GFCI tester

There was a huge discussion about the potential safety risks of ungrounded GFCI outlets a while back. Are we going there again?

Nope! Not me mon!! :mrgreen:

Write it up PERIOD!

Write what up? It works with the test button, as required (and approved) my the manufacturer. Manufacturer trumps all.

Would you not note that if the receptacle was ungrounded or that the ground could not be verified?

#-oOh no!!!

Inform your client the GFI needs a sticker to identify No Equipment Ground.


De’ja’ Vu, huh! :mrgreen:

Yes, but has no effect on the operability of the receptacle to perform it’s design function.

Was this an older home?

My point was that a standard ungrounded receptacle is typically called out. Why would this be any different? It seemed like someone was saying it would not be noted just because it functioned as designed.

I am aware that the ground is not needed for proper operation.


I understand your point, and do not question your knowledge of electrical. I’m sure your knowledge far exceeds my own. With that being said, my comments were more for the benefit of ‘less knowledgeable’ members who may not be as aware of GFCI function.

I operate in the land of “ungrounded systems”. Ungrounded systems are not a material defect. I do not “call out” ungrounded systems… but, I DO make note of them and discuss the scenario with my clients… the same as with ungrounded GFCI’s.

My apologies for any confusion I may have created.

and hopefully, everyone understood that an “ungrounded” GFCI device is not necessarily “unsafe.”

The question I have is, when the GFCI tripped with it’s internal test button, did it de-energize the receptacle? If so, it’s functional.

The OP never stated that it had an open ground, but if so, on a two-wire system, the GFCI device should include a label stating that it does not include the egc. If it’s a three-wire system, it should be deferred to an electrician to establish the grounding connection.

Correct me if I’m wrong but the OP should have been able to see from his tester if the receptacle outlet was ungrounded or had an open ground as only 1 light would have turned on.
If only 1 light was on, then the tester would not have tripped the GFCI device.

Jeff, most older systems here are two wire armored cable (BX) which as we know rely on the exterior metal sheathing as the egc. I come across many GFCI with open ground. Do you think it would be appropriate to write this up as a defect?

For me It depends how old the home is. It’s an acceptable upgrade on older homes originally wired with no ground.

John, not all the Type AC cable was listed for use as a grounding means. To be used as a grounding means it needs to have the thin bond wire under the sheath. It does not need to be back-wrapped into the spirals, nor does it connect to the ground screw. Ther length of the spiral is much longer than the conductors and can also be broken. I have seen it glowing red hot and still not trip a breaker due to the high resistance.

That statement stems from the argument that adding the egc to a two-wire circuit is the safer or better solution, rather than simply adding GFCI protection, which is the safe and code-compliant solution.

From the perspective of the HI, any grounding-type receptacle that has an “open ground” should be called out unless it has both GFCI protection AND an appropriate label.

Good point. Thanks.