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  1. #1
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    Default GFCI but no Ground

    We have a lot of older houses in our area. I see a lot of non-grounded receptacles that are protected with a GFCI device. I'm not sure exactly how to word it. It's not really a safety item since it is protected by the GFCI, and the odds of electronic damage at an outside receptacle seem pretty low. I do have a short paragraph for the interior receptacles in the older houses, but don't have anything I'm really happy with for the outside receptacles or kitchen/bath areas that are protected but not grounded.

    Anybody have anything that they want to share?

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    Jim Robinson
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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    We have a lot of older houses in our area. I see a lot of non-grounded receptacles that are protected with a GFCI device. I'm not sure exactly how to word it. It's not really a safety item since it is protected by the GFCI, and the odds of electronic damage at an outside receptacle seem pretty low. I do have a short paragraph for the interior receptacles in the older houses, but don't have anything I'm really happy with for the outside receptacles or kitchen/bath areas that are protected but not grounded.

    Anybody have anything that they want to share?
    Jim,

    I'm not really sure what you are saying.

    Are you saying that things plugged into GFCI receptacles on ungrounded circuits are not really safe?

    Things plugged into GFCI receptacles are just as safe when on ungrounded circuits as when on grounded circuits.

    A GFCI on an ungrounded circuit trips off when the ground fault current is between 4-5 ma ... the same as it does when on a grounded circuit.

    A GFCI does not care if the ground fault current is going to ground through a ground wire of a grounded circuit or is going through a person to ground on a grounded circuit or ungrounded circuit. No difference.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    I don't see why the outside receptacles would be considered any different than the inside ones. You have GFI protection either way and this is a code recognized method to allow 3 prong devices on ungrounded circuits.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    I don't know what your statement for ungrounded circuits and receptacles is, but all you really need to do is to explain that ungrounded circuits are no longer permitted in new construction, going back to about 1959 from memory, because there was no grounding conductor on those older two-wire circuits and that the grounding conductor is a safety feature to help prevent electrical shock and electrocution. The solution is to install GFCI protection on ALL circuits for ALL receptacle outlets and other outlets (ceiling fans, light fixtures, etc) INSIDE AND OUTSIDE the building.

    There is no 'wet area' consideration because there is no grounding conductor anywhere - so ... FOR THEIR PROTECTION ... GFCI protection should be installed on ALL circuits and ALL outlets INSIDE AND OUTSIDE.

    http://www.esfi.org/resource/holiday...statistics-359

    These are in the above document:
    "Household Injuries and Accidents:
    • More than 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents occur each year."


    "
    Fatality Statistics:

    • Each year, there is an estimated average of 60 electrocutions associated with consumer products. The three most common product categories associated with electrocutions are small appliance, power tool, and lighting equipment."


    Then put in 'Don't even think of calling me if you don't install GFCI protection on ALL circuits and ALL outlets INSIDE AND OUTSIDE the building and there is a shock or electrocution - YOU DIDN'T DO WHAT I SAID TO DO.'

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    [QUOTE=Jerry Peck;267017]Jim,

    "Things plugged into GFCI receptacles are just as safe when on ungrounded circuits as when on grounded circuits."

    That is exactly what I am saying. Not sure if I need to mention in the report that it is not grounded. I flip back and forth in my own reports whether I mention it or not. I personally wouldn't be worried about it not being grounded when it is protected by the GFCI.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    Not sure if I need to mention in the report that it is not grounded.
    If the house is old and the circuits are two-wire ungrounded circuits, I would put that in the report.

    Many things want ground circuits and specify it in the installation instructions, desktop computers is one that comes to mind.

    Putting in your report that the circuits are ungrounded may save you a call and a red-face when they go to sell and their inspector says the circuits are ungrounded and the computer requires a grounded circuit, did they (the seller, your client as a buyer) know that? Weren't they told that by their inspector?

    Putting it in your reports does not mean anything will be done about it, it only means you can point to your report and say 'I reported it, right here. You read the report, right?'

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    If I were a buyer I would certainly want to know if the circuits were grounded.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    "The addition of GFCI protection on systems with no equipment ground makes the system SAFER for users but it must be labeled "no equipment ground" at every outlet location."

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    ... it must be labeled "no equipment ground" at every outlet location."
    Not at every location and that's not the only labeling requirement.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    If I do not see a label it is called out.

    Sec. 210-7(d)(3) permits any of the following installations when replacing a 2-wire ungrounded receptacle:

    (a) Replace it with another 2-wire receptacle;

    (b) Replace it with a GFCI-type receptacle and mark the receptacle with the words “No Equipment Ground;” or

    (c) Replace it with a grounding-type receptacle protected by a GFCI device (circuit breaker or receptacle). Since the grounding terminals for the receptacles are not grounded, you must mark the receptacles with the words “GFCI Protected” and “No Equipment Ground”

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    If I do not see a label it is called out.

    Sec. 210-7(d)(3) permits any of the following installations when replacing a 2-wire ungrounded receptacle:

    (a) Replace it with another 2-wire receptacle;

    (b) Replace it with a GFCI-type receptacle and mark the receptacle with the words “No Equipment Ground;” or

    (c) Replace it with a grounding-type receptacle protected by a GFCI device (circuit breaker or receptacle). Since the grounding terminals for the receptacles are not grounded, you must mark the receptacles with the words “GFCI Protected” and “No Equipment Ground”
    In the NEC, the section is 406.4(D) Replacements (2) Non-Grounding Type Receptacles.

    When and where (under what conditions) is that required, and what is required as has been discussed?

    I.e., if:
    - A) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, what is required for that receptacle?
    - B) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a grounding-type receptacle, and GFCI protection has been added upstream, what is required for that receptacle?
    - C) If the first non-grounding-type receptacle on a circuit is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, or a GFCI is installed at the beginning of the circuit (GFCI breakers are likely not available for old panels with ungrounded circuits), what is required for the receptacles on that circuit?

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

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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    In the NEC, the section is 406.4(D) Replacements (2) Non-Grounding Type Receptacles.

    When and where (under what conditions) is that required, and what is required as has been discussed?
    Personally I did not think everything was covered, but I only had a short time to review all the posts. Mt phone has been ringing.
    Your last post to Jim was.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not at every location and that's not the only labeling requirement.
    If I am mistaken, please excuse me. I require more education on electrical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, what is required for that receptacle?
    You have given a condition but not explained the circumstance for the condition.
    Jerry, I take it to mean a two slot receptacle on a two wire circuit.
    If that is the case then, the NEC states, either by a GFI receptacle, a faceless GFI device, or a GFI breaker at the service panel.
    Do not quote me on that. been some time and and I back to studying electrical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    - B) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a grounding-type receptacle, and GFCI protection has been added upstream, what is required for that receptacle?
    Again you give a condition without a physical situation.
    Again I could be wrong but is it is a two wire circuit, a Labeling on both receptacles.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    - C) If the first non-grounding-type receptacle on a circuit is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, or a GFCI is installed at the beginning of the circuit (GFCI breakers are likely not available for old panels with ungrounded circuits), what is required for the receptacles on that circuit?
    You have given a condition with a set of circumstances. I also think you repeated the same condition in the sentence, I would equate to a 2 wire circuit. If the first receptacle is replaced with a GFCI everything down stream can remain the same, A non–grounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle(s)"GFCI Protected" and "No Equipment Ground." An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected between the grounding type receptacles.
    Do not quote me on that. I had to review some material.

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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    In the NEC, the section is 406.4(D) Replacements (2) Non-Grounding Type Receptacles.

    When and where (under what conditions) is that required, and what is required as has been discussed?

    I.e., if:
    - A) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, what is required for that receptacle?
    - B) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a grounding-type receptacle, and GFCI protection has been added upstream, what is required for that receptacle?
    - C) If the first non-grounding-type receptacle on a circuit is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, or a GFCI is installed at the beginning of the circuit (GFCI breakers are likely not available for old panels with ungrounded circuits), what is required for the receptacles on that circuit?
    Robert,

    With non-grounding-type receptacles, the natural presumption is that the circuits are non-grounding-type (two-wire), otherwise the original receptacles would have been the grounding-type ... thus I thought it was not necessary to specify that the circuits were non-grounding (two-wire) circuits.

    - A) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, what is required for that receptacle?
    - - Label it "No Equipment Ground" (because the replacement receptacle has the grounding slot but is not grounded) and "GFCI Protected" (indicating that it is GFCI protected, even though not grounded)

    - B) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a grounding-type receptacle, and GFCI protection has been added upstream, what is required for that receptacle?
    - - Label it "No Equipment Ground" (because the replacement receptacle has the grounding slot but is not grounded) and "GFCI Protected" (indicating that it is GFCI protected, even though not grounded)

    - C) If the first non-grounding-type receptacle on a circuit is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, or a GFCI is installed at the beginning of the circuit (GFCI breakers are likely not available for old panels with ungrounded circuits), what is required for the receptacles on that circuit?
    - - If the first non-grounding-type receptacle on the circuit is replaced with a grounding-type GFCI receptacle, label the replacement receptacle "No Equipment Ground" (because the replacement receptacle has the grounding slot but is not grounded) and "GFCI Protected" (indicating that it is GFCI protected, even though not grounded) ... the remaining non-grounding-type receptacles which were not replaced do not require any label.
    - - If a grounding-type GFCI receptacle is installed at the beginning of the circuit, label the replacement receptacle "No Equipment Ground" (because the installed receptacle has the grounding slot but is not grounded) and "GFCI Protected" (indicating that it is GFCI protected, even though not grounded) ... the remaining non-grounding-type receptacles which were not replaced do not require any label ... however, it is also quite likely that the AHJ will require the circuit to that new receptacle (it is not a "replacement receptacle) to have a ground, in which the receptacle would not require any label, nor would any of the downstream non-grounding-type receptacles. (Yes, I threw a complication into the mix to see how one would address it.)
    - - If a GFCI device (no receptacle) is installed at the beginning of the circuit, neither it nor the remaining non-grounding-type receptacles which were not replaced do not require any label. (Yes, this was another complication, but different than the previous complication because the GFCI device does not have a receptacle.)

    I was pointing out that only if the non-grounding-type receptacle (two-wire) was replaced with a grounding-type receptacle (which appears to have a ground and be grounded but is not), only then does it require a label. I was also pointing out that if the non-grounding-type (two-wire) receptacle was not replaced (or was replaced with another non-grounding-type receptacle), that a "No Equipment Ground" label was not required, neither is a "GFCI Protected" label.

    The above got more complicated typing than I thought it would - Jim Port may step in and dissect it and make corrections as needed.

    I brought it up because the generic 'they need to be labeled' statement was made and 'they need to be labeled' has limitations ... as home inspectors you may run across all combinations, and some may not require labeling.

    Whew! I'm done with that now.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    In the NEC, the section is 406.4(D) Replacements (2) Non-Grounding Type Receptacles.

    When and where (under what conditions) is that required, and what is required as has been discussed?

    I.e., if:
    - A) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, what is required for that receptacle?
    - B) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a grounding-type receptacle, and GFCI protection has been added upstream, what is required for that receptacle?
    - C) If the first non-grounding-type receptacle on a circuit is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, or a GFCI is installed at the beginning of the circuit (GFCI breakers are likely not available for old panels with ungrounded circuits), what is required for the receptacles on that circuit?
    Ha ha ha. Sorry.
    A:
    Label it "No Equipment Ground"
    B: Label it "No Equipment Ground"
    C: Label the GFCI "No Equipment Ground" and seeing the rest of the receptacles remain the same, 2 slot, no need for labeling seeing there is no ground slot.




    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  15. #15
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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I.e., if:
    - A) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, what is required for that receptacle?
    - B) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a grounding-type receptacle, and GFCI protection has been added upstream, what is required for that receptacle?
    - C) If the first non-grounding-type receptacle on a circuit is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, or a GFCI is installed at the beginning of the circuit (GFCI breakers are likely not available for old panels with ungrounded circuits), what is required for the receptacles on that circuit?
    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Ha ha ha. Sorry.
    A:
    Label it "No Equipment Ground"
    B: Label it "No Equipment Ground"
    C: Label the GFCI "No Equipment Ground" and seeing the rest of the receptacles remain the same, 2 slot, no need for labeling seeing there is no ground slot.
    JP: A) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, what is required for that receptacle?
    RY: A: Label it "No Equipment Ground"
    JP: I would also label it "GFCI Protected" as the obvious (that it is a GFCI receptacle) may not be "obvious" to person unfamiliar with GFCI devices, besides, the code does not say to label 'except for' those devices.

    JP: B) If a non-grounding-type receptacle is replaced with a grounding-type receptacle, and GFCI protection has been added upstream, what is required for that receptacle?
    RY: B: Label it "No Equipment Ground"
    JP: Also requires a label stating "GFCI Protected"

    JP: C) If the first non-grounding-type receptacle on a circuit is replaced with a GFCI grounding-type receptacle, or a GFCI is installed at the beginning of the circuit (GFCI breakers are likely not available for old panels with ungrounded circuits), what is required for the receptacles on that circuit?
    RY: C: Label the GFCI "No Equipment Ground" and seeing the rest of the receptacles remain the same, 2 slot, no need for labeling seeing there is no ground slot.
    JP: Correct ... if that new receptacle is ungrounded, however, being as it is a new receptacle, the AHJ would likely require it be grounded, in which case it would not even need that label.


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

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    Default Re: GFCI but no Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    That is exactly what I am saying. Not sure if I need to mention in the report that it is not grounded. I flip back and forth in my own reports whether I mention it or not. I personally wouldn't be worried about it not being grounded when it is protected by the GFCI.
    Jim,

    I run into that periodically too. The way that I set up my reports, I note when receptacle outlets are not grounded (either old style two-slot or improperly installed three) and make appropriate comments/recommendations.

    Then, if I think of it, I mention that the exterior receptacle outlets are not grounded but are GFCI protected (if they are) and leave it at that. If they have questions, they call me. I don't want to have someone say to me "If I had known..."

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