Moved into a place, nearly every outlet is ungrounded with the exception of a couple GFCI in the kitchen and bath. Needed three prong for the fridge (and really didn't want the new appliance completely unprotected) so grabbed a GFCI and went to install it in the appropriate place.

There's a ground wire attached to the box, it's part of the two-wire line back to the panel. I am able to identify this line into the panel. Looks like about half a dozen or so grounds run into the panel in total.

This outlet also has a load. The two-wire cable for the load does not have a ground wire.

The house is a bit older (80s) and I expected no grounds at all given the outlets. I've only ever seen all grounded or all not (I'm not exactly an electrician but I'm fairly handy) and I'm wondering, before I throw a grounded outlet in here, is one grounded outlet with load connected ungrounded outlets okay?

There's no chance I'm going to be running grounds to the subsequent outlets if they're not already run.

  • 1
    By "okay" I assume you mean "in conformance with code?" I believe it is, but the National Electrical Code is difficult to interpret in that regard and I know nothing of Ohio code or your local code. If you have electrical building inspectors there, you could ask one. However that might raise questions about the need for a building permit. I would connect the extension to other loads from the load side of the GFI outlet, but I don't know if that is required. Questions about code interpretation for home wiring are often transferred to the home improvement stack exchange.
    – Charles Cowie
    May 27, 2019 at 13:01
  • @CharlesCowie I suppose I should check code but I'm more concerned I don't burn the place down
    – Randy Hall
    May 27, 2019 at 13:03
  • 1
    The original house wiring sounds more like 1960 than 1980.
    – Charles Cowie
    May 27, 2019 at 13:08
  • Can you run ground wires from the ungrounded outlets back to the main panel or the grounding electrode conductor system by any path at all? May 27, 2019 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


If you install a GFCI the load side of the GFCI can power 3 prong Ungrounded outlets just use one of the stickers in the box the GFCI comes with that says “GFCI protected no equipment ground” this is a legal way to update to 3 prong ungrounded outlets.

The home having 2 wire no ground points to pre 60’s era fwiw. It is possible that it had some level of requiring or to just prior to 3 wire requirements.

The current code allows you to run a ground wire (not a new cable as past code required) to any convenient location as long as the circuit comes from the same panel. So if you only have 1 main panel you can tie into another circuit’s ground to provide a true grounded outlet instead of GFCI only protection. Note a plug in outlet tester that has a GFCI test function won’t work on a no ground socket but the test button on the outlet will work.

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