I have some 2-wire ungrounded outlets in a room that I want to put a bunch of electronics and computer. I know I can replace this with a GFCI outlet and label with "No equipment ground". What happens to the ground prong with all the stuff that I'm going to plug in aka. all the shields on the equipment, is all of that going to be floating or does that internally (to the GFCI) connect to the neutral wire? Is this a perfectly acceptable solution in this case or are there some dangers / disadvantages that I should be aware of? Many thanks for any help!
(NB: I'm not an electrician, just a homeowner who has done some electrical work)
Related: Does a non grounded GFCI meet code?
It is 'perfectly acceptable' in that it is compliant with code (as long as it is properly labeled, as you state). A GFCI if wired correctly should trip if there is a difference between the current coming in and the current going out (between the hot and the neutral, basically).
However, you are right as well that there are dangers/disadvantages to not having a ground wire. The point of ground wires (and requiring them in new construction) is because it is safer both for you and for the equipment you have plugged in.
Without a ground, a lightning strike or other power surge can seriously damage you (if you are touching a plug or outlet when it occurs) or your equipment plugged into any ungrounded receptacle. Ground wires act as an 'escape route' for extra current to travel safely back to the actual ground underneath your home.
Millions of people lived for decades in non-grounded homes and never had issues. But many people have experienced shock or equipment failure due to said lack of ground. It's up to you if the threat of power surge / lightning strike ruining your equipment is an 'acceptable risk' or not.
The ground is in no way connected with a 2 wire GFCI setup to convert to 3 wire. The GFCI doesn’t use ground itself but it can use it for grounding the yoke if available.
Code allows a separate ground wire to be pulled so if you are really concerned about having things grounded this is a possibility
I will put in a plug for a AFCI/GFCI combo breaker here. I just replaced a failed GFCI outlet in the kitchen with one of these on the outlet circuit in a QO load panel. Cost of a 20A breaker with pigtail $52 off the shelf at Lowes. Cost of a single 20A Eaton outlet GFCI only at Lowes - $18. The QO breaker went into a panel that already had a Square D GFCI breaker on another circuit that is 13 years old and still going strong. The failed GFCI was 3 years old. At that rate by the time the new breaker is 13 years old I will have gone through $72 in replacing garbage-grade GFCI outlets.
It is crystal clear to me that companies like Eaton know they are selling GFCI outlets for replacement use only and most sales are to homeowners. Commercial contractors are installing either breakers like I did or entire new panels with ALL breakers Combo. I trust Schneider Electric's Square D brand a lot more than Eaton's made-in-YingTau garbage grade brand that is designed to fail every 3 years so the homeowner has to fork over another $18 for a new outlet. Plus since that branch circuit feeds the kitchen and for all I know probably feeds other things like the garbage disposer so now all of that carp is protected plus whatever weird nonsense that some dingus plugs into a kitchen counter outlet is protected, and not just protected from falling into a sink full of water.
You do what you want but for me I will never spend another dime on a GFCI outlet ever again. Any more GFCI outlet failures will get the GFCI outlet replaced with a NORMAL electrical outlet and a combo breaker. And if I get a "nuisance trip" from some appliance then so be it, into the garbage it will go and be replaced by another appliance.