Two wire receptacles

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  #1  
Old 08-23-04, 05:09 PM
moe707
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Two wire receptacles

Hello Guys,

I did a lot of electrical remodeling to my old home wiring with the exception to the master bedroom which is on the second floor. The master bedroom has the no ground wire. In fact, it appears that the previous owners when they remodeled this room, they used NMB wires and snipped off the ground wire. The NMB wire is not new all the way to the panel. Somewhere in the walls they pigtailed the old wire to the new NMB. I do not want to cut in the walls to try to fish a new wire down from the second floor unless if I have to.

I undestand that I can replace the first receptacle in the room with a GFCI even though I do not have the third wire. Is this correct? or will it be better to replace the breaker with a GFCI breaker. The same circuit powers up the lights in the room. I am looking for an easy way to protect myself from overcurrent and ground fault problem.

Also, do I need to use an AFCI breaker for the bedroom according to the new codes?

Thank you for your replies
Moe
 
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  #2  
Old 08-23-04, 05:40 PM
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Location: Central New York State
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The circuit breaker or fuse at the panel protects against over current. A GFCI or an AFCI will not address overcurrent.

A GFCI will protect against a ground fault, and is also an acceptable method of allowing for three wire recepticles to be used without a proper ground. Whether to use a GFCI breaker or one or more GFCI recepticles is a metter of choice. Usually one or perhaps two GFCI recepticles can protect an entire circuit and are cheaper than a GFCI breaker.

However, a GFCI recepticle or a GFCI protected circuit will not procide a proper ground for devices that need a ground to function. Devices in this categiry include surge supressors, UPS devices, and computers and computer equipment. To work properly, these devices need a proper ground.

Instaling an AFCI breaker will provide additional protection against an arc fault. However, you have no requirement to bring your house up to current code, unless major remodeling is taking place.

There is one thing in your post that concerns me. You have stated that "Somewhere in the walls they pigtailed the old wire to the new NMB." You should find this location, even if it means tearing the walls down. A splice needs a permanently accessible junction box. First make sure that the connection has not been made in one of the existing boxes, then either find where it has been made and correct it, or rewire everything. You have too much at stake to leave this dangerous situation.
 
  #3  
Old 08-23-04, 05:48 PM
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undestand that I can replace the first receptacle in the room with a GFCI even though I do not have the third wire. Is this correct?
Yes. But "first receptacle in the room" should be "first receptacle on the circuit". They're not necessarily the same thing.

or will it be better to replace the breaker with a GFCI breaker
Not any better, unless the circuit is wired in such a manner as there is no "first" receptacle. Even so, you can still do it with GFCI receptacles. It might take more than one.

I am looking for an easy way to protect myself from overcurrent and ground fault problem
The breaker or fuse should already be providing adequate overcurrent protection. The GFCI will provide ground fault protection.

do I need to use an AFCI breaker for the bedroom according to the new codes?
In some areas, an AFCI would be required to conform to today's codes. But you're under no obligation to conform to today's codes unless you do significant changes. Adding GFCI would not be considered significant. Of course, you can put in the AFCI breaker if it would make you feel better. AFCI breakers do offer GFCI protection too, some at the 30mA level and some at the 5mA level. You'd have to check the specs for the breaker. In most situations, 30mA GFCI protection is not considered sufficient, so you may want to use both an AFCI breaker and a GFCI receptacle.
 
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