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Old 10-12-2009, 01:03 PM   #1
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


I know this is a noobie question, but feel like I need to ask. I'm going to be replacing an old (1950) 2 prong receptical with a GFCI. If there is no ground wire - just a black and white wire - is that okay to hook up to GFCI like that?

I only ask because I have this gut feeling there isn't a ground wire back there and don't really want to run a ground wire back to the panel. Any options?

Thanks for the help in advance.

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Old 10-12-2009, 01:10 PM   #2
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


GFCI is one of the legal ways to install a three prong receptacle on an ungrounded circuit. The receptacle should be labeled 'no ground present'.
It will still not be suitable for use with computer equipment requiring a ground.

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Old 10-12-2009, 01:13 PM   #3
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


I guess I should have stated this earlier, but it's going to be in a kitchen, primarily used for a microwave and an open outlet. Still okay in this scenario? I don't think there is anything downstream of the outlet, if anything just one outlet in the dining room.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


No, not okay. Personally, I would pull a new Romex run for the Micro, and do it correctly, since mic's need a 20 amp dedicated circuit. Post a pic of the location (wide angle), and pic of the Fuse/Breaker panel to see if a dedicated run can be done. Even though your home may have 2 prong outlets, if still a Fuse panel, it should have a ground along with the Neutral & hots coming into it. The ground would run to a cold water pipe, but outside, runs from the Meter to the ground rod.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:38 PM   #5
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


Here's why I hated to ask the question in the first place - we just had our electrical re-done last month. Didn't get along with the GC and I don't have any contact with the Electrician who came to our house. Anyway, we had all our Romex pulled from the house - I guess it's against our local code (so I've been told). So we don't have any... and I don't plan on re-installing any Romex either. I've heard that grounding to a water pipe isn't allowed anymore either. True?

All that being said, yes we have a new 100A panel & breakers. The conduit to the kitchen isn't exactly easily accessible, and I wouldn't know how to pull/snake a ground wire through it without making this a huge project...

I don't have time to post a picture today (sorry), but I can tell you the recep location is behind the base cabinets along an outside wall.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:44 PM   #6
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


If there is conduit, and it runs back to the breaker panel, then you have a source of ground.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:46 PM   #7
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
If there is conduit, and it runs back to the breaker panel, then you have a source of ground.
So I can connect the ground on the GFCI to the conduit (or the recep box, really)?
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:49 PM   #8
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


I am not an Electrician my training comes from doing the work in the Navy 20+ years ago, so you are best to leave it up to the experts. If you have a meter, and it shows the Conduit completes a circuit to Neutral or Hot, and was installed properly back at the box, then yes, it may complete the ground circuit. Look at the sticky of the diagrams that are posted, and also, Black & Decker has a really good book that helps to explain everything.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:26 PM   #9
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


Kitchen counter require dedicated 20 amp GFCI protected circuit. However since this is an existing receptacle it should still be OK IF you are not doing a major kitchen reno.
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Last edited by joed; 10-12-2009 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:40 PM   #10
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


Eusibius2, where are you located?
Kitchen counter top requires (2) dedicated 20a GFCI protected circuits - Min
No lights on either one
Built in microwave requires a dedicated circuit
Countertop if a powerful model its recommended
Very specific codes for what you can & can't do in a kitchen
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:43 PM   #11
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


I live in 'burbs of chicago. I'm not doing a kitchen reno at all, just swapping out a 2 prong recp for a GFCI. The microwave sits on the counter, so it's not required for that. My only other outlet in the kitchen is a GFCI already. Somehow, this one was missed wheh the sellers moved out (I just bought the place). For now, the only light is the overhead flouresant (yeck...).
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:51 AM   #12
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


Are you sure it is not covered by the one that exists. Trip the existing one with the TEST button and see if the other one goes off also.

Chicago is a conduit community. Everything is supposed to be in conduit. With conduit you could use the conduit as a ground or pull a ground wire in.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:59 AM   #13
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NOOB: GFCI and ground


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
If there is conduit, and it runs back to the breaker panel, then you have a source of ground.
Exactly right!

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