When are the GFCI PROTECTED and NO EQUIPMENT GROUND stickers required on receptacle outlets?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A three-slot receptacle outlet can be installed as a replacement for a two-slot ungrounded receptacle outlet in an older home when there is no ground connection available, according the National Electrical Code [NEC 405.4(D)(2)(b,c)], but only if the replacement receptacle is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) type or is protected by one in the circuit.

    At a GFCI receptacle outlet, only a “NO EQUIPMENT GROUND” sticker is required on the face plate. But, if the receptacle does not have the “TEST” and “RESET” buttons, then it must have both the “NO EQUIPMENT GROUND” and “GFCI PROTECTED” stickers, like in the photo above. The manufacturer puts a small sheet of them in each box with any GFCI device.

    A receptacle outlet with GFCI but no ground could possibly allow any metal parts that it is connected to become “live," such as the receptacle box or the equipment shell of a refrigerator. The GFCI would trip, however, if the energized metal leaks any current to ground. Also, a refrigerator that is plugged into a GFCI-protected but ungrounded receptacle would set off a tic-tracer near the metal casing because the there is no ground wire to absorb the electromagnetic radiation it generates. 

    We get asked this all the time: “Is it really code that you have to put on these little stickers?” And the answer is yes, really.   

    Also, see our blog posts What is the difference between what trips a GFCI (ground fault) receptacle and a circuit breaker? and Are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) really necessary and worth the trouble? 

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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about AFCI and GFCI RECEPTACLES AND CIRCUIT BREAKERS:

 Does a septic pump or sump pump require a GFCI-receptacle?

 What is the code requirement for GFCI protection for receptacles near a wet bar sink?

 When was GFCI-protection for kitchen dishwasher receptacle outlet first required? 

 When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required?

 Does a washing machine receptacle outlet require GFCI protection?

 My spa tub stopped working. What's wrong?  

 How do I identify a combination AFCI (CAFCI) circuit breaker? 

 What does "listed and labeled" mean for an electrical component? 

 What electrical hazards does a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) NOT protect against?  

 What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers? 

 Where are GFCI receptacle outlets required?

 When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required?

 What happens when you press the "TEST" button on a circuit breaker in an electric panel?

 What is the difference between the electric service to a mobile home and a site built home? 

 Why is there a wall switch next to the furnace or indoor unit of the air conditioner in the garage?

 What is a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)? 

 How I can tell if a receptacle outlet is tamper resistant?

 What is the difference between a Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (CAFCI) and an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) circuit breaker?  

 What is the difference between "grounded" and "grounding" electrical conductors? 

 What does it mean when a wire is "overstripped" at a circuit breaker?

 Why is there a GFCI breaker in the electric panel for the bathroom shower light and exhaust fan?

 What is the switch on the wall with two pushbuttons? 

 How far apart should kitchen counter receptacles be spaced?  

 How far above a kitchen countertop do electrical outlets have to be? 

 How is it possible to provide both GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) and CAFCI (Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection for kitchen and laundry circuits?

 My bathroom electric receptacle/outlet is dead and there are no tripped breakers in the electric panel. What's wrong?  

 My GFCI reset button is hard to push and won't reset. What's wrong?

 Why do some breakers in my electric panel have a "TEST" button on them?

    Visit our AFCI AND GFCI page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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