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Old 12-15-2010, 10:27 PM   #1
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


Hello,

I am in the process of selling my home in Southern California. I moved to Kansas city and wasn't at the home inspection but my agent was. The inspector said some of the GFCI outlets that I installed are not wired correctly and now the buyer is asking me to fix the problem. I remodeled the kitchen 2 years ago and added some more outlets above the counters. I did not remove the original outlets that were present. I was told the inspector was using some sort of tester to check if the GFCIs would trip or not. I think the inspector's tester needs to have a ground wire to trip the GFCI which is why he is saying some (probably the original ones) are not wired correctly. I feel that there is nothing wrong with the way there are wired because most of the house is only 2 wire circuits which is the way it was built in the 50s. What do you all think?

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Old 12-15-2010, 11:06 PM   #2
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


given the stories that some people tell of incompetent inspectors, it could be the inspector but the question is: how much cost are you talking about to have an electrician come in and check them or even just replace them.

While you can argue with the inspector and ask for another inspector (at your cost of course), it might be more fiscally sensible to just have an electrician toss in some new ones that he can attest to them being wired correctly that screwing around with multiple inspections and everything.

especially since you are quite a distance away.

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Old 12-16-2010, 01:26 AM   #3
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


... apparently you can run seperate ground wires to the receptacles.

I HATE the idea but others here are saying it's legal so go with it.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:18 AM   #4
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


My take on all this is that the only issue is that the Test button on the Inspectors GFCI Tester won't trip the GFCI, but that the GFCI device Test button will trip the device.

I agree with Nap in just calling in an electrician but just to do an inspection. If the electrical passes code then that's it. A licensed Electrician knows far more about Code requirements than most Home Inspectors. But then the new owner is not going to take your word for it because he paid good money to be SAFE.

GFCI's are designed to trip on a fault current to ground while at the same time not REQUIRING that they are connected to an EGC

Attached schematics should show how the home inspector might not know about how the test current is routed through the CT on the device while the test current can only be routed to the Equipment Grounding Conductor on an external GFCI tester.
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!-gfci-tester.png   Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!-schematic-gfci.jpg  
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Last edited by PaliBob; 12-16-2010 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:18 AM   #5
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


If the GFCI has not ground wire it should be labled a ungrounded. A GFCI is a valid three prong replacement for ungrounded circuits if it has the label.
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:14 AM   #6
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


The home inspector is not a code inspector or an electrical inspector. He is a generalist that is much cheaper than a specialist (electrical, mechanical, structural, HVAC, roofing, etc.) to look for potential problems, safety issues and future expenditures based on long term occupancy. He is also obligated to point out visual observations of potential problems because some systems cannot always be shut down for tests. Imagine if a GFCI was popped for a short term test and the downstream outlets powered a computer or an oxygen generator.

There are two types of inspections:

1. A pre-sale inspection where he is hired by the seller to prepare the home for potential problems and maintain the agreed contract price. Usually a seller hires the toughest inspector possible to point out all problems in a confidential report to the seller. Then the seller can prepare the home and correct the visual problems.

2. A pre-purchase inspection where there is an agreed on price price and the seller hires an inspector to point out potential problems that can be encountered in the future or used to negotiate a new selling price. Inspectors that are agreeable and hired/referred by a realtor that wants the immediate sale to go through.

In either case, the inspector should be certified by a MAJOR association of certified by the state. Most inspectors cannot do any work on the home and must provide a number of contractors if there is a visual problem.

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Old 12-16-2010, 01:24 PM   #7
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


Put a sticker that says "NO EQUIPMENT GROUND" above each GFCI receptacle and you'll meet code. :-P
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:51 PM   #8
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


Update:

Well today I contacted the inspector directly and challenged his opinion on the fact that the GFCIs are not wired correctly. I told him that GFCIs do not require an equipment ground to work properly and just because the equipment ground is not there does not mean that it is wired incorrectly. I told him per NEC you can replace a two prong outlet with a GFCI outlet as long as it is labeled as such. He stuck to his guns that the GFCIs would not work properly without it and then said he won that argument in court. His advise was to remove the GFCIs and install regular three prong non GFCIs outlets. This makes no sense to me but whatever. I have an electrician coming in to inspect. I move out of state or I could do more of this myself. I still feel that I am right and he is wrong and since he wrote the fact that they are wired incorrectly now the buyer wont believe me.

Last edited by hartkem; 12-16-2010 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:52 PM   #9
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


You are correct assuming the GFCI trips with its own TEST button.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #10
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


The Inspector does not know what he is talking about
You can NOT install REG 3 prong outlets without a ground
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:06 PM   #11
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
The Inspector does not know what he is talking about
You can NOT install REG 3 prong outlets without a ground
Exactly, his suggestion is against code and the way it is now is legal since NEC says a GFCI is the only approved way to replace a two prong outlet. I wish the buyer could read this.

All the GFCIs trip with the test button
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:09 PM   #12
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


yes do what operogost said by labeling the GFCI with the "No Equipment Ground" and also state this code article to the home inspector if he questions you further. say "since i was replacing older receptacles the code book says:
Quote:
Article 406.3(D)(3)(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.
That is verbatim and should shut him up.

As far as the other receptacles you didnt touch in the kitchen(only if they are fed by that GFCI or by another). Label them "GFCI Protected." that is a little overkill because if you have a 2 prong outlet there and there is no ground it is fine, the GFCI protection label im telling you to put on is for installing a 3 prong when there is no ground. but seeing that he seems to be a ball buster i would just throw that on there to make him happy
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:15 PM   #13
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by hartkem View Post
Exactly, his suggestion is against code and the way it is now is legal since NEC says a GFCI is the only approved way to replace a two prong outlet. I wish the buyer could read this.

All the GFCIs trip with the test button
You are right and he is more than 100% WRONG. I know they absolutely hate hearing it, and have an even harder time accepting it, but you should print this thread out and show it to him.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:19 PM   #14
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


I'd wonder if his incorrect information, if it torpedoes the sale, would mean you have cause for civil action against him
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:20 PM   #15
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Home inspector says GFCIs are not wired correctly!!!


Dont forget like i said above 2 prongs can be replaced with 2 prongs and with a 3 prong only where it is on the load side of a GFI

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