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  1. #1
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    Default GFCI's required with upgrade?

    I inspected a home yesterday that was built in 1920. The entire electrical system has been upgraded with new service line, panel, and wiring (with all three=pronged, grounded outlets). This upgrade occurred in the past two years. With an upgrade this extensive, would it have been required to install GFCI outlets in the "wet" and "exterior" areas?

    Thanks in advance, Greg

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    greg,
    a complete rewire would be required to meet current code absolutely.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    My thoughts exactly, thank you!

    Greg


  4. #4
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Not only that, but even just replacing a receptacle where GFCI protection is required now requires the replacement receptacle to be required to have GFCI installed, re-wiring or not.

    But ... but ... but I'm just replacing ONE receptacle!

    Does not matter, THAT receptacle now requires GFCI protection because THAT receptacle is required by the code to have GFCI protection.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Nice Jerry, I'll have to add that little tidbit as well! I love my job when the home owner is a pr***k!


  6. #6
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    That started with the 2002 NEC.

    From the 2002 NEC. (underlining is mine)
    - ARTICLE 406 Receptacles, Cord Connectors, and Attachment Plugs (Caps)
    - - 406.3 General Installation Requirements.
    - - - (D) Replacements. Replacement of receptacles shall comply with 406.3(D)(1), (2), and (3) as applicable.
    - - - - (1) Grounding-Type Receptacles. Where a grounding means exists in the receptacle enclosure or a grounding conductor is installed in accordance with 250.130(C), grounding-type receptacles shall be used and shall be connected to the grounding conductor in accordance with 406.3(C) or 250.130(C).
    - - - - (2) Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters. Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code.
    - - - - (3) Nongrounding-Type Receptacles. Where grounding means does not exist in the receptacle enclosure, the installation shall comply with (a), (b), or (c).
    - - - - - (a) A nongrounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with another nongrounding-type receptacle(s).
    - - - - - (b) A nongrounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a ground-fault circuit interrupter-type of receptacle(s). These receptacles shall be marked “No Equipment Ground.” An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected from the ground-fault circuit-interrupter-type receptacle to any outlet supplied from the ground-fault circuit-interrupter receptacle.
    - - - - - (c) A nongrounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle(s) where supplied through a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Grounding-type receptacles supplied through the ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be marked “GFCI Protected” and “No Equipment Ground.” An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected between the grounding-type receptacles.

    That applicable paragraph from the 2008 NEC: "(2) Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters. Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code." Same wording as 2002.

    Thus, if the receptacle was replaced in 2002 or later, and it *now* requires GFCI protection, that replaced receptacle shall have GFCI protection.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Amazing someone would go to that much trouble and then not bother to put in the GFCI receps. Some folks you just can't reach.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    And, and, should I say Arc Fault at least in the bedrooms where they were required since well before that.

    Or did I miss something here.

    Probably scanning again.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    And, and, should I say Arc Fault at least in the bedrooms where they were required since well before that.

    Or did I miss something here.

    Probably scanning again.
    What Ted mean by scanning? Me not understand. Some new lingo?

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    What Ted mean by scanning? Me not understand. Some new lingo?
    Just in case someone already mentioned arc fault. Yes, I am guilty of scanning threads and missing little subtleties like that.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Yes- on a rewire arc faults would be required, if they were required by code when the rewire was completed.
    A simple service change ? NO arc faults are not required as there may be issues that prohibit arc faults from operating properly, (mainly a multiwire circuit)


  12. #12
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    I am goung to have to disagree as regards replacing 'like' with 'like.'

    If you are doing simple maintenance or repair - such as replacing a worn receptacle with a new one of the same type - you are under no code obligation to 'upgrade' or change the original installation in any way.

    In other words, you most certainly are allowed to replace that two-prong receptacle next to the sink with another two-prong receptacle, and are under no obligation to add GFCI protection.

    Naturally, if you want to, there is no rule against adding GFCI protection.

    One cannot apply new rules to old situations. We've been over this before. Continuing to call a 'boy' a dog' does not ever make him a dog - no matter how often, or for how long, you repeat yourself.

    For a similar reason, you cannot apply AFCI rules to simple maintenance.

    Even if the NEC fixed the muddled language - note that it says you can replace a 2-prong with a 2-prong, and also says you must use a GFCI receptacle (did they mean to exclude the use of GFCI breakers?) - the have not the authority to overturn basic legal principles and Constitutional law. "No Ex Poste Facto" means just that.

    Also not that the NEC requires GFCI RECEPTACLES in only one place: elevator pits. There is no other place that requires reveptacles be used, to the exclusion of breakers.

    Last edited by John Steinke; 05-22-2009 at 05:19 PM.

  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    I am goung to have to disagree as regards replacing 'like' with 'like.'

    If you are doing simple maintenance or repair - such as replacing a worn receptacle with a new one of the same type - you are under no code obligation to 'upgrade' or change the original installation in any way.

    In other words, you most certainly are allowed to replace that two-prong receptacle next to the sink with another two-prong receptacle, and are under no obligation to add GFCI protection.

    Naturally, if you want to, there is no rule against adding GFCI protection.

    One cannot apply new rules to old situations. We've been over this before. Continuing to call a 'boy' a dog' does not ever make him a dog - no matter how often, or for how long, you repeat yourself.

    For a similar reason, you cannot apply AFCI rules to simple maintenance.

    Even if the NEC fixed the muddled language - note that it says you can replace a 2-prong with a 2-prong, and also says you must use a GFCI receptacle (did they mean to exclude the use of GFCI breakers?) - the have not the authority to overturn basic legal principles and Constitutional law. "No Ex Poste Facto" means just that.

    Also not that the NEC requires GFCI RECEPTACLES in only one place: elevator pits. There is no other place that requires reveptacles be used, to the exclusion of breakers.
    John

    They did the entire service and system over which if you do (in most municipalities, if they have already adopted the new guidelines) you must upgrade to what ever that code is, in that area, at the time.

    They did not just change a receptacle or just a switch or just a panel or just the wiring. He stated that the entire service and system was rehabbed.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    If you are doing simple maintenance or repair - such as replacing a worn receptacle with a new one of the same type - you are under no code obligation to 'upgrade' or change the original installation in any way.

    John, what is it that you do not understand in:

    "(2) Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters. Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code." (see reference below)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That applicable paragraph from the 2008 NEC: "(2) Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters. Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code." Same wording as 2002.

    Thus, if the receptacle was replaced in 2002 or later, and it *now* requires GFCI protection, that replaced receptacle shall have GFCI protection.

    John, with rare exceptions your reading and understanding of the code is really, really off, and THIS IS NOT one of those exceptions, this is a perfect example of what you do not understand about the code, my only question is why you do not understand something so clearly written.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 05-22-2009 at 06:05 PM. Reason: speelin'
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  15. #15
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    It's not a matter of 'not understanding' what may be in the NEC. Rather, it's a matter of honoring both our traditions, and the plain language of our primary legal foundation, the Constitution. Congress is constrained against passing laws that apply to the past - what was done within the law yesterfay, yesterday;s action, cannot become illegal today. That's what "Congress shall pass no ex poste facto laws" means.

    Ignore the Constitution, and no laws make sense - and the path is cleared for tyranny.

    Nor is it far-fetched to fear tyranny in building departments. I have already seen folks advocate such things as requiring periodic inspections and mandatory upgrades at sale time. Such ideas are in direct conflict with other Constitutional provisions.

    Now, it may sound extreme, but, IMO, anyone that is not willing to accept centuries of hard-learned wisdom, or accept limitations on their authority, has not the wisdom to rule, and no business having any authority at all.

    Such constraints are more specifically laid out in the UBC, which makes clear that simple replacement is perfectly acceptable.

    You run a new circuit, or re-wire a house, the situation has changed. Simply replacing a receptacle is not, under any circumstances, going to require a service change and re-wire.

    The same constraints apply to replacing a bedroom receptacle; you need not AFCI the circuit. Nor need you use the latest 'tamper resistant' product, add another circuit to your kitchen counter, nor embrace the myriad other code changes just because a switch or receptacle wore out.

    In practical terms, sometimes you can't install a GFCI even if you want to. The pigtails are too short, the box is too small, and the panel has no GFCI available for it.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    John,

    Did you wake up early because your 3 20 amp circuit house overloaded and blew a fuse ... or are you smokin' sumptin' you should be sharin' wit us?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Hmmmmmmm


  18. #18
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Today's news makes this thread more topical than I had imagined.

    President Obama has nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor has oenned several decisions that have ignored or contradicted established law, and is on record explaining that it was, indeed, the role of the courts to set policy and to come up with the 'right' decisions, without regard to the law.

    There you have it, as plain as can be. Are our "authorities" limited by the law - or not?

    It will be interesting to see how this nomination turns out.

    Last edited by John Steinke; 05-26-2009 at 09:45 PM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    I'm not exactly sure where constitutional law applies to receptacles. The NEC makes it clear that no new code cycle can require changes to an existing installation. The NEC also makes it clear that a GFCI receptacle doesn't require a ground when used for replacement where one doesn't exist.

    What the NEC doesn't permit is the removal of a receptacle and replacement with another when the area in question now requires a GFCI receptacle, unless a GFCI breaker is used for protection.

    The original situation, often refered to as being "grandfathered", no longer exists once the original receptacle is removed. The NEC only requires you to update what you change and nothing else, no "ex post facto" laws are involved. Ask your lawyer.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    I'm not exactly sure where constitutional law applies to receptacles. The NEC makes it clear that no new code cycle can require changes to an existing installation. The NEC also makes it clear that a GFCI receptacle doesn't require a ground when used for replacement where one doesn't exist.
    Agreed.

    What the NEC doesn't permit is the removal of a receptacle and replacement with another when the area in question now requires a GFCI receptacle, unless a GFCI breaker is used for protection.
    Disagree - the NEC "does not" specify a GFCI breaker, the NEC only specifies that GFCI protection be installed - which *could be* a GFCI receptacle, a GFCI breaker, OR another GFCI protective device which now provides that replaced receptacle with GFCI protection.

    The original situation, often refered to as being "grandfathered", no longer exists once the original receptacle is removed. The NEC only requires you to update what you change and nothing else, no "ex post facto" laws are involved. Ask your lawyer.
    Agreed again.

    Which brings us full circle back to what I said in my first posts in this thread before John tried to misdirect us:
    Post #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Does not matter, THAT receptacle now requires GFCI protection because THAT receptacle is required by the code to have GFCI protection.
    Post #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Thus, if the receptacle was replaced in 2002 or later, and it *now* requires GFCI protection, that replaced receptacle shall have GFCI protection.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  21. #21
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    "Ask your lawyer." Have to love that one! It was hard enough to get a straight answer from an atormey before the vurrent administration began discussing prosecuting the attorneys who advised the previous administration!

    Not that it matters - we are judged by fellow citizens, not "experts" of any stripe,

    Let's look at a few comparable scenarios.

    California has led the pack with regulating automobile emissions. Yet, if you own a pre-70's car, they are still unable to require you to install a catalytic converter - regardless of how many times you've replaced the tailpipe and spark plugs.

    Ditto for the guy in northern California with an operating oil well near the redwoods. They can bad oil drilling all they want, but lack the authority to close an operating well- not that they haven't tried.

    Reno, like many places, would simply love to assert ownership of all water rights, and require you to hook up to city water. Nice try; folks with pre-existing wells continue to be able to water their lawns whenever they want.

    Chicago tried to enforce environmental laws against a gun club that shot into lake Michigan. No dice; lead shot that was fired when it was still legal to do so was not the club's problem. The city still shut down the club, but that's another story; what's telling is that the first attempts to harass the club used 'concern for the environment' as the pretext.

    Think of how many times you hear the term 'grandfathered.' Just where do you think the basis for this practice rests?

    Though, it's likely a moot point; with the obvious disregard of the Constitution that the current administration has, and the loose-cannon appointments they are making, we are entering a time where we will become a nation of men, and not laws.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    Though, it's likely a moot point; with the obvious disregard of the Constitution that the current administration has, and the loose-cannon appointments they are making, we are entering a time where we will become a nation of men, and not laws.
    And you think the previous administration even acknowledge that we had a Constitution?

    They operated as though he was King George, \/\/ (IV with the four slashes, two backward, to make the 'W' and because he took us "backward" as a country).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  23. #23
    Nick J. Alati's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    I'm sorry what was the topic?


  24. #24
    archivoyeur's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    {...}Congress is constrained against passing laws that apply to the past - what was done within the law yesterfay, yesterday;s action, cannot become illegal today. That's what "Congress shall pass no ex poste facto laws" means.
    John, John, John... have you been hanging out with my teenagers again?

    BECAUSE I SAID SO!
    We are talking about being able to use this outlet TODAY, not yesterday.

    NOW GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM.



  25. #25
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by archivoyeur View Post
    John, John, John... have you been hanging out with my teenagers again?

    BECAUSE I SAID SO!

    We are talking about being able to use this outlet TODAY, not yesterday.


    NOW GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM.
    Archi...,

    I've always liked that saying when dealing with teenagers and children "Because I said so." - even had a tee shirt which had that on it, and one which had "What part of "No." do you not understand?" on it.

    As an inspector, though, whenever I hear an inspector say "Because I said so." it makes me realize that inspector does not know the code. A good inspector does not say "Because I said so." or "Because that is the way I want it done.", a good inspector (talking about code inspectors here) says "The code says ... , and the code is what I am enforcing."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  26. #26
    David Stenske's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Do u know if they used AFCI or GFCI brakers?


  27. #27
    David Stenske's Avatar
    David Stenske Guest

    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    If I use GFCI circuit Breakers will I still need a GFCI Recepticle?


  28. #28
    Nick J. Alati's Avatar
    Nick J. Alati Guest

    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    No, you would not need a GFCI outlet if the Branch was already protected by a GFCI Breaker, big cost differance ($60 vers $13).


  29. #29
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Stenske View Post
    Do u know if they used AFCI or GFCI brakers?
    Not sure what you are asking there.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Stenske View Post
    If I use GFCI circuit Breakers will I still need a GFCI Recepticle?
    No, you only need GFCI protection.

    Using a GFCI receptacle will only protect that receptacle and any which are wired off and fed through that receptacle, including the circuit itself after that GFCI receptacle.

    Using a GFCI breaker will protect everything on that circuit, including the circuit itself - all of the circuit itself from the panel out.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  30. #30
    archivoyeur's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI's required with upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Archi...,

    As an inspector, though, whenever I hear an inspector say "Because I said so." it makes me realize that inspector does not know the code. A good inspector does not say "Because I said so." or "Because that is the way I want it done.", a good inspector (talking about code inspectors here) says "The code says ... , and the code is what I am enforcing."
    Excellent point. Also pertinent to "it makes me nervous..." thread.


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