Over the years, NEC has mandated to use gfci outlets in different parts of the home. However, the transition for many premises is not instant.
These days, whenever a gfci socket turns out to be faulty, you have the option to replace it with a gfci outlet.
For the normal outlet, there is no confusion in doing so.
The question arises for ungrounded outlet.
Can gfci replace ungrounded outlet?
I will share with you the answer to this question below.
Once you go through the answer and its justification is, it is easy to understand whether you can do so or not.
Can gfci replace ungrounded outlet?
Yes, gfci can replace ungrounded outlets.
You can easily do so. The installation procedure is not any different when you’re replacing an ungrounded outlet with gfci outlet.
This brings up another important question which I will highlight below.
Does gfci outlet turn it into a grounded outlet?
No, gfci outlet won’t turn in a grounded outlet into an ungrounded outlet. It just makes the outlet safer.
If you’re still in 2 minds regarding replacing an ungrounded outlet with a gfci outlet, I will share multiple reasons why you should do so.
Why should you replace it with gfci outlet?
There are numerous reasons why you should replace ungrounded outlet with gfci outlet.
1. No electrocution risk:
The most important reason why you should replace an ungrounded outlet with a gfci outlet is to reduce the electrocution risk.
When you are there is leakage current, the gfci outlet will trip itself. Once the circuit is tripped, there will be no flow of current. So even though the load will not get current, you will not have to worry about electrocution.
It means that the switch will trip itself whenever there is a problem, and therefore electrocution will not occur.
2. Load protection:
Whenever there is a problem in the circuit, the electric current does not flow into the surface or the walls. In that case, you will not have to worry about electrocution.
The problem arises when extra current starts flowing into the load. The load can be microwaved, a washing machine, or any other expensive plan.
When extra current flows into such an appliance, it can damage the power supply section of the appliance itself.
Fixing it can cost you hundreds of dollars as well.
The overall cost of the gfci outlet is just $ 20.
For want of $ 20, you might end up spending hundreds of dollars.
If you want to protect the load, the best option is installing a gfci outlet. If the current level changes beyond a point, it will instantly trip itself. Once it trips itself, the current will not flow into the load.
Thus, by replacing the grounded outlet with a gfci outlet, you can protect the load.
3. Longer lifespan:
The gfci outlet protects the entire circuit in more ways than one. It protects the load as well.
Due to the enhanced protection, you can be sure that the wear and tear which the gfci outlet suffers from is on the lower side.
When the wear and tear are on the lower side, the life span of the socket and load increases.
In a nutshell, you will not be required to replace the gfci outlet anytime soon.
Thus, it not only provides you with a longer lifespan but also great value for money.
4. Adheres to NEC:
As per law, you have to adhere to the NEC. NEC states that in most parts of your home, you have to install a gfci outlet.
Of course, most homeowners do not proactively replace ungrounded outlets with the gfci outlet. However, when an ungrounded outlet needs to be replaced, you have an opportunity.
When you replace it with the gfci outlet, you will adhere to NEC. It means that your home will become much safer.
5. Reduces probability of electric fires:
Whenever there is a surge current, there might be sparking as well. Sparking can easily result in an electric fire.
The electric fire is very difficult to control. Moreover, by the time you switch off the power supply, the electric fire might have flared up as well.
In that case, the electric fire can cause a lot of damage as well.
With the help of gfci outlet, you can reduce the probability of an electric fire. Whenever the current flares up, the outlet will trip itself. It means that in most cases before the sparking occurs, the outlet will trip itself.
Once the outlet is tripped, you will not have to worry about electric fire.
6. Easy monitoring:
Normally, there is no way to monitor a circuit. You will only know about a problem when it occurs or when it results in sparking or damage to load.
On the other hand, when installing a gfci outlet, you can monitor the entire circuit in a jiffy. You have to look at the reset button. Once you look at the reset button, you will know right away whether there is a problem in the circuit or not.
Easy monitoring is one of the main reasons you should install a gfci outlet.
7. Easy diagnosis of problems:
Once you notice a problem in the circuit, you can remove the load and thereafter reset it. After you reset it, if the problem is in the load, it will not trip itself. In case the problem is with the buyers or the outlet, it will trip itself.
With the help of a simple mechanism, you can easily diagnose the problem.
After you diagnose the problem, if you have some electrical experience, you can fix it yourself after taking proper safety precautions.
If not, you can call an electrician but explain the problem in much more clarity since you can diagnose it with the help of the gfci outlet.
8. Protection from various sources:
Many times, the surge current occurs from the load itself. It is not necessary that it occurs from the power supply.
Whichever is the source of the surge current, the gfci outlet will protect the entire circuit against the same by tripping itself.
It means that the level of protection which the gfci outlet provides is much better than an ungrounded outlet.
9. Same installation effort:
Many homeowners think that it takes a lot of effort to install a gfci outlet. That is not true!
You require the same amount of effort as installing an ungrounded outlet.
As you can see, there are plenty of advantages of replacing an ungrounded outlet with the gfci outlet.
So, yes, you can replace an ungrounded outlet with a gfci outlet. There are numerous reasons to do so, as I have highlighted above.
In case you want to get a light with a gfci outlet, you can go through my post on outdoor light with gfci outlet (covered here). There are other accessories I have covered as well, like the outdoor solar chandelier (here), farm lights (here). You can go through these posts to buy the best lights.