Originally Posted By: roconnor
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The subject of a 3-prong GFCI kitchen receptacle on a 2-wire circuit came up in a QOD, so I thought posting it here might be interesting. The question was, if that receptacle was not marked “No Equipment Ground” as required by model codes is that then a “Safety Hazard”.
To me, a Safety Hazard is something that is an immediate danger, which requires correction by a licensed professional right away. I think it would be something to note, and maybe even a "Safety Concern" ... but not a "Safety Hazard". A ground wire is not needed for a GFCI to operate correctly, which is why the NEC allows an old 2-prong receptacle to be replaced with a 3-prong GFCI receptacle.
The down side is if there is a ground fault somewhere, the breaker would not trip to clear the fault ... as there is no connection back to the neutral at the service panel. This could damage equipment intended to be grounded, but there should still be "people protection" provided by the GFCI device.
Lets say ya plug a drill with a 3-prong cord into that outlet, and the drill has a short of a hot wire to the metal case (casing fault). The fault would not be cleared by the breaker. But if someone came along and touched the hot drill case and say a metal faucet, the GFCI should detect the hot-neutral imbalance and trip. Yes, you would get a shock, but you shouldn't get badly hurt or killed if the GFCI operates properly.
So I'm just not seeing a "Safety Hazard" there ... but fire away ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)
Robert O'Connor, PE
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I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong