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Old 07-06-2013, 12:53 PM   #1
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


I was told that if you have an older receptacle that only takes a two pronged plug that in lieu of running new cable with a ground wire, that you can install a GFCI receptacle. It's still not grounded, but, it does have more safety. It was a number of years ago, but, I'm pretty sure it was an electrician who told me that.

I want to install a three hole receptacle in an older home with a non-three wire circuit. I also want to plug a splitter into that receptacle so I have a few more outlets (I won't exceed the amperage of the circuit). Since this might not work so well with a GFCI receptacles buttons I thought I would use a GFCI breaker.

When I looked at the instructions that came with the breaker it specifically says not to use it on an ungrounded circuit.

Anyone know anything about this. Am I just imagining the GFCI stuff???

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Old 07-06-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


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I was told that if you have an older receptacle that only takes a two pronged plug that in lieu of running new cable with a ground wire, that you can install a GFCI receptacle (and put the little sticker on the plate to say it is NOT grounded). It's still not grounded, but...

I want to install...
For what purpose?
Will you be adding a new circuit and using new (grounded) wire to feed it?

Plan on doing so and you'll be fine.
Attempt to tap into a existing (ungrounded or not) circuit to add multiple outlets and you may not be fine; especially so if the things you'll be plugging in a) really should have a ground or b) draw much power.

hth

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Old 07-06-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


You have to mark the faceplate as Non-Grounded, or use a GFCI outlet instead of a standard three prong in place of the old two prong.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:52 PM   #4
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


Thanks for the replies.

I wasn't planning on adding the "splitter" thing to add more outlets. The particular one does add more outlets, but, it also is adjustable somehow in that it allows you to plug in combinations of plugs/adapters that would normally not physically fit on a standard duplex outlet. One of the plugs is a right angle plug on a heavy duty extension cord for a window AC. I don't recall what the other plug looks like.

I wan't planning on running a new ungrounded line. I thought it just might be easier to replace the existing breaker for this circuit with a GFCI breaker.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:17 PM   #5
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
You have to mark the faceplate as Non-Grounded, or use a GFCI outlet instead of a standard three prong in place of the old two prong.
Standard 3 prong duplexes can be with GFI protection on an ungrounded circuit.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
You have to mark the faceplate as Non-Grounded, AND use a GFCI outlet instead of a standard three prong in place of the old two prong.
FIFY

Of course you can just leave the 2 prong device, but IF you do change to 3 prong, this is one option (at least for the first rec....and no ground to the downstream rec's.)
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:53 PM   #7
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


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Originally Posted by jproffer View Post
FIFY

Of course you can just leave the 2 prong device, but IF you do change to 3 prong, this is one option (at least for the first rec....and no ground to the downstream rec's.)
Majority of the two prong outlets still in use are a fire waiting for a truck to show up.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:55 PM   #8
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


That may be true, but they are still permitted.

I didn't say it was the best idea to leave them
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:13 PM   #9
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


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Originally Posted by tmort View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I wasn't planning on adding the "splitter" thing to add more outlets. The particular one does add more outlets, but, it also is adjustable somehow in that it allows you to plug in combinations of plugs/adapters that would normally not physically fit on a standard duplex outlet. One of the plugs is a right angle plug on a heavy duty extension cord for a window AC. I don't recall what the other plug looks like.

I wan't planning on running a new ungrounded line. I thought it just might be easier to replace the existing breaker for this circuit with a GFCI breaker.
A window A/C? What else are you wanting to plug in here? Better yet, how many watts is your A/C?
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:23 PM   #10
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by tmort View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I wasn't planning on adding the "splitter" thing to add more outlets. The particular one does add more outlets, but, it also is adjustable somehow in that it allows you to plug in combinations of plugs/adapters that would normally not physically fit on a standard duplex outlet. One of the plugs is a right angle plug on a heavy duty extension cord for a window AC. I don't recall what the other plug looks like.

I wan't planning on running a new ungrounded line. I thought it just might be easier to replace the existing breaker for this circuit with a GFCI breaker.
What is the voltage of you A/C unit? It could be rated 230 volts if the configuration does not fit a standard 15 amp receptacle,Also Running an A/C unit off of a 2 wire non-grounded circuit that is at least 60 years old is asking for trouble

Read the Box that the a/c unit came in to determine the size and Voltage of the circuit it needs, and run either a 15 or 20 amp circuit to where you will be using the A/C unit
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:25 PM   #11
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


You can replace a non grounding receptacle with a GFCI. It must be marked "No Equipment Ground".
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:34 AM   #12
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Majority of the two prong outlets still in use are a fire waiting for a truck to show up.
If/where so... it's not because of the device itself.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:40 AM   #13
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Majority of the two prong outlets still in use are a fire waiting for a truck to show up.
How are ungrounded receptacles a fire hazard?
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:08 PM   #14
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by tmort View Post
Thanks for the replies.
One of the plugs is a right angle plug on a heavy duty extension cord for a window AC. I don't recall what the other plug looks like.

I wasn't planning on running a new ungrounded line.
If your home uses window AC's then plan on a new grounded line for them.

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 07-07-2013 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:25 PM   #15
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Three prong outlet on a non-grounded circuit


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
How are ungrounded receptacles a fire hazard?
They are if old and allow the plug to be too loose in it.

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