Adding GFCI breakers to panel - DIY job?


Old 05-15-11, 10:26 AM
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Adding GFCI breakers to panel - DIY job?

Older house with 2 prong outlets, knob & tube wiring. The breaker box has been upgraded, not the wiring. Looking to add GFCI breakers to electrical panel.

Two questions. Is this a DIY job? Can I add 3-prong outlets after the change in breakers?
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Old 05-15-11, 11:46 AM
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Because of the K&T you might want to see if you can find combo GFCI/AFCI breakers. The The GFCI will allow you to use 3 slot receptacles when marked No Equipment Ground and the AFCI will offer some protection if failing K&T wiring insulation causes an arc that could result in a fire.

I believe all AFCI breakers provide some GFCI protection but not a fast enough trip to safely use grounded receptacle so you need special dual rated. If you tell us the make and model of your breaker box the pros can be of more help then me. You could also use GFCI devices in combination with AFCI breakers if no combo breakers are available for your panel. A dead face GFCI just after the branch circuit leaves the main panel would protect the whole circuit.
Old 05-16-11, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Stumped1 View Post
Looking to add GFCI breakers to electrical panel.
You can run into trouble on K&T circuits as they didn't always keep the hot and neutrals separate when it was installed. It is not always possible to put GFCI or AFCI protection on a K&T circuit because of this.

Is this a DIY job?
Yeah it could be.

Can I add 3-prong outlets after the change in breakers?
Yes if you mean replacing existing two-prong receptacles with new three-prongs. No if you mean extending the circuit to add new receptacles where there previously was none.

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