Can a 15 amp GFCI be installed in a kitchen and bathroom that does not have a ground and still be protected?



A GFCI outlet provides some protection without a ground wire and IS legal as long as the circuit existed before grounding was required. Any and all outlets protected in this manner must be labelled 'no equipment ground'.


First off outlets must be on a 20 amp circuit protected by a 20 amp breaker. And yes one can install a GFCI protected outlet without the ground and it will still protect one from an electrical shock. BUT when a circuit is being protected by a GFCI without the ground, it can only protect the one outlet that the GFCI outlet is connect to. One cannot daisy chain from it without the ground. In this case, one would have to have a GFCI protected outlet in the kitchen and a second GFCI protected outlet in the bathroom. This is the case in older homes that often do not have grounded outlets. If there is a daisy chain circuit involved, one must connect the ongoing circuit to the hot side of the GFCI protected outlet along with the hot wires! This rule only applies when the circuit does not have a ground.

John Alden


Spock (rhp)

not according to the current electrical code. you MUST have a proper ground for the GFCI to meet code. and kitchen outlets should be on 20 amp circuit with 20 amp GFCI


Not by current electrical code but it will work if you have metallic flex or EMT conduit by box bonding it. This means the metal flex or EMT pipe has a complete electrical path back to the load panel, for safety. If this is an old structure with knob and tube wire / no metallic ground path, it's not advised / dangerous. If this is 50's style wire with EMT, it will work when using a box bonding tail on the GFI, won't meet code. You will need to get a qualified set of eyes on the deal, no way to tell what wiring you have to deal with. In the current rental I live in, it has the 50's style wiring in EM flex, the owner tied neutral over on the GFI. Due to safety I box bonded the illegally installed GFI's to the metal box with a bonding wire, not my house. I'm not implying you do what I did, I was tired of the stupid GFI's tripping and I found they were not right.


You need to call a licensed electrician so the GFCI can be installed according to code. A GFCI only cuts the circuit off when a stray current is sensed. If it fails and there is no ground, there is nothing else to protect you.