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Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2
New Member
I am a handyman, and have worked for several electricians as a helper over the years, currently I have been doing alot of work for a house flipper. Everything from installing carpet and painting to swapping out fixtures, outlets and switches to new ones. Well this guy I have been doing work for tells me that every outlet/circuit in a house that doesnt have propper ground is required to have a GFI outlet on it. So if the line comes to the room to the light fixture and branches out individually to three different outlets all three outlets need to be a GFI. and in a circuit that runs one to the next just the first one in the series needs a GFI like a normal GFI circuit.
Working as a helper I have never heard of putting a GFI outlet in a circuit that has no ground. The whole reason to put in a GFI is to prevent a ground fault resulting in someone getting shocked or worse.
When I said something to the boss/owner about this he told me that it was required and that it was told to him by an electrical inspector in a house he did years ago.
This just goes against everything I have learned over the years....
Am I right in this or wrong? Seems like a total waste in GFI outlets when he could have just had all the breakers changed out to GFIs and be done with it... I looked in the panel and he has an electrician come in and it is a new panel. And from what I could tell all the circuits in the panel have a ground. Not to say the wiring is different and they loose the ground wire elsewhere in the house....
It just doesnt make sense to me and I would like to know what electricians think about it....

Horizontal Ad
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,390
Likes: 7
My comment to your inquiry is the answer to this is within the NEC, and has not changed over many code cycles.

REDAD, and follow the instructions within the GFI device box carefully.

Refer to 406.3 (D)(3), and read the entire 406.3 section.

I am not familiar with the Tenn requirements for doing electrical work. You may consider locating a local Licensed Electrician.

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2
New Member
406.3 (D) (3) refers to type specifically isolated ground receptacles with the orange triangle on them.
But reading farther to 406.4 (D) (2) (b) Per 2011 NEC.
But this is kind of Greek to me as in the terminology....
A non-grounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a ground-fault circuit interupter-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-interupter-type receptacle to any outlet supplied from the ground-fault circuit-interupter receptacle.

then (c) goes on to say:
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-interupter. Grounding-type receptacles supplied through the ground-fault circuit-interupter shall be marked "GFCI Protected" ans "No Equipment Ground". An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected between the grounding-type receptacles.

Please correct me if I am wrong here, but what I get from this is that (b) is saying that I can put a GFCI where there is no ground, but it must be marked "No Equipment Ground"? And Equipment Ground refers to the ground conductor that goes back to the panel. If that conductor is broken between the GFCI and the panel (no ground) it is called NO EQUIPMENT GROUND?
Now (c) goes on to say I cannot connect the ground conductor between normal outlets that go back to an ungrounded GFCI?
I just want to make sure I am doing this right. The guy I am working for is not going to get an electrician in there to do this work, and if I refuse to do it, I am out of a job and he will get someone else who doesnt care about doing it right in there to do it.
So my idea of a GFI needing a ground to work is off base...
HotLine, I thank you very much for your help and pointing me to where I needed to look.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,958
Likes: 34
This is bordering on being out of the scope of this BB but I will indulge you one more time.
If there is no ground present, you can either use a GFCI receptacle at the first outlet, use one at each outlet or use a GFCI breaker. You need to use the stickers "no ground present" on all of the receptacles.

On the other hand, if you determine that these boxes are actually grounded you could add a grounding pigtail to a regular grounded receptacle or you can use the spec grade "self grounding" receptacle that had a spring tab that grounds via the mounting screw. It was not uncommon in the 50s to use a grounded type of Romex and still install ungrounded receptacles. Technically the GI Bill required grounding the boxes but the farther you got from DC the less likely it would happen. I would test this ground with a Sure test or some other more capable tester than the simple three light deal.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,390
Likes: 7
I agree with Greg, that this is on the edge of the Forum scope.

I will correct my original comment to say that was the 2008 NEC Article, and give you '2 points' for reading!

That all said, I believe we have been courteous and sent you down the correct path. This thread is being locked.


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