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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if this was correct. I had an electrical contractor in my house to do some work on a 50 year old house. All wire's were open ground, and instead of rewiring the house, he had the wire rerouted to Gfci's downstairs and then, new wire coming out and into the panel. I have about a dozen of these GFCI's downstairs. Is this correct and safe?

an example would be my living room, which still show's open ground.. the 50 year old wire goes downstairs into the gfci and then the new wire is coming out of the gfci to my panel...

it just don't look right and i really need someone else s opinion

see attached file
 

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Licensed Electrician
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The first question that would need answering is why did you call the electrician out there to do? Did you expect a full rewire? Did you simply want 2 prong receptacles replaces with 3 prong?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the whole house was supposed to be a rewire, but our electrician said that it didn't need to be done. i dont think it is done correctly.

I have tested the Living Room and the TV.

The Living room plug shows as being correct according to the GFCI
tester. When the GFCI test button is pressed, it trips the GFCI
downstairs.

The TV room plug shows as being an "open ground" according to the GFCI
tester. When the GFCI button is pressed the GFCI Doesn't trip.

seems odd to me
 

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If I remember correctly, an ungrounded GFI will not trip using a plug in type GFI tester. The only correct way to test a GFI is to use the trip button on the device.

So, if the one circuit shows a good ground, that circuit is properly grounded and will trip with your tester.

The other circuit is ungrounded and will not trip with your tester.

GFI's do not provide a ground. They protect against a ground fault.
 

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It sounds to me like he used GFCI outlets instead of GFCI breakers. That might have saved you a ton of money especially if there is an old electric panel which could not accept GFCI breakers. Anyway GFCI breakers are much more expensive.

Then it is OK to protect old [non-grounded] wire and outlets with a GFCI. But the GFCI tester WILL NOT cause the GFCI to trip, as it relies on the 3rd ground prong to be wired and working...

BUT if those old outlets are wired into the GFCI outlets, you are protected from electrocution. The test would be to press the test button on the GFCI's and see that power goes out to the old outlets. Then they are protected. (Hit Reset to turn power back on.)

Anyway I would compliment that electrician for his ingenuity in using GFCI outlets and all in a handy location near the panel. Sounds like a good solution to me.
 

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so, if an outlet to a gfi is not grounded, would this be a potential safety hazard?
A non-grounded outlet wired from a GFCI - protected by a GFCI protects people and animals from electrocution.

Grounded outlets (3rd prong connected to ground and new wire ran for that) are better so far as surge protectors and some electronic devices are concerned. And could function without a GFCI. Would be better for some things with electric motors like a refrigerator...

However rewiring your entire home would be necessary for that, and that would be a LOT more money!

So OK with the GFCI's - better than before. And best with new wire run and the 3rd ground prong connected.
 

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It is proper to connect a two wire circuit to the GFCI and put three prong receptacles on it. However if there was no grounds present the circuit should still test with an open ground. Not sure exactly what he did or what you had before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Before we hired the electrician, most outlets were showing as "open ground". The outlets are still showing as "open ground" but now there are gfci's next to the panel that are attached to the old outlets in the house

It is proper to connect a two wire circuit to the GFCI and put three prong receptacles on it. However if there was no grounds present the circuit should still test with an open ground. Not sure exactly what he did or what you had before.
 

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The question is did you discuss your options with the electrician before he did any work? And discuss how much money you wanted to spend on the project?

If you had a limited budget, than that would limit what he could do. And then one option would be to make things as safe as possible while keeping within that budget.

If money is no object and you wanted the entire house rewired, and he did not do that, then that is a different matter!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yes, we did have him look at the house and give us a quote to bring our house up to code. My main concern was safety and i wasn't sure if having the old wires attached to gfci's downstairs was a good idea, especially since it was showing open ground on the outlets upstairs.
 

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yes, we did have him look at the house and give us a quote to bring our house up to code. My main concern was safety and i wasn't sure if having the old wires attached to gfci's downstairs was a good idea, especially since it was showing open ground on the outlets upstairs.
It still comes back to what you wanted done. Earlier in the thread you stated that the house was supposed to be rewired. Was there a contract presented (and signed) stating this? If there was a contract, what work did it specifically state would be completed? Did you ask that all outlets be grounded (an expensive proposition.) What the electrician has done has made your house safer; is it what you requested is another matter entirely.
 

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Well it is safe as it is now. Much better than before. You and your family are safe from electrocution.

If you want it *totally* up to code - new wires run to every switch and outlet. Maybe additional outlets installed. Then tell your electrician. That would be a new and separate project.

You could also choose to have one room rewired at a time. Maybe have one room done a year.

Also if you feel what you paid should have covered rewiring the entire house and that was not done, then you can tell us the price you paid to have the work done and list all the work he did. And edit your "User CP" above to list your city/state. People here living in the same area can tell you if that was a fair price or not. (Electricians as well as other contractors will charge more in certain cities due to higher costs.)
 

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It is current code to use gfci's to protect 2 wire ungrounded outlets.

I have done this in my own house, but in my case I was able to replace the first receptacle in the chain with a gfci outlet.

The remaining outlets are required to be marked 'no equipment ground' and 'gfci protected outlet'. These stickers actually come with the gfci outlets for exactly that purpose.
 

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FYI - A GFCI is like a bank teller. It "counts" how much electricity is going out one wire and coming back on the other wire. If some electricity is "unaccounted for", then the GFCI instantly shuts off the electricity!

So if someone was electrocuted, "some" of the electricity would flow through their body to "ground". Then the "bank teller" would notice some electricity "missing" and instantly shut of the electricity on the GFCI outlet.

A GFCI tester simulates this by leaking a small amount of electricity to the 3rd ground prong of the outlet. That will not work if that 3rd ground prong is not connected to anything. However the GFCI tester should work just fine in the GFCI outlets below the panel (with new wire going to them).

How a GFCI works...
http://ecmweb.com/content/how-gfcis-work
 

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It is current code to use gfci's to protect 2 wire ungrounded outlets.

I have done this in my own house, but in my case I was able to replace the first receptacle in the chain with a gfci outlet.

The remaining outlets are required to be marked 'no equipment ground' and 'gfci protected outlet'. These stickers actually come with the gfci outlets for exactly that purpose.
White receptacles with ivory covers? Tacky:)

Oops, I have a few in my house
 

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What your electrician did was make the circuits safe -- for humans. You are now protected from errant ground fault conditions, since you obviously had 3-prong outlets connected to non-grounded circuits.

While this procedure protects YOU -- the occupants of the house -- it does NOT protect your equipment! Things like plug-in surge devices will not work properly connected to these older non-grounded circuits. :huh:
 

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Exactly what I was thinking. Sounds like he took the easy way out.
 

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He may have taken the easy way out but what he did is perfectly to code and would pass an inspection.
It depends on what you requested him to do and what the contract said as to whether he fulfilled what you hired and paid him to do or not.
 
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