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Old 10-08-2009, 11:20 PM   #1
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GFCI question. Please Help.

I live an a basement apartment of a home that was built in the 70s and since been remodled. well, when they remodled it, they changed the floorplan a little, and all the new outlets are wired correctly; however the bedroom outlets were originally wired with only a hot and neutral and no ground and when remodling they replaced the receptacles from 2-prong to 3-prong (w/ ground) but never ran a ground wire.

I discovered this after plugging in my new APC battery backup and the "Shock hazard" light came on. i borrowed a plug tester from a friend- and come to find out, all the outlets in the bedroom have NO GROUND.

Ive been looking all over online and the best idea i have heard without rewiring them all is to install a GFCI outlet where i have my computer and other electroncs plugged in. i was going to do so when i check the breaker box and the breakers that feed the room are GFCI protected breakers.

My question is - Is a GFCI protected breaker sufficient for my computer if it is plugged into an outlet with no ground?? without rewiring all the outlets are there any other precautions i can take?

please help. thanks.

is it possible that the GFCI breaker is grounded at the panel and is protecting my outlets but the plug tester cant detect it?


Last edited by the banana k1ng; 10-08-2009 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:55 AM   #2
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A GFCI protected 2 wire circuit does not provide a ground. To properly protect your equipment, there needs to be a proper ground run from the receptacle to the grounding electrode system. This may require wiring back to the panel, or the electrician be able to tap the GES at some other point. Running a wire to a metal plumbing pipe is NOT an option.


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Old 10-09-2009, 07:08 AM   #3
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Using a GFCI breaker on an ungrounded circuit is one way to allow 3-prong outlets without the equipment grounding conductor.

While this provides shock hazard protection for people, it does not work as well for equipment. Surge protectors may not work properly, as there is no ground connection to dump surges into.

On the other side of this issue, the use of surge devices on a GFCI protected circuit tends to cause nuisance tripping, due to the dumping of those surges into the grounding conductor.

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Old 10-09-2009, 09:31 AM   #4
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GFCI breaker is the legal code compliant way to allow three prong receptacles on that circuit. However it does nothing for equipment requiring a ground. The only way to make the APC not report an error is to install a proper ground.

Last edited by joed; 10-09-2009 at 10:22 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:35 PM   #5
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thanks guys for your responses.

if anyone else has any more ideas or input. it is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by the banana k1ng; 10-09-2009 at 07:43 PM.
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