How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Can I replace an old two-slot (not grounded) recptacle outlet with another two-slot receptacle by code?

Friday, February 28, 2020

You can replace a two-slot (ungrounded) receptacle with another two-slot receptacle if you want. It is allowed by the National Electrical Code [406.4(D)(2)]. There are actually three options you have for receptacle replacement when the circuit does not have a grounding conductor:

1) A non-grounding receptacle can be replaced with another non-grounding type (two-slot) receptacle.

2) A non-grounding receptacle can be replaced with a GFCI receptacle (three-slot), provided that a “NO EQUIPMENT GROUND” sticker is attached to the face plate.

3) A non-grounding receptacle can be replaced with a grounding type receptacle (three-slot), where the circuit is protected by a GFCI at another location. There must be a “NO EQUIPMENT GROUND” and a “GFCI PROTECTED” sticker attached to the face plate.

    Also, see our blog posts Is an ungrounded electric receptacle outlet dangerous? and How do you test for GFCI protection at an ungrounded receptacle outlet? and Is there an adapter that can be placed on a two-slot receptacle to make it safe? and What is a false ground, bootleg ground, or cheated ground receptacle? 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

  To learn more about electrical wiring, devices, and receptacles, see these other blog posts:

 • What is the difference between what trips a GFCI (ground fault) receptacle and a circuit breaker?

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

• What is the requirement for a service receptacle outlet for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HACR) equipment? 

• Why is an opening in the wall around the side of an electrical receptacle outlet a safety defect?  

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

• What is allowable voltage range at a wall receptacle outlet in a house?

• When should I replace electric receptacle outlets? 

• Does an electric receptacle outlet in a storage shed require GFCI protection? 

• What are "self-contained" electrical receptacle outlets and switches?

• What is the difference between an electrical receptacle, an outlet, and a plug?

• Does a washing machine receptacle outlet require GFCI protection?

• What is the building code requirement for receptacle outlets at stairs and stair landings?

• Can I remove a 240-volt range receptacle and hard-wire the range? 

• What is a "backstab" receptacle outlet? 

• Why are some electric receptacle outlets upside down (ground slot up) in a house?   

• What is the height requirement for an electric receptacle outlet? 

• Where are GFCI receptacle outlets required?

• When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required?

 Does a home inspector remove receptacle outlet cover plates?

• What is the minimum height for an exterior receptacle outlet? 

• When was the current receptacle/outlet spacing of 12-feet first required? 

• When was the three-slot (grounding) outlet/receptacle first required? 

• Why does painting an electric receptacle (outlet) make it unsafe?

• Why are electrical outlets and plugs polarized? 

• How many electrical receptacles (outlets) are required in a hallway?  

• What problems does having too many electric receptacle outlets on a single circuit cause? 

• Is a house required to have outdoor electric receptacle outlets?

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

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

• How can adding wood paneling or a wainscot create an electrical safety hazard?

How can I figure out what a mystery wall switch does?

• How far apart should kitchen counter receptacles be spaced?  

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

• What is reversed polarity at an outlet/receptacle? Why is it dangerous? 

• How high above the floor do electric outlets/receptacles in a garage have to be?

• How far apart should electric receptacles be spaced in a bathroom? 

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

• How do the new tamper-resistant electric outlets work?

• Why is there no bathroom electric receptacle in this old house?

• How can I tell if the electric receptacle outlets are grounded? 

• How far apart should the electrical receptacles be placed?

• What are the most common problems/defects found with electric receptacle outlets during a home inspection?

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

Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

"What Are The

Signs Of..."

Septic Tank Systems

Structure and Rooms

Plumbing Pipes

Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests

Sinkholes

Stairs

When It First

Became Code

"Should I Buy A..."

Park Model Homes

Site

Shingle Roofs

Safety

Stucco

Remodeling

Wind Mitigation

Roof and Attic

"Does A Home

Inspector...?"

Pool and Spa

"What Is The Difference Between..."

Radon

Brick

Plumbing

Concrete and

Concrete Block

Metal Roofs

Foundations

Modular Homes

Rain Gutters

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants

Condominiums

Older and

Historic Houses

Crawl Spaces

Mobile-Manufactured Homes

Building Permits

Life Expectancy

Clay Soil

Insurance

Floors

Insulation

Toilets

Exterior Walls

& Structures

Generators

Common Problems

HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Garages and Carports

Flat (Low Slope) Roofs

Electrical Panels

Sprinkler Systems

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

4-Point Inspections

Hurricane Resistance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Home Inspection

Heating and Air Conditioning

Building Codes

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Energy Efficiency

Washers and Dryers

Electrical

Kitchens

Doors and Windows

(placeholder)

Cracks

Electrical Wiring

Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject

Plumbing Drains

and Traps

Appliances

Smoke & CO Alarms

Aging in Place

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.

Bathrooms

Lighting

AFCI, CAFCI,

DFCI, & GFCI

Sinks

Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size

Attics

Electrical Switches

Siding

Search

This

Site

Water Intrusion

Electrical - Old

and Obsolete

(placeholder)

Foundation Certifications

Tiny Houses

About Us

(placeholder)

Wells