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water_cutter101 12-29-2007 02:50 PM

Outlet without Ground
I have recently purchased a house with some older wiring in it and some of the outlet boxes and light switches do not have ground wires.

I know that with the outlet boxes I can put in GFI's, but is there a similar type of GFI box that has on/off switch like a light switch that will still meet code. Or does this have to be done a different way like bringing a ground wire directly to the box in a different fashion.


Speedy Petey 12-29-2007 03:29 PM


Originally Posted by water_cutter101 (Post 83717) there a similar type of GFI box that has on/off switch like a light switch that will still meet code.

What code are you trying to meet?

frenchelectrican 12-29-2007 11:34 PM

If you are talking about this type of GFCI switch what we called [ faceless GFCI ] ??

Merci, Marc

220/221 12-30-2007 10:25 AM

You can possibly install gfci breakers at the panel that will protect everything.

water_cutter101 12-30-2007 11:42 AM

The code of for Ontario, Canada.


Speedy Petey 12-30-2007 12:10 PM

Well, what code is that?
I don't know Canadian codes, but are you required to meet current code with an old house, or are you trying to bring the house up to code.

My question basically is WHY do you want to GFI protect switches??????
I have NEVER heard of any code that requires this.

At any rate, a breaker is your best bet as 220/221 said.

water_cutter101 12-30-2007 01:54 PM

I am trying to meet a current code with an old old. I would think that's the same as bringing the house up to code.

Some of the outlets (not just in the washroom) in the house are using 1950's wiring that do not have a ground to the box, just a positive and negative lead. I know with those outlets I can just put a simple GFI and it will be the current code safety requirements for shock.

In some cases, some of the light circuits do not have grounded boxes either. So I am concerned that this may pose a shock hazzard just like the outlets without ground wires to them.

That is why I was wondering if there was an equivalent GFI type box receptable that doesn't have an outlet, but instead an on/off switch.


jwhite 12-30-2007 02:07 PM

the exception that allows you to use a GFI instead of rewireing the entire circuit does not bring the circuit up to current code. It only allows you to use ground prong recs on two wire circuts.

If you think that by using GFI devices you are bringing the circuit up to the same standard as if you ran grounded wires, you are wrong.

Also you do not have positive and negative wires, unless your home is wired in DC instead of AC.

AllanJ 12-30-2007 05:16 PM

A GFCI does work properly in a circuit with no ground.

I can understand the fear of flipping a light switch while standing on a not perfectly dry floor and getting electrocuted. If the power feed to the light subcircuit was daisy chained through a receptacle outlet box upstream, you can put an ordinary GFCI receptacle in that outlet box and connect what continues beyond that point to the load terminals of the GFCI. (Or use a GFCI breaker as mentioned earlier to protect the entire circuit.)

This offers protection although not code compliance.


Originally Posted by jwhite (Post 83975)
Also you do not have positive and negative wires, unless your home is wired in DC instead of AC.

I know the usage is incorrect but occasionally I have referred to the two legs of a regular 120/240 volt AC service as plus 120 and minus 120 respectively. (The neutral is zero.)

water_cutter101 12-30-2007 05:52 PM

Thanks for all your replies.... You have cleared this up for me quite nicely.


tribe_fan 12-30-2007 08:25 PM

If you really feel the need to protect a switch - then a circuit breaker should do it ?

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