I report. If it doesnt look right based upon my years of experience and knowledge then all I can do is make an oberservation and report it to my client and let them follow up on it only if they want to. Maybe the kitchen was permitted and to code at the time but reporting on code issues is outside my umbrella and I wont go there no matter how much I know about construction.

    Mike Vanoni
    Certified Inspector
    Home Check Inspection Services
    Sonoma, CA


  26. #26
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    IIRC San Francisco and the bay area was slow to approve NM and for many years used 2-wire systems, clung to K&T longer, and bonded metallic conduit methods instead of egc. Using self-grounding/bonding receptacles and intermittant connections to plumbing where required. If I'm remembering correctly had something to do with a fire which claimed a city official's daughter (might have been a former mayor).

    Mentioning this as possible bay area vintage work with later DIY, handy-man, or younger electrician, something as simple as not removing paper washers on a mounted receptacle, adding wall surface depth and not securing to metal box or a change/correction/update (not jumping a non-conductive portion) in the plumbing later might have usurped the bonding previously provided to the portion of the circuit in question.

    Don't recall reference as to the age of the residence - but a thought.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Welcome to the board, got a name?

    We use our names here so we can get to know each other.
    Steve....
    Also, where are you located, it helps with the questions and answers to know what area, city and state, where the poster is from.
    Vermont

    By the way, Mike didn't say it was a "requirement".

    Mike only said "I am not sure how professional the remodel was...." and the refrigerator might not be the only signal he saw which triggered those thoughts.
    Mike admits he writes it up here Jerry

    For the refirgerator, I always write it up if not on a seperate circuit.
    So, unless this is a state addendum to the NEC, i'm curious as to how it is written up as a violation of it

    ~S~


  28. #28
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Warner View Post
    I totally agree, Sparky. See my post #17.
    yes you did Fred

    i guess we'll leave the specture of commercial out of this particular concern , as we are talking about a residential reno if i've read this correctly

    ~S~


  29. #29
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Steve,

    Thanks for the name, please click on 'Contact Us' below and Brian will change your user name to reflect that, also, if you click on 'User CP' just below the inspectionnews logo, you can type in your city and state so it shows at 'Location'.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    If it doesnt look right based upon my years of experience and knowledge then all I can do is make an oberservation and report it to my client and let them follow up on it only if they want to.
    Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
    Mike admits he writes it up here Jerry

    So, unless this is a state addendum to the NEC, i'm curious as to how it is written up as a violation of it
    Steve, Mike writes it up during the home inspection, not during a code inspection, there is no enforcement or violation with a home inspection.

    Codes, as you are used to (as with those of us here are are contractors of various types and code inspectors of various types) are simply "minimum crappiest one is legally allowed to build to", codes are not "good", "better" or "best" construction practices. Codes are simply where you start and make your reputation by doing more than code, and not falling back to code as a defensive position as code is simply "minimum", nothing more.

    Home inspectors are not bound by code, they report their professional opinion, and if most homes around a given area are built a certain way, there is nothing wrong with writing up one which is not.

    However, things which do not meet code, and of which the home inspector is aware of, also get written up.

    Home inspectors have no enforcement power, thus there are not violations per se, which does not mean that a home inspector cannot right a code violation, only that they cannot issue a violation notice - two entirely different things.

    Many home inspectors are also code inspectors and do both types of inspections.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Steve,

    Thanks for the name, please click on 'Contact Us' below and Brian will change your user name to reflect that, also, if you click on 'User CP' just below the inspectionnews logo, you can type in your city and state so it shows at 'Location'.
    is this required to post here?






    [QUOTE}Steve, Mike writes it up during the home inspection, not during a code inspection, there is no enforcement or violation with a home inspection.

    Codes, as you are used to (as with those of us here are are contractors of various types and code inspectors of various types) are simply "minimum crappiest one is legally allowed to build to", codes are not "good", "better" or "best" construction practices. Codes are simply where you start and make your reputation by doing more than code, and not falling back to code as a defensive position as code is simply "minimum", nothing more.

    Home inspectors are not bound by code, they report their professional opinion, and if most homes around a given area are built a certain way, there is nothing wrong with writing up one which is not.

    However, things which do not meet code, and of which the home inspector is aware of, also get written up.

    Home inspectors have no enforcement power, thus there are not violations per se, which does not mean that a home inspector cannot right a code violation, only that they cannot issue a violation notice - two entirely different things.

    Many home inspectors are also code inspectors and do both types of inspections.[/QUOTE]








    This may be quite true Jerry, but the practice/preach disconnect is also true in that anyone bearing the label 'inspector' who 'writes up' what s/he doesn't like is usually acted on.

    in my tenure as an EC i've aquired a multitude of examples are simply too extensive to list here, so in lieu of such extraneous bordom, let's dwell on the potential of Mike's 'write up'

    the residential reno is written up for lack of a dedicated refer circut. The sale of the home is held up due to this. Because the panel cannot accept ONE more circuit, a new service is required (this happens)

    said upgrade is inclusive of $1000 of afci's per the ahj....(on top of the upgrade's cost btw)

    this results in either A) sale blown, sparky out of work...or B) many $$$$'s being spent on something unnecessary

    unfortunately, the dreaded L (liability)ord does as well..... ergo i would highly suggest to any HI the simplicity of CYA (or what's commonly refered to as chapter & verse of code) of anything they see as a 'violation' , or whatever adjective one would choose to describe what is seen as unsavory at the time by the HI

    Put yourself in the homeowners shoes Jerry, you've just been made to realize (possibly by the next sparky who listened and opened the nec for you) that you've spent $5- $6K on something you didn't have to

    All the fine print a HI's report may have alluding to 'professional opinon' may quite well be crushed under the wieght of deeper pockets litigation

    ~Steve


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
    is this required to post here?
    Nope, just common courtesy we show each other.

    This may be quite true Jerry, but the practice/preach disconnect is also true in that anyone bearing the label 'inspector' who 'writes up' what s/he doesn't like is usually acted on.
    Not as long as you know what type of board you are participating in.

    This board is for home inspectors.


    Put yourself in the homeowners shoes Jerry, you've just been made to realize (possibly by the next sparky who listened and opened the nec for you) that you've spent $5- $6K on something you didn't have to

    All the fine print a HI's report may have alluding to 'professional opinon' may quite well be crushed under the wieght of deeper pockets litigation

    Home owners KNOW why they hire home inspectors, as do sellers and all person in the real estate transaction.

    Some electricians do not understand that. We try to help educate them to the difference between a home inspection and a code inspection, and, sometimes we have to do it for the same electrician on different jobs, depending on which hat we are wearing (for those of us who are also code inspectors).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    [b[Jerry Peck;77742][/b]
    Nope, just common courtesy we show each other.


    Not as long as you know what type of board you are participating in.

    This board is for home inspectors.
    Then I will make my name as well as ph # available to those whom ask me personally Jerry

    Otherwise i will retain my anonymity publicly, if you don't mind





    Home owners KNOW why they hire home inspectors, as do sellers and all person in the real estate transaction.

    Some electricians do not understand that. We try to help educate them to the difference between a home inspection and a code inspection, and, sometimes we have to do it for the same electrician on different jobs, depending on which hat we are wearing (for those of us who are also code inspectors).
    i think perhaps you are missing my point here Jerry.

    I've dealt wih quite a few HI's

    once an entity poses him or herself as 'professional' s/he is held liable to a standard, especially if renumeration is gained from said venture

    this doesn't change here , or in the real world, cloaked in some other definition you'd like it to be

    'Inspector' means , and is by definition, a professional that has intrical knowledge in what s/he is inspecting

    No Jerry, i'm here to tell you that the majority of the public doesn't know what HI means, but my 1/4 century of ancedotals aside here....you need only ring up the states that have zero HI certification requirements vs. the litigation going on against them and cross ref it against those that do....

    and might i remind you that we are a very litigant society

    Now, i've been on the mailing 'Inspection News' report for ages.

    I've read some very knowledgeable posters here, but it's offset by these bob villa sorts who aren't qualified to carry my tools

    quite the mix, as in the real world, it needs a little cleaning up im(not so)ho

    i've come out of lurk mode to impart ONE point, and i could care less if you don't like it, or me, because i have no time posers, especially those who would seek to serve public safety in any regard

    Chapter & Verse , your bound by integrity to your own title to own up and present it

    step onto our turf without it, and we'll have you for lunch

    ~Steve , IAEI certified Master EC


  33. #33
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
    Then I will make my name as well as ph # available to those whom ask me personally Jerry

    Otherwise i will retain my anonymity publicly, if you don't mind
    As you wish, as I said, it is just how we show common courtesy to each other, if you chose not to, so be it.

    i think perhaps you are missing my point here Jerry.

    I've dealt wih quite a few HI's

    once an entity poses him or herself as 'professional' s/he is held liable to a standard, especially if renumeration is gained from said venture
    Nope, not missing your point, you are missing the point of home inspectors.

    1) Home inspectors *are not code inspector working with an AHJ and do not have any enforcement power*.

    2) Home inspector are working to their given proclaimed and set standards, either the Standards of Practice of the association they belong to or of the state which licenses them, and sometimes to both.

    [quote]this doesn't change here , or in the real world, cloaked in some other definition you'd like it to be

    'Inspector' means , and is by definition, a professional that has intrical knowledge in what s/he is inspecting[=/quote]

    And HOME Inspector means a completely different type of inspector than CODE inspector.

    It seems as though you do not get that difference.

    No Jerry, i'm here to tell you that the majority of the public doesn't know what HI means, but my 1/4 century of ancedotals aside here....you need only ring up the states that have zero HI certification requirements vs. the litigation going on against them and cross ref it against those that do....
    All I can say is 'You need to get out more.' as the majority of the public DOES know what home inspectors do, and they DO KNOW that home inspection is not a code inspection for an AHJ and that the Home Inspector has no enforcement power.

    and might i remind you that we are a very litigant society
    No need to remind home inspectors of that, home inspectors are very well aware of that.

    Now, i've been on the mailing 'Inspection News' report for ages.
    Excellent, then you SHOULD know what Inspection News is about and who it is designed for - Home Inspectors.

    I've read some very knowledgeable posters here, but it's offset by these bob villa sorts who aren't qualified to carry my tools
    I fully agree with you on that.

    However, the same can be said for electricians, plumbers, contractors of all types, engineers, architects, doctors, et al.

    I've know some electricians who, my best guess, learned what they knew from the guy in the Big Box store aisle.

    quite the mix, as in the real world, it needs a little cleaning up im(not so)ho
    Agree to a point, EVERYONE had some knowledge which they give to the rest of the member here, if only you were to look around and see it.

    i've come out of lurk mode to impart ONE point, and i could care less if you don't like it, or me, because i have no time posers, especially those who would seek to serve public safety in any regard

    Chapter & Verse , your bound by integrity to your own title to own up and present it
    Yep, and HOME INSPECTOR is the title worn here by the vast majority.

    A few electricians, contractors, plumbers stop by and check in, and by and large they are helpful, and there are a few who only post negative posts.

    HOME INSPECTORS are held to their standards.

    As an MATER ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR would like you to be told you are to be held to a standards for a MASTER PLUMBING CONTRACTOR?

    That seems to be what you are proposing.

    step onto our turf without it, and we'll have you for lunch

    ~Steve , IAEI certified Master EC
    It is truly amazing how many say that "we'll have you for lunch" and when all is said an done what was apparently meant was "we'll have you over for lunch and pick up the tab"

    Steve, by the way, that "IAEI certified Master EC" is a good start , now go out and catch up with many of us in all the categories.

    Cheers.

    Your posts, especially your last one, is why electricians are referred to as 'oh, those prima donnas, they don't do any real work, they just brag about themselves'

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Im just getting home and catching up on all the great discussion about inspecting and I wanted to comment on Sparkys example of how my comments about a refrig connected to a GFCI that might trip and melt the ice cream is going to cause A, B, C, etc and may cost 5-6k and/or kill a deal. I guess that could happen but i am very clear to my clients and the realtors that I am just reporting areas that dont look right or may be a concern and might need further attention or NOT. It is up to them to do whatever they want after I provide the inspection. Most people dont do anything!

    A leaky roof? My report doesnt say it has to get fixed before the house is sold but I strongly suggest they contact a licensed Roofing contrator to "further evaluate" and I dont say the house cant be sold until the roof is fixed. I dont even think it says in the real estate contract that either the buyer or seller have to repair what I report. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the only thing required for a home to sell in Calif is operable smoke alarms and a properly strapped water heater.

    Even if I was a licensed contractor and reported a faulty GFCI and it must be repaired doesnt mean the seller has to do it. A $15 GFCI switch is not going to kill a deal but i covered my A@# by bringing it to their attention and deferring, so I did my job without scaring them...everybody is happy!

    Mike

    Mike Vanoni
    Home Check
    Sonoma, CA

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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Might I also mention to Steve/Sparky that as Jerry mentioned, our customers know exactly what a home inspection includes because a good inspector informs the buyer/seller exactly what he is going to do when we review a contract agreement with them and have them sign it before we ever start the inspection.

    Mike Vanoni
    Home Check
    Sonoma, CA

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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Scott,
    No GFCI on the island?


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    Im just getting home and catching up on all the great discussion about inspecting and I wanted to comment on Sparkys example of how my comments about a refrig connected to a GFCI that might trip and melt the ice cream is going to cause A, B, C, etc and may cost 5-6k and/or kill a deal. I guess that could happen but i am very clear to my clients and the realtors that I am just reporting areas that dont look right or may be a concern and might need further attention or NOT. It is up to them to do whatever they want after I provide the inspection. Most people dont do anything!

    A leaky roof? My report doesnt say it has to get fixed before the house is sold but I strongly suggest they contact a licensed Roofing contrator to "further evaluate" and I dont say the house cant be sold until the roof is fixed. I dont even think it says in the real estate contract that either the buyer or seller have to repair what I report. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the only thing required for a home to sell in Calif is operable smoke alarms and a properly strapped water heater.

    Even if I was a licensed contractor and reported a faulty GFCI and it must be repaired doesnt mean the seller has to do it. A $15 GFCI switch is not going to kill a deal but i covered my A@# by bringing it to their attention and deferring, so I did my job without scaring them...everybody is happy!

    Mike
    Mike,

    I agree with some of your points, but I would question the part about when you said you report something that does not look correct. Without knowing if it is correct it would be hard to justify reporting it as incorrect IMO.

    Many share your opinion about refrigerators and GFIs but again the code is designed to protect LIFE, not ice cream. Yes, loss of the food would be an inconvenience and would have a financial impact but death would have a much greater impact. If the GFI trips it is doing the job it is designed to do. The refrigerator might be old and leaking too much current and could be a shock hazard.

    I don't know how HI reports are affecting the current market, but before home sellers were scared of what the HIs reported because it would kill the deal. I had some tell me just to make the fix even though there was no basis for the alleged defect. Some would even question a licensed professional over the generalist without any certifications.

    Until recently all you needed here to be a HI was a flashlight, a clipboard and a business card. Any regulation ws fought because people could lose their jobs. This certainly does not lend much credibility to the industry. I realize that there are groups trying to educate the industry and that not all HIs have this lack of experience and education.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Then I will make my name as well as ph # available to those whom ask me personally Jerry

    Otherwise i will retain my anonymity publicly, if you don't mind
    As you wish, as I said, it is just how we show common courtesy to each other, if you chose not to, so be it.
    and as i said, i will make myself know to any inquires Jerry....




    i think perhaps you are missing my point here Jerry.

    I've dealt wih quite a few HI's

    once an entity poses him or herself as 'professional' s/he is held liable to a standard, especially if renumeration is gained from said venture
    Nope, not missing your point, you are missing the point of home inspectors.

    1) Home inspectors *are not code inspector working with an AHJ and do not have any enforcement power*.

    2) Home inspector are working to their given proclaimed and set standards, either the Standards of Practice of the association they belong to or of the state which licenses them, and sometimes to both.



    indeed true, both ASHI as well as NACHI have 'standards of practice' Unfortunatly, the HI's in America don't have a very level playing field. In my tenure i've encountered engineering level inspections to the ex-GC's having nothing better to do.
    The only common denominator they have is the onus of authority, which transends much of the fine print ...much of which the profession seems to have help with....
    from Some Thoughts on Home Inspections


    There is one area where lawyers are regularly lacking in candor. They fail to advise their client that the fine print in many home inspection agreements practically insulates home inspectors from liability. Consider the language from this contract, which is not unusual.






    [quote]this doesn't change here , or in the real world, cloaked in some other definition you'd like it to be

    'Inspector' means , and is by definition, a professional that has intrical knowledge in what s/he is inspecting[=/quote]

    And HOME Inspector means a completely different type of inspector than CODE inspector.

    It seems as though you do not get that difference.

    granted Jerry, and i'd be more than willing to bow to this if it were the case that HI's talk in generic terms such as the plumbing/electical system(s) is/are A)pristine B)working C)need of attentionD)in poor condition

    This, however, is not the case here......

    We have a 'write up' for what is percieved as a CODE violation, which may not result in it being enforced (i.e.-cited as an AHJ would) , but acted on as being a violation none the less.

    please direct me to where the ASHI >>>American Society of Home Inspectors standad(s) of practice dictates this?



    For Home Inspectors : Standards of practice :

    Electrical system
    Jump to :
    7.1 The inspector shall:
    inspect :
    service drop.
    service entrance conductors, cables, and raceways.
    service equipment and main disconnects.
    service grounding.
    interior components of service panels and sub panels.
    conductors.
    overcurrent protection devices.
    a representative number of installed lighting fixtures, switches, and receptacles.
    ground fault circuit interrupters.
    describe:
    amperage and voltage rating of the service.
    the location of main disconnect(s) and sub panels.
    presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring.
    presence or absence of smoke detectors.
    wiring methods.
    7.2 The inspector is NOT required to:
    inspect :
    remote control devices.
    alarm systems and components.
    low voltage wiring systems and components.
    ancillary wiring systems and components not a part of the primary electrical power distribution system.
    measure amerage, voltage or impedance.











    No Jerry, i'm here to tell you that the majority of the public doesn't know what HI means, but my 1/4 century of ancedotals aside here....you need only ring up the states that have zero HI certification requirements vs. the litigation going on against them and cross ref it against those that do....
    All I can say is 'You need to get out more.' as the majority of the public DOES know what home inspectors do, and they DO KNOW that home inspection is not a code inspection for an AHJ and that the Home Inspector has no enforcement power.
    Yet we have a repetitive situation where that line is crossed right here Jerry, as is constantly being aided and abetted by numerous accomplices. This is why the trade mag writers are gun shy from opining even in professional forums, as their disclaimers are either often breached

    and might i remind you that we are a very litigant society
    No need to remind home inspectors of that, home inspectors are very well aware of that.

    obviously.....

    A Home Inspector's guide to keeping out of the defendant's chair
    How to Avoid Being Sued


    The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors
    Alternate Dispute Resolution Service






    Now, i've been on the mailing 'Inspection News' report for ages.
    Excellent, then you SHOULD know what Inspection News is about and who it is designed for - Home Inspectors.

    and thus, we can now delve into the definitional chasm of litigant glee....i take it you can connect these here....
    Home Inspector
    Professional
    Malfeasance


    I've read some very knowledgeable posters here, but it's offset by these bob villa sorts who aren't qualified to carry my tools
    I fully agree with you on that.

    However, the same can be said for electricians, plumbers, contractors of all types, engineers, architects, doctors, et al.

    I've know some electricians who, my best guess, learned what they knew from the guy in the Big Box store aisle.

    Licensure and/or mandated certification would behoove the profession Jerry. We've all gone down this road btw. The world requires something, the insurance cabal starts in about it, our legislators move on it.



    quite the mix, as in the real world, it needs a little cleaning up im(not so)ho
    Agree to a point, EVERYONE had some knowledge which they give to the rest of the member here, if only you were to look around and see it.


    i've come out of lurk mode to impart ONE point, and i could care less if you don't like it, or me, because i have no time posers, especially those who would seek to serve public safety in any regard

    Chapter & Verse , your bound by integrity to your own title to own up and present it
    Yep, and HOME INSPECTOR is the title worn here by the vast majority.

    A few electricians, contractors, plumbers stop by and check in, and by and large they are helpful, and there are a few who only post negative posts.

    HOME INSPECTORS are held to their standards.

    As an MATER ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR would like you to be told you are to be held to a standards for a MASTER PLUMBING CONTRACTOR?

    That seems to be what you are proposing.


    The issue here is violating the standard of generic oversight, and writing up a specific NEC violation that doesn't even exist Jerry

    This not only violates the HI's own standard of ethics, it creates a potential for litigant disaster in doing so
    A better anology would be to say if i went on an ems call as an emt to your home and said that my professional opinion was that you should have a kidney bone transplant.

    Would you be irked at me after investing many hours and dollars of your time to in fact find that kidneys have no bones Jerry?



    step onto our turf without it, and we'll have you for lunch

    ~Steve , IAEI certified Master EC
    It is truly amazing how many say that "we'll have you for lunch" and when all is said an done what was apparently meant was "we'll have you over for lunch and pick up the tab

    Steve, by the way, that "IAEI certified Master EC" is a good start

    Cheers.

    Your posts, especially your last one, is why electricians are referred to as 'oh, those prima donnas, they don't do any real work, they just brag about themselves'

    you'll forgive my slow response, i had to work......~S~


  39. #39
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
    We have a 'write up' for what is percieved as a CODE violation, which may not result in it being enforced (i.e.-cited as an AHJ would) , but acted on as being a violation none the less.

    please direct me to where the ASHI >>>American Society of Home Inspectors standad(s) of practice dictates this?

    As I said, Steve, you do not have a grasp on what home inspectors do, you have almost no grasping, and in fact you are grasping at straws to try to make home inspectors fit YOUR idea of what they should be doing.

    There is no requirement in aforementioned ASHI practice to dictate that because, LIKE YOUR CODES, Standards Of Practices are "minimums", not
    maximums.

    A home inspector gets up in the morning and KNOWS that he must at least meet the SoP (Standard of Practice) under which he works, which is the same thing as an electrician who gets up in the morning and knows that he must at least meet the "code".

    YOU asked me to show you the ASHI requirement which DEMANDS doing more, and there is none.

    Now, I ask YOU, to put YOUR CODE in the same perspective, where in the code does it DEMANDS YOU doing more than code?

    And, if not there, why do you do more than code, why would you only do the minimum required? There is no code which demands it.

    You really need to stand upright and get your head out of wherever it is which is dark and see the light - SoPs, like codes, are "minimum" requirements. Not only can one do more, but one is expected to do more (meaning that no one is expected to *only do* the minimum for everything).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  40. #40
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Jerry ,
    the issue is more than simply the standard of practice here


    the issue is the scope of practice that a profession is allowed within said standard of practice

    i would this this would be evident to you by now

    from my last posts [url=http://www.homeinspector.org/standards/standards7.aspx#]link[/ur]>>>>
    WIRING METHODS:
    Identification of electrical conductors or wires by their general type, such as non-metallic sheathed cable, armored cable,or knob and tube, etc.

    this is within a HI's scope of practice, insisting on a specific NEC requirement (and in this case one that exists as an option, not a bona fide requirement) is outside of that scope of expertise
    ~S~

    Last edited by sparky; 03-24-2009 at 06:50 PM.

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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Steve,

    The issue IS the Standard of Practice for which one must meet at a minimum, just like the NEC is your 'standard of practice' which you must meet.

    You are probably referring to 'the industry standard', which is the 'standard of care', which is set by what 50% + 1 of the inspectors in a given area do. It has nothing to do with the 'SoP' other than it must exceed that SoP.

    The 'standard of care' is established by, for example, 51 out of 100 area inspectors 'checking each and every receptacle outlet instead of a representative sample of receptacle outlets', along comes inspector 52 who only does what the SoP requires, 'a representative sample'. Inspector 52 is not performing his inspections to the 'standard of care' set in that area by the other 51 inspectors, and, should something happen to a receptacle which inspector 52 *did not check*, it is his error for not exercising the standard of care in the industry in that area, which could result in inspector 52 being found liable for whatever happened.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  42. #42
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    It seems the point of BOTH the LACK of or incorrect GROUND to BOTH half of the countertop (one side of the sink) and a SHARING of the refrigerator (NEEDING A GROUNDED BONDED CONNECTION) and the FAULTY GFCI (OP mentioned he pressed test button and nothing happened) are a DEADLY COMBO. Plug in a TOASTER on the countertop and you have a DEADLY COMBINATION with an easily disturbed case ground of the refrigerator, etc.

    The situation described by the OP in the original and return posts WORTHY OF NOTING in inspection report.

    Defective GFCI present.
    three-prong receptacles testing lack of proper ground and not labeled "no equipment ground" and with defective GFCI receptacle in circuit.

    Refrigerator sharing defective equipment ground and defective GFCI circuit.

    Substantial risk of potential hazard to life. An incomplete or poorly bonded path can prevent a circuit breaker from opening the circuit.

    Recommend: refrigerator receptacle: inspection and verification of proper bonding and equipment grounding conductor and replacement of receptacle and other repairs as recommended following inspection/testing by licensed electrician. Defective GFCI test receptacle and remaining kitchen countertop receptacles: verification of circuit path and replacement of GFCI receptacle and/or other defectively installed and/or labeled kitchen receptacles.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    One of my inspections yesterday was an older home with 2 wire system with a remodeled kitchen. The kitchen had 2 - 20 amp circuits. All were GFCI. The receps near sink were grounded and responded to testing. The receps on the opposite side of kitchen indicated open ground and did NOT respond to testing.

    Question: Does a GFCI breaker have to be grounded in order to operate correctly or is this a fauly GFCI breaker? I was told by senior inspector that adding a GFCI breaker to a 2 wire system adds protection without having to rewire the circuit.

    Thanks for input.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    Thanks. I am not sure how professional the remodel was....The refrigerator was not on a dedicated circuit and recep connected to the sink GFCI. Looked nice but could have been unpermitted so I add that in my report.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    I pushed the red test button on the breaker and it wouldnt snap.
    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    How was this grounded/bonding accomplished? EMT?

    Were these opposite side receptacles labeled "no equipment ground"?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    Thanks to all of you for the knowledgable replys to my original posts. From what i could peice together from examining the main service panel, there were 3 new runs of 12 gauge wire to the panel that appeared to be properly grounded. One of them must have been for thee bathroom. I was surprised when one of the circuits in the kitchen tested to be ungrounded so I went back to the panel to double check if ground wire waas not connected but it was ok so I am thinking the GFCI was not connected properly or somewhere the ground was lost though a bad connection somewhere along the line.

    For the refirgerator, I always write it up if not on a seperate circuit. If it is conected to GFCI then I say advised to isolate it so avoid refrg from tripping. I have rarely seen a refrig on a dedicated GFCI. It never hurt to tell the buyer about conditions.

    Thanks again to all of you. I rally appreciate the quick responses and constructive input.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vanoni View Post
    Im just getting home and catching up on all the great discussion about inspecting and I wanted to comment on Sparkys example of how my comments about a refrig connected to a GFCI that might trip and melt the ice cream is going to cause A, B, C, etc and may cost 5-6k and/or kill a deal. I guess that could happen but i am very clear to my clients and the realtors that I am just reporting areas that dont look right or may be a concern and might need further attention or NOT. It is up to them to do whatever they want after I provide the inspection. Most people dont do anything!

    A leaky roof? My report doesnt say it has to get fixed before the house is sold but I strongly suggest they contact a licensed Roofing contrator to "further evaluate" and I dont say the house cant be sold until the roof is fixed. I dont even think it says in the real estate contract that either the buyer or seller have to repair what I report. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the only thing required for a home to sell in Calif is operable smoke alarms and a properly strapped water heater.

    Even if I was a licensed contractor and reported a faulty GFCI and it must be repaired doesnt mean the seller has to do it. A $15 GFCI switch is not going to kill a deal but i covered my A@# by bringing it to their attention and deferring, so I did my job without scaring them...everybody is happy!

    Mike
    It seems the point of BOTH the LACK of or incorrect GROUND to BOTH half of the countertop (one side of the sink) and a SHARING of the refrigerator (NEEDING A GROUNDED BONDED CONNECTION) and the FAULTY GFCI (OP mentioned he pressed test button and nothing happened) are a DEADLY COMBO. Plug in a TOASTER on the countertop and you have a DEADLY COMBINATION with an easily disturbed case ground of the refrigerator, etc.

    The situation described by the OP in the original and return posts WORTHY OF NOTING in inspection report.

    Defective GFCI present.
    three-prong receptacles testing lack of proper ground and not labeled "no equipment ground" and with defective GFCI receptacle in circuit.

    Refrigerator sharing defective equipment ground and defective GFCI circuit.

    Substantial risk of potential hazard to life. An incomplete or poorly bonded path can prevent a circuit breaker from opening the circuit.

    Recommend: refrigerator receptacle: inspection and verification of proper bonding and equipment grounding conductor and replacement of receptacle and other repairs as recommended following inspection/testing by licensed electrician. Defective GFCI test receptacle and remaining kitchen countertop receptacles: verification of circuit path and replacement of GFCI receptacle and/or other defectively installed and/or labeled kitchen receptacles.

    Apologies for the double post wanted to quote the OPs statements for emphasis.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Steve,

    The issue IS the Standard of Practice for which one must meet at a minimum, just like the NEC is your 'standard of practice' which you must meet.

    You are probably referring to 'the industry standard', which is the 'standard of care', which is set by what 50% + 1 of the inspectors in a given area do. It has nothing to do with the 'SoP' other than it must exceed that SoP.

    The 'standard of care' is established by, for example, 51 out of 100 area inspectors 'checking each and every receptacle outlet instead of a representative sample of receptacle outlets', along comes inspector 52 who only does what the SoP requires, 'a representative sample'. Inspector 52 is not performing his inspections to the 'standard of care' set in that area by the other 51 inspectors, and, should something happen to a receptacle which inspector 52 *did not check*, it is his error for not exercising the standard of care in the industry in that area, which could result in inspector 52 being found liable for whatever happened.
    agreed Jerry, so how then, would this be within the realm of said industry standard of any given HI?

    Quote:
    For the refirgerator, I always write it up if not on a seperate circuit.
    ~S~


  45. #45
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
    agreed Jerry, so how then, would this be within the realm of said industry standard of any given HI?
    For the refirgerator, I always write it up if not on a seperate circuit.
    Could be. I am not familiar with his area.

    I can tell you, though, that we had chapter meetings monthly when I was in South Florida and one of the purposes was to let everyone know what everyone was doing, and to bring as many as possible up to the next higher level as we kept raising that level.

    Some refused to budge, others came part way, others most of the way, and 'the standard of care' for that area kept creeping higher and higher.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    I tried to read the whole thread, but my eyes got tired somewhere around #30. I don't want to start a new thread as I had a similar inspection as the OP today.

    2 wire branch wiring in 1950 house. Two of the original bedrooms had GFCI outlets protecting other outlets as well (none marked as ungrounded outlet). I pulled one receptacle out of the wall and found it with a short N to G jumper or boot-leg ground. I think I remember reading that this was acceptable when on a GFCI protected circuit, but can't find it! Is it OK?


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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    I pulled one receptacle out of the wall and found it with a short N to G jumper or boot-leg ground. I think I remember reading that this was acceptable when on a GFCI protected circuit, but can't find it! Is it OK?

    Nope.

    Never acceptable.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Nope.

    Never acceptable.
    Thanks Jerry, must have been a bad dream .


  49. #49
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Could be. I am not familiar with his area.

    I can tell you, though, that we had chapter meetings monthly when I was in South Florida and one of the purposes was to let everyone know what everyone was doing, and to bring as many as possible up to the next higher level as we kept raising that level.

    Some refused to budge, others came part way, others most of the way, and 'the standard of care' for that area kept creeping higher and higher.

    ok, then there seems there is an internal struggle as to just what would be acceptacle as'standard of care' or 'scope of practice'

    one would need to conceed this as a natural evolution, and actually a good one when done in unison

    but the profession, like any profession, needs to be diligent and self policing as they advance themselves. Renegades who up the ante' on their own will only hamper this endevor

    Jerry, i've been privey to many HI reports in my time, usually all parties simply agree to have what is found pursued by the appropriate trades

    if in fact i were confronted by an HI who had written up a specific CODE violation that didn't even exist, i think i'd be obligated to inquire to said entity to validate it . Wouldn't any ethical tradesman do the same?

    Now if this is the road the HI profession wishes to go down, dealing with the specific's of CODE instead of generic's , so be it, more power to them

    They are then just as obligated as i am to point these specific requests out via the CODE, and thus become a CODE inspector by proxy

    In light of this, i would highly suggest the NEC handbook, a minor investment suggested to every apprentice.

    ~Steve


  50. #50
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Sparky/Steve

    I think the point is that a home inspector operating under the umbrella of liability does not get into code violations and should not be stating specific codes. It is beneficial for us to know and understand codes but as soon as we indicate specifics we are coming off as an expert.

    Mike Vanoni
    Home Check
    Sonoma, CA

  51. #51
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
    if in fact i were confronted by an HI who had written up a specific CODE violation that didn't even exist, i think i'd be obligated to inquire to said entity to validate it .

    Steve,

    The problem is that some tradesman think there is a code violation stated in the home inspection report when the inspection report did not state same.

    My opinion, and one that I did, is that home inspector should not feel they "should not" include code documentation as back up in their reports. I believe home inspectors should be able to, and willing to, include whatever back up documentation they so chose in their reports.

    Doing so limits the "HI who had written up a specific CODE violation that didn't even exist" cases you are referring to, because, during the process of inserting code sections as back up, they would go 'Oops, hmmmm, I thought that was required, guess it is not, guess it is just *normal practice to do it*', thus the home inspector changes it from being non-compliant with the code to being not to normal building standards - which comes back to the tradesman as they also set their standard of care by doing more than minimum code.

    Do not think that minimum code is your standard of care, minimum code is simply the minimum you are legally allowed to do something, the standard of care for, say, electrical contractors in your area is what 50% + 1 do. *IF* none of the electrical contractors in your area *do more than minimum code*, then none of them should advertise or say they do quality work as they are simply *doing the minimum required by law*.

    Steve, applying those standards works both ways.

    How often do you step back and punt and say ... "It meets code."?

    That is like saying ... "Yep, I did only what I was legally required by law to do." Is that any standard to try to defend ones actions on - the minimum required by law? Heck, if you (not you as in the singular you in particular, but you as in the plural for all contractors) only do minimum code and stand on minimum code, your work is the lousiest work allowed by law, what bragging rights are there in that bottom feeder/bottom scraping work?

    Any contractor who stands back and says ' ... that meets code ... ' (assuming that it actually does) is doing nothing by stating that other than stating that they did the minimum they were required to.

    Now, what was your question about a home inspector writing something about something not being there which they usually find and it being slightly more than code ... ?

    And, don't reply with something like ... 'the code only requires' ... that is, after all, only the minimum which minimum contractors use to defend their actions ... ... and I can tell from your posts that you are not one of 'those guys', that you care ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  52. #52
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    I beg to differ with you on one statement you repeatedly make.
    A contractor should not say they do quality work if they are only doing the minimum required. I'm talking about doing "code minimum" here, as are you.
    So if an electrician only leaves the required 6" of free conductors at a box,staples romex at 4 1/2 feet ,supports MC at 6', puts the strap on conduits 3' from the box,runs 1/2" conduit(minimum allowed by code), runs 14 awg conductors for 15 amp circuit,(minimum size allowed by code),or 12 awg for 20 amps,spaces receptacles 12' apart,did not install a disconnect for a water heater that is 4' away from the electric panel in a wide open basement,only installs one gfci receptacle in an elevator pit,puts the elevator pit light and gfci receptacle on the same circuit,
    installs 15 amp gfci receptacle in the same pit instead of a 20 amp,only installs one gfci receptacle in the elevator machine room,
    I'll stop here with examples as I'm sure you (hopefully) see where I'm at.
    The above items are all CODE MINIMUM, "ALL THE CODE REQUIRES"

    If said electrician did the above items he is NOT doing quality work?
    So according to you if he does more or "goes above the code" he is now doing quality work?
    OK The electrician now staples his Romes at 4' 5 1/2" , MC supported at 5' 10", Straps conduits at 2' 10", leaves 6 1/2" of free conductors at the box. This supports are closer then code requires now he is doing quality work.

    My point is just because a person is doing code minimum DOES NOT mean it IS NOT quality work. The code is full of things like I pointed out. Things that there is no reason to do more then required. Would you need more GFCI receptacles in machine room,or pit? NO Would there be an advantage to using a 20 amp GFCI in the pit or machine room ? NO

    You can not judge quality strictly by using the code as a guideline.

    I have seen many quality jobs that are code minimum.
    Quality has to do with the actual installation,the neatness of said installation,the organization of the installation,The materials being used,and the overall result of the installation.

    You can paint a turd pink and purple and call it an Easter egg,but in reality it's still a turd under the paint.

    I have seen my share of crappy jobs that were way above and beyond code requirement.


  53. #53
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    I beg to differ with you on one statement you repeatedly make.
    A contractor should not say they do quality work if they are only doing the minimum required. I'm talking about doing "code minimum" here, as are you.
    So if an electrician only leaves the required 6" of free conductors at a box,staples romex at 4 1/2 feet ,supports MC at 6', puts the strap on conduits 3' from the box,runs 1/2" conduit(minimum allowed by code), runs 14 awg conductors for 15 amp circuit,(minimum size allowed by code),or 12 awg for 20 amps,spaces receptacles 12' apart,did not install a disconnect for a water heater that is 4' away from the electric panel in a wide open basement,only installs one gfci receptacle in an elevator pit,puts the elevator pit light and gfci receptacle on the same circuit,
    installs 15 amp gfci receptacle in the same pit instead of a 20 amp,only installs one gfci receptacle in the elevator machine room,
    I'll stop here with examples as I'm sure you (hopefully) see where I'm at.
    The above items are all CODE MINIMUM, "ALL THE CODE REQUIRES"

    If said electrician did the above items he is NOT doing quality work?
    By your own statements said electrician is ONLY DOING MINIMUM CODE, which is not "QUALITY", it is "MINIMUM REQUIRED".

    So according to you if he does more or "goes above the code" he is now doing quality work?
    How else can one achieve "quality" if not to "do better than the minimum required"?

    OK The electrician now staples his Romes at 4' 5 1/2" , MC supported at 5' 10", Straps conduits at 2' 10", leaves 6 1/2" of free conductors at the box. This supports are closer then code requires now he is doing quality work.[/quote]

    Not necessarily "quality" work, but it "meets AND EXCEEDS MINIMUM requirements".

    Which is not the same thing as saying it is "quality" work.

    My point is just because a person is doing code minimum DOES NOT mean it IS NOT quality work.
    I understand your point, which is incorrect as a nice neat workmanlike job which just exactly meets code is still "MINIMUM" code compliant work "done neatly".

    I have seen my share of crappy jobs that were way above and beyond code requirement.
    As I have, which is why "exceeding code" does NOT make it "quality", see my responses above. However, EXACTLY MEETING MINIMUM requirements, regardless how neat, does not make an installation a "quality" installation either, it is simply a "neatly done" MINIMUM installation.

    No matter how you try to say it, "code" is "minimum" and "meeting code" is "minimum". One is expected to, is required ... "meet code" as a "minimum requirement".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  54. #54
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Jerry-
    1) I did not say minimum code was not quality,My first sentence in that post was YOUR words from YOUR posts.

    2) YOU admit to achieve "quality" you must do better then the minimum required. So in my examples they are doing better then required and by you own admission they are "achieving quality" You said it,I didn't.

    3) please decide on one or the other - you contradict yourself .
    You state that to achieve quality you must do better then minimum then you say that my examples " meets and EXCEEDS minimum but they are not quality ?
    Would not EXCEEDING minimum be the same as "do better then the minimum required"?

    4) I did not only refer to the neatness of an install. If you read every word carefully ( thats a phrase you throw out alot) I also mention the MATERIALS used,ORGANIZATION of the install,the OVERALL RESULT of the install.
    I have seen projects that are installed neatly, plenty of supports, more then enough receptacle and light outlets, no circuits loaded up,panels tied in neatly, plates on straight and plumb. According to you this is a "quality"job. It's neat and way above code minimum - must be "quality"
    Guess Again - it was a turd painted pink and purple. Why ?
    The devices they installed were the lowest possible grade available You know them the 20 cent specials at the box stores, You could hear the arcing in the switches (prior to arc fault breakers don't go there)light fixtures cheapest pieces of poop made,panel itself was not one of the better grades lets leave it at that. Device plates were the crappy plastic ones that break when you insert a cord into them. Even the light bulbs were garbage. I wouldn't call this a quality job.

    I have seen jobs that were code basic, neatly ran wiring,neatly tied into the panels,top of the line devices, high quality and expensive light fixtures and fans, nice nylon plates ( they flex and do not break or have paint chip off). This job although code basic was "quality".
    The OVERALL result.

    Like I said you can't judge quality by the code. code basic does not equal low or no quality.


  55. #55
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Sparky/Steve

    I think the point is that a home inspector operating under the umbrella of liability does not get into code violations and should not be stating specific codes. It is beneficial for us to know and understand codes but as soon as we indicate specifics we are coming off as an expert
    well that's the general jist Mike, and yes your business liability , as mine. extends itself to what is normally accepted within our scope of expertise.. Know that, i'm not trying to single you out specifically as it seems to me that your trying to do the best job you can in good faith here. It's just that old addage re: No good deed goes unpunished" fits your situation so well i was motivated to finally opine....
    Steve,

    The problem is that some tradesman think there is a code violation stated in the home inspection report when the inspection report did not state same.
    i guess this can happen in lieu of specifics .....

    My opinion, and one that I did, is that home inspector should not feel they "should not" include code documentation as back up in their reports. I believe home inspectors should be able to, and willing to, include whatever back up documentation they so chose in their reports.
    actually i see nothing wrong in detailed reports, as long as they are validated, SOMEONE might ask.....

    Doing so limits the "HI who had written up a specific CODE violation that didn't even exist" cases you are referring to, because, during the process of inserting code sections as back up, they would go 'Oops, hmmmm, I thought that was required, guess it is not, guess it is just *normal practice to do it*', thus the home inspector changes it from being non-compliant with the code to being not to normal building standards - which comes back to the tradesman as they also set their standard of care by doing more than minimum code.

    Do not think that minimum code is your standard of care, minimum code is simply the minimum you are legally allowed to do something, the standard of care for, say, electrical contractors in your area is what 50% + 1 do. *IF* none of the electrical contractors in your area *do more than minimum code*, then none of them should advertise or say they do quality work as they are simply *doing the minimum required by law*.

    Steve, applying those standards works both ways.

    How often do you step back and punt and say ... "It meets code."?

    That is like saying ... "Yep, I did only what I was legally required by law to do." Is that any standard to try to defend ones actions on - the minimum required by law? Heck, if you (not you as in the singular you in particular, but you as in the plural for all contractors) only do minimum code and stand on minimum code, your work is the lousiest work allowed by law, what bragging rights are there in that bottom feeder/bottom scraping work?

    Any contractor who stands back and says ' ... that meets code ... ' (assuming that it actually does) is doing nothing by stating that other than stating that they did the minimum they were required to.

    Now, what was your question about a home inspector writing something about something not being there which they usually find and it being slightly more than code ... ? ... and I can tell from your posts that you are not one of 'those guys', that you care ...
    Yes the code is a minimun requirement Jerry, but that does not by default mean that a maximum can be whatever we wish it to be. A maximun code job, or inspection can only be expected to be within the respective individuals capacity.

    For example, as a security/alarm tradesman, it would be beyond my capacity to insist on building a rocket launcher on your roof (although the way things are going it might help keep those post apocalyptic mutants from doing their business on the lawn)

    A Proctologist shouldn't insist on taking your tonsils out your back end, and the butcher/baker/candlestick maker should not be flying the space shuttle

    You ask if i, as an EC has played both sides of this fence? Sure i (et all) have Jerry, i'm not saint Steve by any stretch of the imagination, nor would i suggest to anyone i am (think Johnny Depp with a toolbelt)

    Yet by far and large i've learned that practicing my trade within it's acceptable limits keeps me outta trouble. Now insmuch as i can spit code, and am probably seen as a prima donna for doing so here, allow me to draw upon what might be much more palatable analogical scenario the HI's may relate to.....

    I've been an emt for decades, i still participate due to the weird curmudgeon fetish my particular corner of the world seems to harbor. An emt is basically the eyes/ears for all concerned. S/he operates under a strict doctrine which considers a scope of practice, or standard of care. We really are, and probably will forever and a day be health cares orphaned child in terms of professional turf, as well as in the litigant/liable sense.

    Now for us to opine on any particular patient's situation is , nothing more than opinion. We don't diagnose, or enforce anything on anyone. Despite this, in certain crisis situations people look up to us like we , and our word, is 2nd only to divinie one himself. (starting to sound like home turf fellas?)

    How would you think that holds up in court, when many many zeros' are at stake?

    In all sincerity, and because i've read it here in spades, no amount of paperwork, disclaimers, umbrella's , kings horses and men will put one who crosses that line into 'deeper pockets than thou' together again.......

    ~Steve


  56. #56
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Sparky....

    Even if you agree with Jerry he will argue with you. I would give up and go back to lurking like I do now. There is some good info on this board but you have have to filter out the Peck crap!


  57. #57
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Even if you agree with Jerry he will argue with you.

    Actually, James, I only argue with those who are incorrect, or until they can prove themselves to be correct, just like they argue with me until I prove myself to be correct.

    Some, like you, just argue for the sake of arguing.

    Sparky Steve and I have even agreed on things, but, then, you don't bother reading things with which you disagree, you just post like you did above.

    Like Jim Port on another recent post, Jim showed me that I was incorrect on part of the post and I showed him the he was incorrect on the rest of the post.

    *I* acknowledged my error, Jim, like you and a very few others, has not. Jim may come on and say he has not been here and that is why he has not acknowledge that, however, I have seen his name listed several times as being online since then and he has not yet acknowledged that. I find it strangely weird that some people will insist on someone else being wrong, but they themselves fail to acknowledge when they are wrong.

    I guess I should not say "strangely weird" as it appears to just be a trait of those types of people, which means it is "common" in those few individuals.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  58. #58
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
    Yes the code is a minimum requirement Jerry, but that does not by default mean that a maximum can be whatever we wish it to be.
    Steve,

    Actually, that does mean by default that a maximum can be whatever we wish it to be, then the client places their limitations on our wishes, which does not reduce our default wishes, it just reduces the job to what the client wants.

    A maximun code job, or inspection can only be expected to be within the respective individuals capacity.
    Correct. One person can do the maximum their abilities allow them to do, and another person may do less and do their maximum, however, both are doing more than minimum, and code (or SoP) only establish a minimum, not a maximum.

    You ask if i, as an EC has played both sides of this fence? Sure i (et all) have Jerry, i'm not saint Steve by any stretch of the imagination, nor would i suggest to anyone i am (think Johnny Depp with a toolbelt)

    Yet by far and large i've learned that practicing my trade within it's acceptable limits keeps me outta trouble.
    Absolutely correct way to do it, but we are not talking about "acceptable *LIMITS*, we are talking about "doing more than" *CODE MINIMUM*.

    There is a big difference between "acceptable limits" and doing nothing more than "minimum".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  59. #59
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Hi All! I work in Delaware as a Inspector. If I understand the above information correctly, then: A two-wire (ungrounded) series of outlets connected to the load side of a GFCI would be acceptable (although a rewire of all outlets in the home would, of course, be preferred). If this is then true, would only replacing existing breakers in the main panel with GFCI breakers then give you increased protection for a two-wire(ungrounded) 110VAC system without the expense (and disruption) of rewiring? I generally prefer new wiring, but with the proliferation of older homes in our state, it would be nice to know if this is a possible way of providing additional protection for households who cannot afford a rewire. Thanks in advance for any info!


  60. #60
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    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Rod,

    You can use either GFCI receptacle outlet devices or GFCI breakers, however, keep in mind that the older home likely has an older panel and there will likely not be a GFCI breaker for that panel, and if the older home has a newer panel, it is likely that it has also been re-wired, which would mean that only current (at the time of the work) required GFCI locations would require GFCI protection.

    Not sure I worded that clearly or not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  61. #61
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    Rod Smith Guest

    Default Re: GFCI on 2 wire system

    Thanks for the prompt response! I really appreciate your reply! Rod


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