How to Install a GFI on an Older Wiring System
LESLIE: Next up, we’ve got Marvin in Colorado on the line who’s got an electrical question. Tell us what you’re working on.
MARVIN: I have an older home; it’s about 50 years old. And the wiring is the – it’s standard, insulated – some copper wires: black and white, insulated.
MARVIN: But it doesn’t have the uninsulated common ground.
MARVIN: And I was interested in putting in a GFI in the bathroom and the kitchen. Will those work?
TOM: Yes. But here’s what they’ll do for you: if they’re installed correctly – and I would encourage you to have an electrician do this – what they can do is they will detect a ground fault and shut off. They won’t actually ground but they’ll detect – they’ll still detect the ground fault. So you can use a GFI on an older wiring system like that. And if it’s installed correctly, it will protect you from getting a shock from that outlet without technically being connected to a house ground. Does that make sense?
MARVIN: Yeah, uh-huh.
TOM: It’s got to be installed just right to make it happen, so it’s – I wouldn’t recommend that you do it yourself. I’d recommend you have a pro come in and do it for you. OK, Marvin?
MARVIN: Guess that’s it. That’s easy.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project, Marvin. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.