GFCI - New Jersey

My neighbor is selling his house in NJ and was told by a house inspector that he has to have a GFCI by the stove and by the sink in his 50 year old Cape Cod house.
The house has NO ground wire on the Romex since it was built.
I was always led to believe that even if you have a GFCI with NO GROUND WIRE that you have SOME PROTECTION. In other words, ONLY 2 WIRES - BLACK AND WHITE are connected to the GFCI.
Would this hookup - only 2 wires and NO ground - meet a NJ home inspection requirement ??
What about a GFCI BREAKER for the entire circuit ??? Pass inspection ???
TIA
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Zing wrote:

Might be true. I believe U.S. code requires GFCI for all kitchen outlets in *new* construction or reno's. In theory "current code" doesn't apply to older homes but some localities have passed vague laws requiring updating old places to code when sold (if they're serious about this, it's a huge burden) and some inspectors selectively look for key things that provide big value easily. GFCI's are in that category, like smoke alarms, stair handrails etc.

Not surprising.

Quite right. Full protection from ground-faults is provided regardless of whether the gfci outlet has a ground connection or not. In fact, gfci outlets are the recommended upgrade to un-grounded circuits, where you don't want to bother replacing the old cable with grounded stuff. They provide significant protection against electrocution in the event of wiring faults within the appliance, which is what the ground wire is supposed to do. (Installing grounded outlets on ungrounded circuits is prohibited. Connecting the ground pin to neutral is a big mistake.)
The GFCI outlet will come with a little sticker that says "no equipment ground" (probably also ones in French and Spanish). To meet code this sticker must be on the outlet faceplate when the inspector looks at it.
However, plug-in gfci testers won't work (they won't trip the outlet). The outlet's built-in test button should work fine.

Nobody can answer this better than the inspector that you spoke with. Localities (not just states, but counties and cities) can set rules over and above national codes, and inspectors can have their own "interpretations". Having said all that, I would say that I would certainly expect it to pass and I'd presume that it's exactly what the inspector had in mind when he spoke to your neighbour.

I believe it would provide equivalent protection, but ...

Dunno. Some inspectors prefer outlets, presumably for convenience of resetting. And the breaker will likely cost more than two outlets, *if* you can even get one for a 50-year-old panel.
And if these outlets are on the same circuit, then they could be protected by one outlet, if the wires are fed from one to the other. You need the same sticker on both outlets, and the downstream one should get the sticker that says "protected by GFCI". (Can the downstream outlet be replaced by a three-prong one? Hmmm. Dunno.)
The only case where I'd go to any trouble to avoid installing GFCI outlets is if the old plug boxes were too small for a GFCI *and* it was going to be really difficult to replace them. Like they were in solid masonry walls or something.
Chip C Toronto
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Excuse me, but "house inspector" said that? Of the ones I've seen, the subtelty that escapes them would be "new work" in code requirements. GFCI might be required in new work next to sink(s), but not required to be retrofit. Even if it's a good idea.
Assuming your neighbor has a compatible breaker panel, one could put circuit on GFCI breaker. If not, he could ask "inspector" for specifics, for 50-yr-old house, and/or tell him to pound sand.
Never mind that most "house inspectors" are most charitably described as hacks, whose main (only) purpose is to do nothing to offend the referrer (generally a realtor) for future referrals, and give his payor some arm-waving. IOW, a joke.
Now, a "building inspector" would be a wholly different critter- a code-enforcment officer who will pass/fail a real inspection. And maybe deny a C.O. He/she would not be confused by grandfathered work.
HTH, John
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When we got our present house inspected prior to closing, he said that the outlets by the sink should be GFCI. Now it's not like the inspector has any power to do anyhting about it. He's just relaying how things should be. It's up to the homeowner or buyer to do it or not.
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I was at the home inspection of a house a friend is buying this morning, and the subject came up. It's 25+ year-old construction, so GFCIs weren't required when it was built. The inspector put little stickers with "GFCI" printed on them on the outlets in the bathroom, kitchen and outside.
He explained that while it's not required for a home this old, they (home inspectors, in Texas) are required to list the lack of a GFCI in those locations as something requiring repair. It's up to my friend and the seller to negotiate who pays for this repair/upgrade, if they want to.
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Here in NY, a GFCI has to be installed on an outlet that has an open ground. In effect, the GFCI acts as they safety. I'd say the house inspector is right.
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Bull shit. the house infector is dead wrong. ( intentional )
The only building code that can be in forced is the one the house built under or its renovations. Unless your local building department has rules/laws that are draconian.
Call the local folks and ask before you believe any home infector.
I buy and sell real-estate frequently. I have NEVER met a home infector that has all of his marbles in the right basket. Remember they are working for the buyer and there for are not impartial.
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Of course. But they can still tell you that a GFCI should be at a certain location.

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On Mon, 18 Jul 2005 13:25:07 -0700, in alt.home.repair RE: Re: GFCI -

I have relatives that live in NJ. I would indeed describe their state & local governments as "draconian". I'm amazed (but thankful) that anyone would continue to live in a state like that.
--
To reply to me directly, remove the CLUTTER from my email address.


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I'd like to know why the house inspector is arbitrarily picking the non grounded outlets. If the house was built fifty years ago virtually none of the wiring meets current code, so why not tell you to rewire it entirely?

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FDR wrote:

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I still believe the whole process is arbitrary and wrong. They'll tell you to install gfci's but don't mention afci's. They'll tell you the non grounded romex is not up to code, but neither is grounded NMB but that wouldn't be written up. It just seems to me that the house inspection industry should have universal standards and clear intentions and not allude to these things as being violations but instead refer to them as upgrades

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FDR wrote:

The price isn't the issue. The lender's "house inspector" produces a huge list of items that are based on the house complying with all current codes as of the date of inspection. If not done the lender will not grant the loan.
Unfortunately the lists they produce are quite extensive and it would make no economic sense to do them.
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Can't you find a different lender?

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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1
On Wed, 20 Jul 2005 01:24:26 GMT, "FDR"

I wish my creditors would leave me a loan.
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--
-john
wide-open at throttle dot info
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