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Old 10-22-2010, 12:17 PM   #1
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GFI's and the NEC


Will a GFI that us wired without a ground wire be up to code? When I press the test button, it trips, but when I use an outlet tester and try to trip it with that, it does not trip. Is this situation code comlpliant or am I going to now have to fish a ground wire into the outlet and tie it to a ground to be up to code?
thanks for the help.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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that would depend on the situation. You can install a GFCI in place of a receptacle in an existing installation that does not have an egc (equipment grounding conductor) but you cannot install a new circuit without an egc nor can you extend an existing circuit that does not have an egc.

did that answer your question?
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:06 PM   #3
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A three light tester will not trip a GFI on a two wire circuit. The tester sends the voltage to ground which has no place to go. No place to go = no imbalance to trip the GFI.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
A three light tester will not trip a GFI on a two wire circuit. The tester sends the voltage to ground which has no place to go. No place to go = no imbalance to trip the GFI.
Just to clarify, just because the tester does not trip the GFCI does not mean the GFCI is not functional. It is still a huge safety increase over not having it.


So - could a gfci tester be used to verify that your EGC is actually connected to the panel, even on a non-gfci outlet?
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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A Class A GFI is designed to trip at 4-6mA. This is not enough to trip a regular breaker in the panel so the tester will not test the breaker.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:37 PM   #6
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I didn't mean test the breaker. I mean use it to test that your outlet actually has a working EGC.

I guess a multimeter from hot to ground would test the same thing...if you get 120, you have a ground.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
I didn't mean test the breaker. I mean use it to test that your outlet actually has a working EGC.

I guess a multimeter from hot to ground would test the same thing...if you get 120, you have a ground.
well, you would get that same reading from a bootleg ground as well.

you would also get that from a situation where the sheath on old style AC cable (BX) is used for an egc. Neither are legal.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
well, you would get that same reading from a bootleg ground as well.

you would also get that from a situation where the sheath on old style AC cable (BX) is used for an egc. Neither are legal.
That why I have to take a extra step to verify if not bootlegged ground in there.

There are few ways I can do but I will just post the common safe methold here for other metholds I used I will not posted in here for safety and experncie level.

The safest way is turn the breaker or fuse on this circuit off then unscrew the recetpales but do not unhook the conductors but look at the netural and ground screws and if you see a jumper that is bootlegged connection.

with Bootlegged connection use the three wire recetpale tester with RCD { GFCI } test button it will buzz the tester but not trip the RCD if on this circuit sans ground connection so you need to check more deeper on this.

My legal way to slove the probem is two ways.,,,

First one is if no grounding conductor is there at all then I will repalce with new two blade recetpatle { I will NOT install three blade receptale without grounding conductor or other legal means }

Second choice is RCD but put a siticker say no equiment ground that will take care that issue..

So that is only two legal way I can do this { other electricians will do pretty much simauir to mine SOP }

Merci.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:58 PM   #9
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thanks for all of the responses. I should've been more precise with my situation and such. So, here it is:
I have some older wiring, either 14/2 or 12/2 without ground. I'm swapping out a couple of outlets with GFI where required and there's no ground present.

In this case, the gfi trips when the test button is pressed. When using an outlet tester, it will not trip (reasons mentioned above).

So, first and foremost, will the outlet work as intended to protect someone? Second, is this acceptable per the NEC? Or, have the boys that write the book made this illegal, thereby securing more work for themselves (so many guys in the trade have told me the code serves as a big way to keep the trades busy - forgive me for being cynical)?

thanks to all
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:10 PM   #10
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yes, that is legal and the response you get from the tester is proper.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenhammer View Post
So, first and foremost, will the outlet work as intended to protect someone?
Yes it will.
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