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Replacing 2-prong outlets with 3-prong outlets - Page 2

post #16 of 21
GFIs are a great safety devise and do their job well but sometimes have a fail safe feature that can make them quirky. I mean that I would not want a receptacle hooked up down-line of a GFI on a computer or other unit that unexpected loss of power could be a problem. I would want a GFI in any location that I, myself might be easily grounded such as outdoors, bath, basement slab etc...for obvious reasons.

Not trying to sound patronizing, but GFIs have to be in a grounded circuit. Back in the 50's a lot of residential housing was wired using ungrounded Romex with two prong receptacles (no longer legal in new construction ). Also today, the ground wire connecting to the green screw on the receptacle should be the same awg as the circuit wire in the feed cable... previously it could be a lighter gauge. And yes, as previously stated in BX wiring.. the receptacle can be grounded to a metal box with a screw that has no other purpose or a fitting designed for that purpose.
post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by Steve in Mass
Bunch of issues here.....

First, there is no need to buy GFI can just get regular 3-prong outlets. (Of course, by code, they are probabaly required in the bath and maybe in certain spots in the kitchen.)

That being said.....GFI won't give you any protection unless you have a 3-wire lead in the box.

Lots of bad advice in here, with an obvious lack of knowledge of code or how electricity works. GFI's do NOT need a ground wire to function. If you replace a 2 prong outlet with a 3 prong not only is it not code legal it is downright dangerous for anyone who plugs anything into it, lets say a toaster, if there is any fault within the circuitry the casing on the unit can become energized and with no ground or GFI present no one knows the casing on the toaster oven is live- until your child grabs onto it- see where im going? A GFI will save you on this.

If you want 3 prong outlets install a GFI recep on the start of your circuit and wire it so that the rest of the outlets are on the load side of the GFI- all the further downstream outlets are now protected by that GFI in the start of the circuit.

Not sure where to begin? Personally if I didnt know how my house was wired I would install a GFI breaker in the panel box (assuming you dont have fuses) and elminate the need of figuring out where the start of the circuit is.

Now your code legal and safe.

I am a licensed, insured electrical contractor- I am not looking for your work I just hate to read incorrect advice that would harm anyone.

post #18 of 21
Guys let me say it again-

GFI's do NOT need a ground wire.
post #19 of 21
Sir....with all due respect.....if you re-read my post, you will see that I mentioned that it would not meet code.....and I also mentioned that if he did what I suggested, he would not meet code, but would be in a no different situation than he is now, except that he wouldn't need to use a 3-prong adapter (which is far more dangerous). And as far as code is concerned, he is grandfathered in, so it is his choice to do it right or to do it conveniently.....

Code is code....sometimes they are good, sometimes they are just a PITA, and force you to spend more money and headaches than what they are worth. Tis kinda funny that most codes are suggested or written by those that have the most to gain from them, if you get my drift..........

Sure, to "do it right" and have the most protection, he should do what you said......and I think, if I am not mistaken, I alluded to that in my post.

As far as my knowledge of how electricity works............while I am not an electrician, per se, I have probably wired and/or engineered as many applications as you, including designing and commissioning an entire manufacturing plant including 440 Volt, 220 Volt, three phase, knock down and knock up transformers, etc.....and have also designed, fabricated, and commissioned many complicated electrical panels/controls to run heavy duty industrial equipment. And I have pointed out to more than a few "licensed electrical contractors" that I have hired in that factory that what they were doing IN "MY" PLANT, WHERE I WAS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SAFETY OF THE WORKERS AND THE COMMUNITY was

OH, BTW, Welcome.....
post #20 of 21
Mmmmmm! Methinks perhaps I stand corrected. In my posting I should have said GFIs should be installed in grounded circuits stead of "have to be..." I offer up the following to my lapse of memory of 40 years as a hard hat electrician:

"According to the NEC, it is allowable to install GFI's in ungrounded situations. This makes sense, since the GFI is not dependent of the ground to function. Remember, it does not measure shorts to the ground, it measures the current difference between the hot and neutral wires. A sudden difference, indicating that there is another path for the electricity to flow through... you, for example, causes the GFI to open the circuit and save you from permanently curly hair.
Of course, most safety-conscious electricians prefer not to install a grounded-type "three prong" outlet in an ungrounded situation. Think about it... once the outlet is installed, there is no way for anyone to know if the outlet is really grounded or not without testing it. Thus, there is a hidden shock hazard should an appliance or tool that needs grounding... has three-prong plug... is plugged into this outlet.
However, the NEC allows GFI's to be installed in ungrounded situations PROVIDED THAT the outlet is labelled "ungrounded". Though not "officially" approved in the NEC, the grounding hole in the GFI can be permanently defeated by using an epoxy or other adhesive to seal the hole."
post #21 of 21
"Code is code....sometimes they are good, sometimes they are just a PITA, and force you to spend more money and headaches than what they are worth. Tis kinda funny that most codes are suggested or written by those that have the most to gain from them, if you get my drift.........."

I would like to know of an example where code is not for protection and the best for everyone. I look at code as a set of minimum standards which my work must meet or the end user is not getting a modern, safe install. Note that if I did not follow code and the end user was somehow hurt, I can end up losing everything I have worked for all my life, I follow that code everyday and have yet to find something in there that is just to make me more money at the end of the day, it actually costs me more money to follow code

I am not being harsh or disrespectful, just explaining my feelings on this issue, I respect yours- I did not have my coffee yet when I posted before so I apologize if I didnt understand your post 100% and came across as a jerk
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