Replacing Two-Wire Receptacles

Upgrading wiring in older homes usually includes replacing old two-wire, non-grounding type receptacles. Replacing a two-wire receptacle with a grounding-type receptacle and not providing an equipment ground or GFCI protection is a serious NEC violation.  Extending a two-wire circuit without an equipment ground is also prohibited, even if protected by a GFCI type receptacle.

Refer to the illustrations and to Code sections 250.130(C) and 406.4(D) for the right way to do it.

250.130(C)(1)
A non-grounding type receptacle can be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle if an equipment grounding conductor is installed and connected to any accessible point on the grounding electrode system.

 

 

250.130(C)(2)
A non-grounding type receptacle can be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle if an equipment grounding conductor is installed and connected to any accessible point on the grounding electrode conductor.

 

 

250.130(C)(3)
A non-grounding type receptacle can be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle if an equipment grounding conductor is installed and connected to the equipment ground terminal bar within the enclosure where the branch circuit originates.

 

 

250.130(C)(4)
A non-grounding type receptacle can be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle if an equipment grounding conductor is installed and connected to an equipment grounding conductor that is part of another branch circuit originating in the same enclosure.

 

 

406.4(D)(2)(a)
(a) A non-grounding type receptacle can be replaced with another non-grounding type receptacle.

 

 

406.4(D)(2)(b)
A non-grounding receptacle can be replaced with a GFCI type receptacle. The receptacle shall be marked “No Equipment Ground”. An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected from the GFCI type receptacle to any outlet supplied from the GFCI receptacle.

 

 

406.4(D)(2)(c)
A non-grounding receptacle can be replaced with a grounding type where supplied through a GFCI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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3 thoughts on “Replacing Two-Wire Receptacles

  1. As a CBC I am working on a 1939 home in St. Petersburg Fl. and have been told by my Electrician that cloth wiring must be replaced in order for insurance companies to underwrite. Everything we have been told is that cloth wire is allowed UNLESS derived from knob and tube (which it’s not) and that the home must be “properly grounded” but no-one will put in writing what defines “properly grounded”?? We intend to follow NEC code 406.4D
    as you have outlined and Install GFIC outlets at ALL locations. Are you aware if this will comply with underwriters for insurance on a property?

    1. My suggestion would be to install GFCI circuit breakers in the panelboard. That would provide GFCI protection for all circuits. If you choose to install GFCI receptacles, it is not necessary to install GFCI circuit breakers at every receptacle outlet. A GFCI receptacle is only required as the first outlet on the circuit, if downstream outlets are properly labeled. Then you can install regular grounded receptacles. Thanks for your question.

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