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Open ground outlet narrative


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Quote:Electrical: All of the outlets are 3 hole or grounding type outlets and are not grounded. This home was built before 3 wire circuits, ones that have an EGC (equipment grounding conductor), were required. Out of convenience many homeowners replace the original 2 hole or non-grounding outlets with 3 hole outlets. This is a concern because equipment designed to rely on an EGC for safety or protection will be less safe and not protected. For personal safety having a GFCI breaker at the panel provides the best safety because once tripped the whole circuit from the panel is de-energized both hot and neutral conductors. However a GFCI does not correct the need for an EGC by equipment that relies on an EGC for protection like computers. Consider at least having any outlets that will be connected to equipment relying on an EGC (those with 3 prong plugs) rewired by an electrician and have the electrician provide GFCI protection of all the others. For even greater safety and protection have all of the outlets rewired and provided with GFCI protection.

Katenize me.

Chris, Oregon

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Electrical: All of the outlets are 3 hole or grounding type outlets and are not grounded. This home was built before 3 wire circuits, ones that have an EGC (equipment grounding conductor), were required. Out of convenience many homeowners replace the original 2 hole or non-grounding outlets with 3 hole outlets. This is a concern because equipment designed to rely on an EGC for safety or protection will be less safe and not protected. For personal safety having a GFCI breaker at the panel provides the best safety because once tripped the whole circuit from the panel is de-energized both hot and neutral conductors. However a GFCI does not correct the need for an EGC by equipment that relies on an EGC for protection like computers. Consider at least having any outlets that will be connected to equipment relying on an EGC (those with 3 prong plugs) rewired by an electrician and have the electrician provide GFCI protection of all the others. For even greater safety and protection have all of the outlets rewired and provided with GFCI protection.

Well, it makes sense to me. But I think it'd confuse the hell out of the average homebuyer. I like this little ditty:

There are many ungrounded 3-slot receptacles throughout the house. These feign a level of safety that does not, in fact, exist. Ensure that all 3-slot receptacles are either properly grounded or GFCI protected for safety.

Note: Never plug your computer into an ungrounded receptacle, even if it’s GFCI protected. Surge protectors won’t work on ungrounded receptacles.

-Jim Katen, Oregon

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Here is mine

Safety Concern Old ungrounded receptacles have been replaced with modern 3 prong grounded type receptacles giving the illusion that they are grounded. The original wiring of the house did not provide for grounded receptacles. These new receptacles should be connected to ground, replaced with 2 pong outlets or GFCI receptacles where appropriate. While it is considered acceptable to leave older equipment in place that does not meet modern standards, any item you replace must meet them. Any appliance that has a three-prong plug must be provided with a grounded receptacle for safety reasons.

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This is similar how my discussion went with my fellow inspectors over the course of a couple beers. I found it amazing how widely our opinions varied. From "hey your electronics could be at risk to the death and destruction opinion. After seeing the S trap thread I think the next beer and round table discussion I am going to drop that topic on the table.

I think in the end these discussions are good because we do need some commonality in our reports. In the end it is important because the client is not educated enough to know what is accurate and what may be inspector babble from the good ole\d inspector training schools.

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