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  1. #1
    Bob Hunt's Avatar
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    Default New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    I know that that the general subject has recently been discussed. The one about installing GFCI receptacles in place of two prong receptacles. This is a bit different.

    I inspected a 1960's home about a month ago and several three prong receptacles tested as open ground. I pointed this out in the report, with other electrical deficiencies, and recommended that a licensed electrician perform appropriate repairs.

    I went back today to reinspect the repairs and the seller had removed the improperly wired three prong receptacles and had installed new two prong receptacles. Not the repair I was expecting.

    I thought that I had read or had heard at a continuing ed lecture that installing new two prong receptacles is not legal. I thought that the only approved replacement was with GFCI receptacles.

    Is this a senior moment on my part? Or has the seller really done something that he should not have?

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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    So, originally there were 2-prong receptacles, and they were replaced with 3-prong without providing a ground. They could have replaced the 2-prong with new 2-prong. And you could make the argument that that is now what they have done. But in the meantime, 3-prongs were installed, and it's not proper to replace 3-prongs with 2-prongs.
    If I remember right, JP is a proponent of the latter argument.

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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hunt View Post
    I know that that the general subject has recently been discussed. The one about installing GFCI receptacles in place of two prong receptacles. This is a bit different.

    I inspected a 1960's home about a month ago and several three prong receptacles tested as open ground. I pointed this out in the report, with other electrical deficiencies, and recommended that a licensed electrician perform appropriate repairs.

    I went back today to reinspect the repairs and the seller had removed the improperly wired three prong receptacles and had installed new two prong receptacles. Not the repair I was expecting.

    I thought that I had read or had heard at a continuing ed lecture that installing new two prong receptacles is not legal. I thought that the only approved replacement was with GFCI receptacles.

    Is this a senior moment on my part? Or has the seller really done something that he should not have?
    Okay, so what is it that you wanted them to do?
    Did you want them to put GFCI's in the entire home?
    Did you specify what was needed in your report?

    I know of no requirement that would require GFCI throughout the entire home, other than in the kitchen, bathrooms, garage and exterior of the home.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  4. #4
    Bob Hunt's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Let me clarify the question.

    If three prong receptacles are present and not grounded, is it allowable to replace them with two prong receptacles or must they be replaced with GFCI receptacles?


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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    From the 2008 NEC.
    - 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), (D)(2), and (D)(3) as applicable.
    - - - - (1) Grounding-Type Receptacles. Where a grounding means exists in the receptacle enclosure or an equipment grounding conductor is installed in accordance with 250.130(C), grounding-type receptacles shall be used and shall be connected to the equipment 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) Non–Grounding-Type Receptacles. Where attachment to an equipment grounding conductor does not exist in the receptacle enclosure, the installation shall comply with (D)(3)(a), (D)(3)(b), or (D)(3)(c).
    - - - - - (a) A non–grounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with another non–grounding-type receptacle(s).
    - - - - - (b) A non–grounding-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 non–grounding-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.

    The original replacement installation of the grounding-type receptacles means they need to be GFCI protected in accordance with 406.3(D)(3)(c). There is no listed option to remove the grounding-type receptacles and install non-grounding type receptacles under: "(D) Replacements. Replacement of receptacles SHALL COMPLY WITH 406.3(D)(1), (D)(2), and (D)(3)", which includes (D)(3)(c).

    Once the original replacement was made to grounding-type receptacles without installing the required GFCI protection, the correct repair is to install GFCI protection for those receptacles and to label each one "GFCI Protected" and "No Equipment Ground".

    I know this question will follow: *COULD* they have originally install non-grounding type receptacles as replacements? The answer is "Yes. NEC 406.3(D)(3)(a) allows for that. However, it needs to be added, *they did not do that*.

    There are some who will try to argue that they are allowed to replace those ground-type receptacles with non-grounding types as, after all, that code section does allow for replacements to be non-grounding types. What those people are missing, though, is the "Replacement of receptacles SHALL COMPLY WITH" the following, and replacing grounding-type receptacles with non-grounding type receptacles IS NOT AN OPTION in the following.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hunt View Post
    Let me clarify the question.

    If three prong receptacles are present and not grounded, is it allowable to replace them with two prong receptacles or must they be replaced with GFCI receptacles?
    They do not need to be replaced "with GFCI receptacles", they do, however, need to be GFCI PROTECTED - which means that the first receptacle in each circuit could be replaced with a GFCI receptacle and that GFCI receptacle protects all the other receptacles downstream.

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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ...
    Once the original replacement was made to grounding-type receptacles without installing the required GFCI protection, the correct repair is to install GFCI protection for those receptacles and to label each one "GFCI Protected" and "No Equipment Ground".

    I know this question will follow: *COULD* they have originally install non-grounding type receptacles as replacements? The answer is "Yes. NEC 406.3(D)(3)(a) allows for that. However, it needs to be added, *they did not do that*.

    There are some who will try to argue that they are allowed to replace those ground-type receptacles with non-grounding types as, after all, that code section does allow for replacements to be non-grounding types. What those people are missing, though, is the "Replacement of receptacles SHALL COMPLY WITH" the following, and replacing grounding-type receptacles with non-grounding type receptacles IS NOT AN OPTION in the following.
    I'm kind of joking, but at what point is the old 2-prong considered to be "replaced"? What if the installer had the ungrounded 3-prong all hooked up, but hadn't restored power yet, and realized he was about to create a problem, so he removed the 3-prong and replaced the 2-prong with new 2-prong. No? How about if the old 2-prong has been removed and the only replacement he has a 3-prong, but he hasn't connected it yet, so he takes it back and exchanges it for a 2-prong?
    My wife complains that I'm overly literal. I don't know where she gets that.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    I'm kind of joking, but at what point is the old 2-prong considered to be "replaced"? What if the installer had the ungrounded 3-prong all hooked up, but hadn't restored power yet, and realized he was about to create a problem, so he removed the 3-prong and replaced the 2-prong with new 2-prong. No?
    No, no. Yes, the receptacle has been replaced. Power or no power.

    "Replaced" does not mean "used", but, in fact it *was* "used" and "replaced".

    How about if the old 2-prong has been removed and the only replacement he has a 3-prong, but he hasn't connected it yet, so he takes it back and exchanges it for a 2-prong?

    He did not "replace" the 2-prong with the 3-prong, he never installed the 3-prong.

    My wife complains that I'm overly literal. I don't know where she gets that.
    Wonder if you wife gets as mad at your for being literal as my wife gets mad at me for being literal?

    Her: "Make me a cup of coffee please."

    Me: "Poof! You are a cup of coffee."

    Or.

    Her: "Would you please give me a hand?"

    Me: (I clap my hands for her.)

    Sometimes it is not taken as nicely, though ...

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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Bob,

    I think it depends on whether you are a home inspector or code enforcement.

    If you deferred to an electrical contractor for "appropriate repairs", then you left it to the expertise of the electrician and he made what, in his professional opinion, were "appropriate repairs". If you stated that any non grounded, 3-pin receptacle outlets should be GFCI protected, then he did not make the repairs that you recommended.

    I know that JP disagrees with me, but my feeling is that that the intent of the code was not to forensically determine what the order of replacement was (preventing non-grounded to grounding-type and then to non-grounded again), but to prevent the installation of ungrounded, grounding-type receptacle outlets without additional protection.

    I believe that since there are no longer any non-grounded, grounding-type receptacle outlets, there is no requirement for GFCI protection. It would provide additional safety though.

    I now humbly submit myself to an earful from JP.

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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    but my feeling is that that the intent of the code was not to forensically determine what the order of replacement was (preventing non-grounded to grounding-type and then to non-grounded again), but to prevent the installation of ungrounded, grounding-type receptacle outlets without additional protection.
    The intent of the code was basically as you stated , and, when the work was not done to the intent and wording of the code, the code does not address replacing grounding type (3- prong) receptacles with non-grounding type (2-prong) receptacles as that is not the safer way to make the repair.

    The intent of the code is to not go backward in time and make things less safe, but to move forward in time and make things more safe.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    It is very common for people to replace an ungrounded outlet that becomes worn or broken with 3-prong outlets they bought at the local home center.
    They have to be changed back to 2-prong outlets to avoid a false sense of a ground. If the home center doesn't have them they can be ordered.


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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Schirmer View Post
    It is very common for people to replace an ungrounded outlet that becomes worn or broken with 3-prong outlets they bought at the local home center.
    They have to be changed back to 2-prong outlets to avoid a false sense of a ground.
    "They have to be changed back to 2-prong outlets"

    No they don't ... THEY HAVE TO BE GFCI PROTECTED now that the 3-prong grounding type are installed.

    You DO NOT GO BACKWARD IN TIME to make something less safe, you go forward in time and FINISH what what started.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    I Like this thread.

    And I like all the posts.

    But I won't touch this subject with a ten foot pole. (humor)


    But I am looking forward to more posts on this subject.

    Because learning is fun.


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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert S. Mattison View Post
    But I won't touch this subject with a ten foot pole.
    Robert,

    I think you are the smartest person here!

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    Question Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hunt View Post
    I know that that the general subject has recently been discussed. The one about installing GFCI receptacles in place of two prong receptacles. This is a bit different.

    I inspected a 1960's home about a month ago and several three prong receptacles tested as open ground. I pointed this out in the report, with other electrical deficiencies, and recommended that a licensed electrician perform appropriate repairs.

    I went back today to reinspect the repairs and the seller had removed the improperly wired three prong receptacles and had installed new two prong receptacles. Not the repair I was expecting.

    I thought that I had read or had heard at a continuing ed lecture that installing new two prong receptacles is not legal. I thought that the only approved replacement was with GFCI receptacles.

    Is this a senior moment on my part? Or has the seller really done something that he should not have?
    Bob,

    If you worded your report with something to the effect of: "correction by a licensed and qualified contractor recommended" - and if, you are not a licensed electrician, why would you place all that liability on yourself by re-inspecting someone else's work? Just curious -


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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hunt View Post
    I went back today to reinspect the repairs and the seller had removed the improperly wired three prong receptacles and had installed new two prong receptacles. Not the repair I was expecting.

    The heart of the problem lies with this quote.... and it has nothing to do with the NEC or any code. We are HIs, not electricians.

    Why in the world would you go back to re-inspect electrical repairs performed by a homeowner???????????

    You recommended an electrician perform repairs and then go back and comment on the homeowner's electrical work?

    Without opening up the whole re-inspection debate this is just crazy and you're begging for a lawsuit. You can't make a recommendation and then when it's not followed go back and try to work with it.

    I'm not a hardline 'no-reinspection' guy but if/when I tell someone to have an electrician fix something the last thing I'm going to do is go bless or even talk about the homeowner's work.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    To all those who are so concerned as to my practices in this and other reinspcetions:

    The inspection report contained numerous items that were not in acceptable conditioons. I always recommend a licensed contractor to perform any repairs. See my first posting at the top. The buyer was told that the items listed as needing repair had been repaired. I was asked by the buyer to reinspect see if the items that I had listed as being in less than acceptable condition were now in acceptable condition.

    I expected that the seller would have a licensed electrician perform the electrical repairs as I had requested. My report to the buyer states very clearly that the home owner performed the repairs and that some items were still not in acceptable condition.

    When any of us perform an inspection, we do not know who performed any of the work on the house, either recently or at some time in the past. So essentially we are inspecting someone else's work on every item that is listed in the report, whether it is an inital inspection or a reinspection. We rarely know who has performed the work.

    We report to the buyer, or whoever hired us, on the appearance of a component and whether it appears to be acceptable or not. We are rarely present for any of the steps in the construction of a home or an addition. We report on whether the foundation appears to be acceptable without knowing the depth of the footers, the compression strength of the concrete, the presence of appropriate steel reinforcement, or placement of footer drains. We do not know if the foundation was installed by a licensed contractor, a group of volunteers, a class of students, or a few drunks on a weekend. We can only report on the visible conditions of the component at the time of the inspection. We go on to report on just about everything above the foundation also, with the same limited knowledge.

    If that scares you, then perhaps you would be better working at one of the local franchises where your only responsibility is to ask "Do you want fries with that?"

    Last edited by Bob Hunt; 09-08-2009 at 06:17 AM.

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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Good feed by all,

    In Minnesota the state Electrical Inspector put on a seminar to our group.
    The state electrical code has been amended to allow 2-prong(which are readily available) to replace an improperly installed 3-prong.
    Her explanation was that it is safer to have a properly wired 2-prong than an improperly installed 3-prong.
    I did ask about going backward in code. Her reply was that it never properly went forward.
    So just a reminder ,check your state for revisions to any code before making an absolute call.

    Mike Moser


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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Moser View Post
    Good feed by all,

    In Minnesota the state Electrical Inspector put on a seminar to our group.
    The state electrical code has been amended to allow 2-prong(which are readily available) to replace an improperly installed 3-prong.
    Her explanation was that it is safer to have a properly wired 2-prong than an improperly installed 3-prong.
    I did ask about going backward in code. Her reply was that it never properly went forward.
    So just a reminder ,check your state for revisions to any code before making an absolute call.

    Mike Moser
    Glad to see that at least someone can use common sense and come to a reasonable conclusion.


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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Moser View Post
    Good feed by all,

    In Minnesota the state Electrical Inspector put on a seminar to our group.
    The state electrical code has been amended to allow 2-prong(which are readily available) to replace an improperly installed 3-prong.
    Her explanation was that it is safer to have a properly wired 2-prong than an improperly installed 3-prong.
    I did ask about going backward in code. Her reply was that it never properly went forward.
    So just a reminder ,check your state for revisions to any code before making an absolute call.

    Mike Moser
    Mike,

    Did you ask her why go back to 2-prong instead of just adding GFCI protection, which would FINISH the original work and make it SAFER?

    That is the real question she needs to answer.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hunt View Post
    I always recommend a licensed contractor to perform any repairs. See my first posting at the top. The buyer was told that the items listed as needing repair had been repaired. I was asked by the buyer to reinspect see if the items that I had listed as being in less than acceptable condition were now in acceptable condition.

    I expected that the seller would have a licensed electrician perform the electrical repairs as I had requested. My report to the buyer states very clearly that the home owner performed the repairs and that some items were still not in acceptable condition.
    Bob,

    How do you know the home owner did the repairs and not an electrician?

    And, knowing that, why did you not then state that it WAS NOT REPAIRED AS RECOMMENDED (you say it clearly was not) by a licensed contractor and then recommend AGAIN that the work be repaired by a licensed contractor.

    The rest of us are only trying to open your eyes as to what you said and then what you did WERE DIFFERENT, and by doing it differently you shot down what you said originally.

    If you are going to do re-inspections, and you recommend the work be done by licensed contractors, when your client calls for a re-inspection ask them to send you a copy of all the worker orders as done by licensed contractors. When they say the work was done by the homeowner, you respond with "Then there is no need to do a re-inspection as *I* said those needed to be done by licensed contractors.".

    If your client insists on you doing a re-inspection and you do, you ... yes, *YOU* ... will be the one signing off on the homeowners repairs. Are you sure you understand the risk you took by doing so?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    The intent of the code is to not go backward in time and make things less safe, but to move forward in time and make things more safe.
    In that event, wouldn't it be "safer" to rewire the home?


    If you are going to do re-inspections, and you recommend the work be done by licensed contractors, when your client calls for a re-inspection ask them to send you a copy of all the worker orders as done by licensed contractors. When they say the work was done by the homeowner, you respond with "Then there is no need to do a re-inspection as *I* said those needed to be done by licensed contractors.".
    And to carry that on a little bit further, if the repairs were done by licensed contractors, why on Earth would you put yourself in such a precarious position?

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  23. #23
    Bob Hunt's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Oh my Oh my; what was I thinking. I certainly bow to the collective advice of the forum and not approve any electrical repairs at any time. I will insist that a licensed electrical inspector perform a complete inspection after a licensed electrician has performed the repairs.

    I will now call my attorney and inform her that we must prepare for the myriad of law suits that obviously will follow my foolishness. I will call the buyer and inform her that I recind my approval of the the repairs . I will also call the buyer's agent and have him inform the seller's agent that we cannot approve any elecrical repairs without the complete paper trail that the collective wisdom of the forum insists must be in place.

    All of this for noting in the reinspection report that the two cover plates on uncovered switches on the stairs are now in place.


  24. #24
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Moser View Post
    Good feed by all,

    In Minnesota the state Electrical Inspector put on a seminar to our group.
    The state electrical code has been amended to allow 2-prong(which are readily available) to replace an improperly installed 3-prong.
    Her explanation was that it is safer to have a properly wired 2-prong than an improperly installed 3-prong.
    I did ask about going backward in code. Her reply was that it never properly went forward.
    So just a reminder ,check your state for revisions to any code before making an absolute call.

    Mike Moser

    I tell my clients all the time that improperly wired three prong receptacles are worse than properly wired two prong receptacles. I also tell them that it would be wiser to install three prong receptacles with proper wiring than change the three prong back to two prong.

    Nothing wrong with either direction of advise but to move them into the future instead of into the past is the wiser direction to advise them.


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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    I hope you didn't charge your Clients to check two face plates!

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Hi Jerry,

    The question was asked.(a good qusetion I might add since I asked it)
    We have some required pre sale city inspections that are done by lisc private inspectors(evaluators) .
    Ungrounded 3-prong receptacles are a "hazard' and must be corrected. Some homes have 30 recepticals. The point of sale programs at $5 dollars plus electrician fees, are hard to enforce on a person selling a home.Some electricians want $125 per outlet. The state inspectors allow going back to 2-prong and the reasoning is that they never properly went ahead to current code. There is a state statute that says you can not enforce stricter requirements on a dwelling unless the whole system or complete area is brought up to code. Morris Mn was sued and lost to the Mn Supreme court for trying to enforce egress windows on existing dwellings. This set a precedent. It was a compromise.
    It is a reasonable solution that removes the immediate hazard.I also asked "What if the new buyer sticks in ungrounded 3-prong outlets?"
    The answer was they should not or it would again be a hazard.
    Go figure.

    Mike Moser


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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    I always suggest GFCI outlets instead of going back to 2 prong, but it is up to the client.

    Mike Moser


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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Moser View Post
    The question was asked.(a good qusetion I might add since I asked it)
    We have some required pre sale city inspections that are done by lisc private inspectors(evaluators) .
    Ungrounded 3-prong receptacles are a "hazard' and must be corrected.
    Mike,

    The best and proper way to address those receptacle outlets is simply "to finish the job" which was started, whether or not the person installing those receptacles knew they were not finish with the job.

    "To finish the job" means to do as was required: You install 3-prong grounding type receptacles on ungrounded circuits and you are REQUIRED to: 1) GFCI protect them - easy enough and cheap enough to do by installing ONE GFCI receptacle as the first receptacle in each circuit; 2) labeling those receptacle outlets "No Equipment Ground" and "GFCI Protected", a I believe those stickers come enclosed with most, if not every, GFCI receptacle device you buy.

    The electricians price now just went down to $125 (which is pretty high) for ONLY EACH of the GFCI receptacles installed, the rest of the receptacles are untouched.

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

  29. #29
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    I never looked at 2 prong receptacles to be less safe than grounded or GFCI protected receptacles. Plugs that have a ground needs to have an adapter to be used with a 2 prong receptacle. If the adapter is installed correctly, then the buyer will be safe.

    Different direction - If I was the buyer and seen that the receptacles are three prong and then find out that they are all now 2 prong, I would not be happy about that. Kind of like seeing double pane windows when looking at the house, finding that a few need to be replaced from the home inspection, the sellers installing single pane metal frame windows. Did they fix the windows – yes. Did they fix it to the same quality that was seen when the offer was made – no.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hunt View Post
    Oh my Oh my; what was I thinking. I certainly bow to the collective advice of the forum and not approve any electrical repairs at any time. I will insist that a licensed electrical inspector perform a complete inspection after a licensed electrician has performed the repairs.

    I will now call my attorney and inform her that we must prepare for the myriad of law suits that obviously will follow my foolishness. I will call the buyer and inform her that I recind my approval of the the repairs . I will also call the buyer's agent and have him inform the seller's agent that we cannot approve any elecrical repairs without the complete paper trail that the collective wisdom of the forum insists must be in place.

    All of this for noting in the reinspection report that the two cover plates on uncovered switches on the stairs are now in place.
    Nobody here is trying to give you a hard time. We're all here to learn. Your question is legitimate and your course of action is understandable and seemingly harmless. The point we're trying to make is to stand behind and backup what you write. I have been (and still am at times, I'm sure) guilty of just writing stuff because it is what I was taught or is what I've always done. But, you have to stand behind it.

    I have a similar method that JP describes. If people want electrical work re-inspected I say great..... let me see the receipt and I'll tell you if anything was done (with a bold disclaimer that I'm not evaluating the completeness or correctness of the work. I'm only verifying that some change has taken place).

    There are great debates and a lot of knowledge around here.... telling people to go flip burgers when challenged is pretty childish, really.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    When I find ungrounded 3-prong receptacles in older home say 1950's. I simply state that the homes 3-prong receptacles are ungrounded and that it's due to older branch circuit wiring having only two wires and not a third ground wire. I mention that installing GFCI receptacles is one alternative to grounding. I don not make recommendations that they rewire the entire home or convert them back to 2-prong receptacles. I make them aware of the condition and let them decide how they want to deal with it. I usually mention that if they are going to have a computer in the home that it should be on a grounded receptacle.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Hi Jerry & all

    I agree that the best way is to "finish the job" -HOWEVER

    The State electrical inspector does not require this to be done and allows 2 prong to go back in. AHJ overrules common sense some times but if they allow it it is allowed.
    I reiterate ,my best recommendation on a buyers inspection is to install GFCI or properly ground the 3 prong outlets. On the point of sale inspections the electrical inspector or city guidlines under ordinance dictates what I must call. My E&O insurer says I must follow the guidelines.I have one million coverage which is set by the cities . It has a zero deductible including legal defense from the Mn Joint Underwriters (cost $ 16 per inspection and tail coverage is included.) My insurance cost is about $8,000 to 15,000 per year(audited policy) So I have to adhere strictly to the guidelines for whichever inspection I am doing.

    We have about 8 cities in the Minneapolis / St. paul metro area that require an inspection according to specific guidelines set forth by city ordinace. These inspections must be done prior to even offering the property for sale.The criteria is not the same as a buyers inspection.
    If anybody wants the guidelines are all available on my website mjmoser.com under "city evaluations " . The guidelines are a good study guide if you adjust for the different states . Each city is slightly different in what they enforce as corrections. I do both buyers inspections as well as the point of sale inspection / evaluations. My report and agreement always state which guidlines I am using NAHI, MSHI or city.

    Mike Moser


  33. #33
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    Ted, it may be a Texas thing, I have never seen a 2 or a 3 prong receptacle. I have seen a 2 or 3 prong plug.
    You never got the birds and bees story huh.

    The receptacles are the innies and the plugs are the outies. You put the outies into the innies so no matter which way you look at it they are both three or two prong, one on the inside and the other on the outside I think anyway. I never got the whole story behind the birds and bees thing.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Luce View Post
    Plugs that have a ground needs to have an adapter to be used with a 2 prong receptacle. If the adapter is installed correctly, then the buyer will be safe.
    Care to explain how you think that adapter is providing a proper grounding method on an ungrounded system? Even if the box were grounded it would still be a marginal connection.

    Those adapters when used on an ungrounded system just allow the 3 prong to be plugged in without removing the ground pin.


  35. #35
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Did I type that last night?


  36. #36
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Relax Bob, comments by some are not intended to bash you.
    I also do re-inspections. However, I won't re-inspect everything. It has to be something that I can reasonably see and evaluate. In this case, I would not sign off on the receps unless the sparky was there, then I might. I would want to ask him questions and see a proposal or invoice. DIY/Homeowner work I don't even bother. Anyone can replace the recep but that's not the main issue here. The wiring to/from that recep is really the issue. I don't know what's inside the wall and am not opening it up to find out, that's a different ball game.
    I guess I would look at it somewhat differently. If the receps are ungrounded 2 prong, then what is the rest of the system like? How old is the panel, is the service rope frayed, is it cloth wiring, etc? If the overall install hasn't been rehabbed in 30 +/- years, I'm recommending full or near full replacement.
    House last week had a 200A pushmatic panel installed in 1972 (sticker still on it). Rec. replacement.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  37. #37
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Moser View Post
    AHJ overrules common sense some times but if they allow it it is allowed.
    Yep.

    That happens at times.

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

  38. #38
    Don Burbach's Avatar
    Don Burbach Guest

    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    See that last paragraph for the solution...........

    It's pretty interesting and damning for our profession and the NEC code to see that we can have this debate and still ignore the user detail that just having labels that says 'No equipment ground' and "GFCI protected' mean little or nothing to the end-user. This is the same user that installed the three prong outlet in the two wire system anyway.

    My humble opinion is without being able to easily test the GFCI outlet in a two system, sets us up for a non-maintainable system, or at least obscures the real issue that any equipment using a ground prong to a frame ground is not connected as designed.

    I have NEVER seen a house that was wired with the NEC code option of installing a GFCI outlet in a two wire system and labeling 'No Equipment Ground and GFCI Protected'. I have seen some GFCI outlets installed in bathrooms and kitchens, but no labels.

    When I see GFCI devices in a two wire system I am never confident that they are wired correctly or even working. I usually get my electrical wire out and get the seller to demonstrate that they are working properly. Yes, he is the same person who felt that taking the NEC option of the GFCI outlet in the two wire system was a great idea and time saver.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Burbach View Post
    I have seen some GFCI outlets installed in bathrooms and kitchens, but no labels.
    Huh?

    Not sure what you are trying say, but what you are saying is not needed.

    When I see GFCI devices in a two wire system I am never confident that they are wired correctly or even working.
    Test them. With the 'Test' button on the GFCI. You can easily find out if they are working.

    I usually get my electrical wire out and get the seller to demonstrate that they are working properly.
    What "electrical wire" are you talking about getting out?

    Are you saying that you are not capable of pushing the 'Test' button on the GFCI and testing the GFCI?

    Yes, he is the same person who felt that taking the NEC option of the GFCI outlet in the two wire system was a great idea and time saver.
    Huh? Again.

    I have no idea what you are trying to say or imply, but what you are saying makes no sense, and that last part makes no sense whatsoever.

    Are you a home inspector and you really do not know how to test a GFCI receptacle? That is what I am getting out of your post.

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

  40. #40
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    Smile Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Bob,

    How do you know the home owner did the repairs and not an electrician?

    And, knowing that, why did you not then state that it WAS NOT REPAIRED AS RECOMMENDED (you say it clearly was not) by a licensed contractor and then recommend AGAIN that the work be repaired by a licensed contractor.

    The rest of us are only trying to open your eyes as to what you said and then what you did WERE DIFFERENT, and by doing it differently you shot down what you said originally.

    If you are going to do re-inspections, and you recommend the work be done by licensed contractors, when your client calls for a re-inspection ask them to send you a copy of all the worker orders as done by licensed contractors. When they say the work was done by the homeowner, you respond with "Then there is no need to do a re-inspection as *I* said those needed to be done by licensed contractors.".

    If your client insists on you doing a re-inspection and you do, you ... yes, *YOU* ... will be the one signing off on the homeowners repairs. Are you sure you understand the risk you took by doing so?
    Good One Jerry, you are the master of this site for sure. The more I read your responses, the more respect I have for you. Sorry for being an ass in the beginning - Jim Hintz


  41. #41
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    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    Good topic, even if it is a few months old.

    I still find a lot of 2 wire systems that as Jerry Peck has mentioned, the job was never finished.

    To clarify, I "think" what Don may have been implying is that if we are inspecting a 2 wire system that now has 3 prong outlets installed (properly labeled of course), which are now being protected by an upstream GFCI, he/she will encounter problems using a 3 bulb tester w/GFCI button on top, as the upstream device will likely not trip. Obviously, pressing the "test" button and confirming that power was interrupted should suffice.

    A "wiggy" or solenoid type tester applied between hot and a constant ground source "magically" seems to trip the upstream GFCI device.

    Our hand held testers do a fine job on testing upstream GFCI protection on a 3 wire system, but the internal circuitry in our "tester" has no shunt to ground on a now downstream, GFCI protected 3 prong plug fed by a 2 wire system.


  42. #42
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: New Installation of Two prong Receptacles

    I use this section of the NEC for reference when I run into this problem:



    (3) Non–Grounding-Type Receptacles.
    Where attachment
    to an equipment grounding conductor does not exist
    in the receptacle enclosure, the installation shall comply
    with (D)(3)(a), (D)(3)(b), or (D)(3)(c).
    (a) A non–grounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted
    to be replaced with another non–grounding-type receptacle(s).




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