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
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 ???
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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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On Wed, 20 Jul 2005 01:24:26 GMT, "FDR"
I wish my creditors would leave me a loan.
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