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Old 05-29-2019, 03:49 PM   #1
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GFI Outlet vs Breaker


Was Working with my brother in law in a house that is mostly 2 wire (Line/Load) with no ground. I know that best option would be to run 2 wire romex with ground wire. That not withstanding, he has read that he could replace the standard 2 prong outlets with a GCFI outlet with only the two wires, as long as the outlet is properly marked to show not for use with grounded equipment.


I found instances where the previous owner had Jumpered the neutral to the ground, I assume to trick the inspector who supposedly was checking for proper ground.


My question is whether it would just make sense to put in GFI breakers and call it a day. If I understand correctly, equipment is still not protected, but he would need gfi replacements.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:53 PM   #2
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Re: GFI Outlet vs Breaker


GFCI breakers won't help with the grounding, but will protect personnel from the panel all the way to the end of the circuit. The only drawback is when one trips, you have to go all the way to the panel to reset it, rather than doing it locally with a GFCI receptacle.

Jumpering the neutral to the ground is definitely not code compliant.

If using 3 prong receptacles with the breakers, you would have to denote on every receptacle "GFCI Protected outlet NO GROUND"
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:02 PM   #3
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Re: GFI Outlet vs Breaker


Thanks, that's what I thought, but you do bring up another question. I was investigating the use of GFI outlets, and the suggestion was that is there was a load on the outlet, (another outlet downstream), to connect the line and load to the same terminal on the GFI. That way if the GFI tripped, the current would still flow downstream, even though the outlet at hand tripped the GFI.


Thoughts?
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:49 PM   #4
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Re: GFI Outlet vs Breaker


I think what you said is true..... Just not quite sure what you said...

With a gfi receptical, you will have the choice whether to protect just that receptical........ or that recep and everything downstream.... your choice.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:31 PM   #5
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Re: GFI Outlet vs Breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rze View Post
Thanks, that's what I thought, but you do bring up another question. I was investigating the use of GFI outlets, and the suggestion was that is there was a load on the outlet, (another outlet downstream), to connect the line and load to the same terminal on the GFI. That way if the GFI tripped, the current would still flow downstream, even though the outlet at hand tripped the GFI.


Thoughts?
If you connected the wiring that way, the downstream outlets would NOT be protected, and, by code, would need to remain as 2 prong outlets. To protect the downstream outlets, they must be connected to the LOAD terminals of the GFCI. Doing that, you could legally have 3 prong receptacles.

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Old 05-29-2019, 05:32 PM   #6
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Re: GFI Outlet vs Breaker


No, you connect to the Line if you do not want GFCI protection downstream and the Load if you do but you do not connect to both for the same run of wire/cable continuing on from the receptacle.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:57 PM   #7
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Re: GFI Outlet vs Breaker


Remember that on existing circuits you may have a 3 way switch that gets the neutral for the light from another circuit which will trip a GFCI.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiredindallas View Post
Remember that on existing circuits you may have a 3 way switch that gets the neutral for the light from another circuit which will trip a GFCI.
One circuit should not borrow the neutral from another circuit.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:39 PM   #9
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Re: GFI Outlet vs Breaker


Quote:
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One circuit should not borrow the neutral from another circuit.
Jim, you know it happens.
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