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non-grounded receptacals #58737 11/16/05 03:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 80
Bert66 Offline OP
I think I know the answer but would like your feedback. How and to what extent would you address a job where the house receptacals do not have a ground? Would you just install grounded recetacals or recommend that the home owner rewire the entire house?

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Re: non-grounded receptacals #58738 11/16/05 03:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 106
jw electric Offline
I would do one of the following short of a complete rewire job.

250.130 (C) Nongrounding Receptacle Replacement or Branch Circuit Extensions. The equipment grounding conductor of a grounding-type receptacle or a branch-circuit extension shall be permitted to be connected to any of the following:
(1) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode system as described in 250.50
(2) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode conductor
(3) The equipment grounding terminal bar within the enclosure where the branch circuit for the receptacle or branch circuit originates
(4) For grounded systems, the grounded service conductor within the service equipment enclosure
(5) For ungrounded systems, the grounding terminal bar within the service equipment enclosure


406.3(D) (3) Non–grounding-Type Receptacles. Where grounding means 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.

Re: non-grounded receptacals #58739 11/16/05 04:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 329
Steve Miller Offline
It seems to me that we all know what should be done ... but that's a lot of money and many homeowners don't want to get that deep into it. All the talk of safety in the world will not get many homeowners to rewire the whole thing. What I do is approach each receptacle and circuit separately. Those that need a ground to function properly we try and ground, those that are normally used for stuff like 2 wire lamps, appliances (exclusive of the kitchen) etc we put new 2 wire receps in. Hopefully we come to a happy medium that all can live with (no pun intended).

Re: non-grounded receptacals #58740 11/17/05 12:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 101
lamplighter Offline
Used to be that you could replace the ungrounded recept. with a new, ungrounded type recept.. The reason being that to install a three prong, grounded style receptacle gives false representation of ground. The other trick to this problem was to install a G.F.C.I. recept in its place. G.F.C.I. will still function properly without a ground which gives adequate protection to the device but, in the state of Michigan, the new Michigan state residential code for one and two family dwelling units, which takes priority over the N.E.C. will not allow either of these methods.
In Michigan, you must now properly ground the new three prong recept. by means approved by the Michigan Residential Code.
The quick, easy and cheap answer to the problem is gone for good here and since the majority of homes here were built before 1955, it's going to get costly around here.

Re: non-grounded receptacals #58741 11/18/05 10:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 29
Mvannevel Offline
Lamplighter, the MRC does not prohibit any of the methods found in 406.3(D)(3) for replacing nongrounding type receptacles. The MRC is, in fact, silent on the issue in both section 3808 and section 3902. This allows you to use the NEC in regards to replacement. In fact, we were just discussing this issue at our Metro Electrical Inspector's Association meeting yesterday.

Re: non-grounded receptacals #58742 11/18/05 11:30 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 101
lamplighter Offline
I must have missed something here.
I just took my code update class two weeks ago and the AHJ that gave the course was telling all of us that the MRC prohibits replacing non-grounded recepts with non-grounded recepts and also prohibits using a GFCI in their place as well.
I don't have a copy of the MRC yet as I didn't even know it existed until this update class.
Maybe I misunderstood what he was saying during the class.
I'll have to pick up a MRC book soon.

Re: non-grounded receptacals #58743 11/18/05 11:56 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
First of all, codes can NOT be made retro-active. If the old two-prong recep is legal, it is legal to replace it with another two-prong receptacle.

What is not legal is to remove a legitimately grounded three-prong receptacle, and replace it with a two-prong.

There is a little room for debate as to what is a "legitimate" ground. There was a time when you could run a wire outside the conduit, to a water pipe, to make a ground.

NEC says you can side-step the grounding requirement (for three-prong receps) by having ground-fault protection.

Now, suppose you find a home where the two-prong receps were simply replaced with three-prong types. Since the three-prong ones were never correct, I maintain that you are allowed to return things to the way that they were- and put the two-prong ones back!

It seems evident to me that the code panel, in a fit of sanity, recognises that no on is going to rip open all their walls and re-wire their homes- so the GFI provides an alternative.

Re: non-grounded receptacals #58744 11/18/05 04:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 29
Mvannevel Offline
Don't feel like the Lone Ranger lamplighter. There are a lot of contractors who aren't aware of the existence of the MRC. When I gave my code update class last year, I covered it and many of the electricians in the room had never seen one of them. There are very few places in it which differ from the NEC, and most of the differences occur in wording, not intent (though there are a few places where the actual requirements are different). If there was a prohibition against the methods in 406.3(D)(3), it would be in the Part 8 rules, (not the MRC) and there simply isn't. And, as Renosteinke stated, even if there were they can't be made retro-active. So if ungrounded receptacles on ungrounded branch circuits were code compliant when installed, 406.3(D)(3) can be used.

[This message has been edited by Mvannevel (edited 11-18-2005).]

Re: non-grounded receptacals #58745 11/18/05 04:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 101
lamplighter Offline
Mvannevel and Reno,
I don't feel too bad about not knowing the MRC exists. No one in my update class had ever heard of it.
As for the code not being retroactive, It's clear that neither of you have ever tried to work in good ole south Florida where the motto is... "Grandpa Died!"
Reno, it's good to hear from you outside of the chat room for a change.

Re: non-grounded receptacals #58746 11/21/05 03:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 29
Mvannevel Offline
You're right lamplighter, never worked in South Florida, but have worked and inspected in Northern Indiana, and there's places there where "Grandpa Died" too.

Not sure where you're at in MI, but you may want some clarification from the code update instructor you had. Like I said, over here on the West side of the state, we're all (pretty much) in agreement on the replacement issue.

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