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Old 11-10-2011, 09:51 PM   #1
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Adding GFCI Breaker to Ground Outlets??


Hey Everyone,

I have a house with full rooms of two prong outlets that exist on the same breakers. I was told by a local home improvement teacher that if I replace the breaker with a GFCI breaker of the same size I can safely put in three prong outlets. Want to check and see if they were telling me the truth?

Thanks.

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Old 11-10-2011, 10:17 PM   #2
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Adding GFCI Breaker to Ground Outlets??


Do a search on here. This is a subject that has been beaten to death, more than the proverbial dead horse.

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Old 11-10-2011, 11:17 PM   #3
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Adding GFCI Breaker to Ground Outlets??


I didn't find anything on whether it is safe to replace a regular breaker with GFCI breaker and then switch outlets to three prong. All I get is trading out two prong for GFCI outlets. If you would be so kind to answer this question again in this post it would be appreicated. Thank You.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:36 PM   #4
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Adding GFCI Breaker to Ground Outlets??


First thing is, what panel do you have, and what is the age of the wiring that is in the structure already? Also, is it BX, Knob & Tube, Romex, Aluminum wiring? The only way to give you a proper answer on the breaker swap, is more info. In theory, the breaker would work the same as the outlet, but not as good, as if there was a ground in the circuit.
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:23 AM   #5
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Adding GFCI Breaker to Ground Outlets??


you can legally put a 3 prong receptacle on circuit with no ground if it is gfci protected and you label the receptacles "no equipment ground." This isnt as safe as having a ground, but it is a legal, code compliant installation
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:38 AM   #6
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Adding GFCI Breaker to Ground Outlets??


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you can legally put a 3 prong receptacle on circuit with no ground if it is gfci protected and you label the receptacles "no equipment ground." This isnt as safe as having a ground, but it is a legal, code compliant installation
Right! They need to be labeled "no equipment ground".
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:22 AM   #7
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Adding GFCI Breaker to Ground Outlets??


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Originally Posted by joerunner2 View Post
I didn't find anything on whether it is safe to replace a regular breaker with GFCI breaker and then switch outlets to three prong. All I get is trading out two prong for GFCI outlets. If you would be so kind to answer this question again in this post it would be appreicated. Thank You.
It's an identical solution. You will probably find that it's cheaper and easier to just replace the first receptacle on each circuit with a GFCI instead of using GFCI breakers, though.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:23 AM   #8
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Adding GFCI Breaker to Ground Outlets??


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It's an identical solution. You will probably find that it's cheaper and easier to just replace the first receptacle on each circuit with a GFCI instead of using GFCI breakers, though.
If you know where the first receptacle is. Older homes it may hit a light switch then 3 junction boxes then branch out to receptacles from there
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:32 AM   #9
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Adding GFCI Breaker to Ground Outlets??


Are you sure your boxes aren't grounded? Many times the ground wire was terminated at the box somewhere since it wasn't used when the wiring was installed. Get a tester and see if the box itself is grounded, and you can just install a jumper cable from the outlet to the box.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:16 PM   #10
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Adding GFCI Breaker to Ground Outlets??


Using a GFI breaker or receptacle does not add a ground to a receptacle. It only allows 3 hole receptacles to be installed on ungrounded circuits.

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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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