help bring house up to code


Old 05-23-05, 06:33 PM
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help bring house up to code

My house is under contract to be sold. The buyers inspector found that none of my three pronged outlets are grounded. When I bought the house my inspector said that since the house is wired with a two wire system, to change to three prong outlets I could place a GFI outlet at the first outlet in the circuit and change the rest of the outlets in the circuit to three prong outlets. He explained that all of the outlets would be protected. This he explained was up to code. This is what I did.

Now, I have been told (by a licensed electrician) that to bring it up to code I would have to replace all outlets with GFIs. Looking into it further, I called the Connecticut building inspectors office. He thought that it didn't sound like this would bring it up to code adn suggested I change them all back to the two pronged outlets.

What do you guys think. What is the least expensive solution to my problem. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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Old 05-23-05, 06:48 PM
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It is allowed by the NEC to install a GFCI in place of the 1st receptacle in a circuit & to install grounded receptacle "downstream" or after the GFCI. The only stipulation is that all ungrounded receptacles protected with a GFCI must have label stating "NO EQUIPMENT GROUND".These labels are included in the GFCI box.
Old 05-23-05, 06:56 PM
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How old is the house? And why are YOU responsible for "bringing it up to code"???
If the buyer is intent on doing this let them do it after they buy. That is my opinion.
If the house was wired legally when it was built, then no matter what the codes now, it is still legal! These moron home inspectors seem to forget this little tidbit of information. Then unsuspecting sellers, such as yourself, get roped into doing upgrade work on their own dime.

If not, then what Ampz said.
Old 05-23-05, 07:15 PM
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I agree with Speedy Petey, it shouldn't be your problem. If the buyers are offering a higher price (i.e. you profit by doing the work), then that's okay, but otherwise they should be doing it. It should have been plainly obvious to them when they toured the house that the outlets were only two-pronged.

Installing a GFCI on the first outlet and then installing three-pronged doesn't make sense to me unless you were running a new ground wire to each outlet. Would installing a GFCI in the circuit breaker box solve the problem?
Old 05-23-05, 07:31 PM
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I dont know about other cities but in Philly a house cannot be sold until an old {fuses} or otherwise deteriorated service is upgraded.A GFCI breaker will do the same as a GFCI receptacle but depending upon the make of the panel may cost 3 X as much.A groundwire is not needed if a GFCI is used,in the event of a fault of any kind downstream the GFCI will open the circuit.
Old 05-23-05, 07:32 PM
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I don't think ungrounded 3-hole receptacles have ever been legal. Requiring upgrades is not always reasonable, but requesting repair of defects that were never code even when installed is not unreasonable.

And yes, installing a GFCI breaker in the panel would solve the problem. Changing them back to two-prong receptacles would also solve the problem.

In a home sale, of course, everything is negotiable. If you think you can find a better buyer, then you have every right to say "no" to this request.

The opinion of the building department is not relevant here.

Depending how the home was wired, the electrician who said that you needed to replace all the receptacles may or may not be correct. But it's trivial to check. Just go press the "TEST" button on every GFCI in your house. Then any receptacle that will still power a lamp is not protected.

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