I have a fairly old hairdryer, this morning one of the wires going into the plug frayed enough to cause one of the wires to burn up. I love this hairdryer and it should be a very easy fix. I just have a few questions.

The previous plug on this hairdryer was a GFCI plug on the end of the cable (it had test and reset buttons), but no ground pin for the outlet. Thus, only two conductors come out of the hairdryer itself. The old GFCI plug assembly is brittle and has some cracks in it so I'd like to replace it in the process.

Can I safely use something like this and leave the ground pin inside the plug assembly unconnected?

  • Is there a square-within-a-square symbol on the hairdryer's nameplate? (Same place where the model number, wattage rating, etal are printed) – ThreePhaseEel Jul 15 '16 at 1:35
  • There are "special" 2 wire GFCI devices for 2 wire devices. Different electronics than 3 wire. If you have a GFCI outlet in the bathroom this can also be the safety. – Ed Beal Jul 15 '16 at 1:36
  • @ThreePhaseEel I was not able to find that symbol on the hairdryer. – Will Carroll Jul 15 '16 at 11:32
  • @EdBeal The hairdryer is always plugged into a GFCI plug in the bathroom. – Will Carroll Jul 15 '16 at 11:33

The main difference between your old GFCI plug and the new one you propose is that 2 wire only GFCI plugs lack what is called a grounded neutral detection circuit -- this circuit helps improve the GFCI's sensitivity to neutral-to-ground faults. This grounded neutral detection is unnecessary but harmless when the load is ungrounded -- your situation is no different electrically than a 2 prong double-insulated appliance plugged into a conventional GFCI receptacle.

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