GFI - will it do me any good?

Old 06-20-05, 06:42 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Question GFI - will it do me any good?

We just bought an older home. When hooking up my computers, I needed a 3 hole-receptacle but there were none in the room. So I carefully turned power off and opened the 2-hole outlet. I found that there was no ground wire at all in the rough-in. I looked at other rooms with 3-hole outlets and all the 3 hole outlets have their ground screw not connected to anything.

I am thinking of installing GFIs one per room. Will GFI do me any good, since the house seems to lack ground wires anywhere? (The panel is grounded to water pipe, though).

If installing GFI is useful, I have couple questions.
1. What do I do with the gound screw on the GFIs? Just lleave them unconnected?
2. Will GFI still work with only hot and neutral connected?

Old 06-20-05, 07:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
A GFCI may be installed in a circuit without an equipment grounding conductor, such as you are describing. You simply leave the ground screw disconnected. Add the little 'no equipment ground' sticker.

This will provide additional _safety_ by protecting people from current flowing outside of the intended circuit. A GFCI will work just fine with just the hot and neutral wires.

However it won't provide a proper ground for things such as surge suppressors and computers.

Old 06-21-05, 04:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,970
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
For your computers (and any surge supressors, UPS devices, etc.) you need a proper ground. Your computer may very well run okay without a proper ground, but you still want a ground so that the metal case and any metal parts will be properly grounded.
Old 06-21-05, 08:02 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,942
Received 44 Votes on 42 Posts
Originally Posted by novicecanuck
I am thinking of installing GFIs one per room. Will GFI do me any good, since the house seems to lack ground wires anywhere?
GFCI will add safety from electrocution, but as others have said will provide no protection to your computers. One important thing to recognize is that you need one GFCI per circuit, which may or may not be one per room. Determining how your circuits are laid out will likely take a Saturday, but it is a good idea to know this information.

To protect everything on each circuit, the GFCI must be the first device on the circuit and the wires to the panel box must connect to LINE side of the GFCI and the wires to the next light/receptacle must connect to the LOAD side of the GFCI.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: