Good ol' ungrounded wiring....

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-16-18, 05:28 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 25
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Good ol' ungrounded wiring....

Hi guys,

I'm new to the forums! I hope to learn a good bit here to go through with my daily projects on the house I just got myself!

Recently, I discovered that 3/4 of the outlets on the first level of the house are connected with ungrounded wiring even though the outlets were the 3 prongs type. I am considering my options and I'm thinking about installing a GFCI/AFCI breaker on this circuit to protect against shocks.

One thing I was wondering, does the ground pin on a 3 prongs outlet protect appliances in case of lightning strike or power surge, etc? Or does it just protect peoples? Would a GFCI breaker protect me and my appliances too?

What are the consequences of just switching to a GFCI breaker and keeping the original wiring?

Thanks!!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-16-18, 05:37 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,933
Received 55 Votes on 48 Posts
The ground wiring (or other approved path) inside a house or building is there to provide a low impedance path back to the over-current protection device. (fuse or circuit breaker) It protects people by connecting metal parts of anything that is plugged into the receptacle that may become energized.

Adding a GFCI breaker is an NEC approved method for installing grounding (3 hole) receptacles on an ungrounded circuit. The GFCI will add a layer of protection for you from shock hazards.

What are the consequences of just switching to a GFCI breaker and keeping the original wiring?
Nothing really. There will still not a be grounding path but the GFCi will detect any leakage to ground 4-6 milliamps.
 
  #3  
Old 09-16-18, 06:06 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 25
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Are appliances less protected?
 
  #4  
Old 09-16-18, 06:17 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,933
Received 55 Votes on 48 Posts
Appliances are not normally protected by anything other then an over-current device, external or internal. A GFCI is really designed to protect personnel, but doing so will give protection to equipment. A GFCI does nothing for protection of surges (over voltage) or brown outs (under voltage)
 
  #5  
Old 09-17-18, 08:14 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 25
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So if I got a computer connected to a surge protection power bar even though nothing is grounded, the computer would still protected? Does surge protection protects against over current or over voltage?
 
  #6  
Old 09-17-18, 08:37 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
A ground is needed for a surge protector to work.

Does surge protection protects against over current or over voltage?
The surge is excess voltage which is bled to ground. If by current you mean amps, amperage is normally greater than what the device needs. Light bulbs for example often use less than an amp but are on 15a or even 20a circuits.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-18-18 at 04:03 PM.
  #7  
Old 09-18-18, 02:31 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 25
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Is there a way I can protect my appliances without re-wiring the circuit with a ground?
 
  #8  
Old 09-18-18, 03:15 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,196
Received 16 Votes on 15 Posts
As mentioned already by others, GFCI will not protect against surges. It will provide protection against ground fault only (ie. short to neutral or current flowing through a person).
If the circuit is not grounded, GFCI will not trip even if chassis of an alliance becomes hot (short to ground) until it finds a path to ground (ie. person touch the appliance).

Many surge protectors and even some power strips has built in breaker which provides protection against over current exceeding surge protector or power strips designed maximum current.
However, the surge protection will not work without ground because surge protectors are designed to discharge surges to ground.
Over voltage protection can be provided with an AVR or UPS. Regular surge protectors don't have protection against over voltages (other than surges) regardless of present of ground.


You can run a separate ground wire back to the panel if you have an appliance that must be grounded.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


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