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Rick
Rick, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 467
Experience:  10 yrs as a electrician. Have my own company.
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I have an older house, largely but not completely re-wired.

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I have an older house, largely but not completely re-wired. In a kitchen wall, made of concrete, is a GFCI that my wife wanted me to replace. (She wanted a white rather than a tan one). Only two wires in the metal box (which I don't believe is grounded). I replaced the GFCI and put a tester on it and it shows open neutral. It seems to work. What, if anything, I should I do please?

Sparky :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to answer any of your electrical questions.

Sparky :

Do you have a voltage meter?

Customer:

yes

Sparky :

Put one of your probes into the smaller vertical slit on the gfi, and the other into the longer slit and tell me what the voltage is. Also did you make sure to tighten the wires nice and tight?

Customer:

120. Pretty tight. The wiring is old and I don't have a lot of slack, I can barely make the wires reach. In addition to the voltage meter, I used the 3 light plug-in GFI tester which shows open ground, open neutral, open hot, -- shows one neutral.

Sparky :

Is the gfi in the wall, or do you have it out of the wall right now?

Customer:

In the wall. Like I said, the wall is concrete so I don't think I can easily rewire with romex.

Customer:

Also, since the two wires are pre-romex, both black, I guessed which went on silver, and which went on brass.

Sparky :

A lot of times with GFI's the wires come loose pretty quick when you move them around to put back in the wall. What you are going to want to do is extend the wires , using wire nuts. This way you can work on it easier and make sure you get a nice tight fit. You don't have to rewire it, just extend each of the wires.While you have it out you can see if the box is grounded or not by placing one of your tester leads on the metal box, and the other on the black wire. If you get 120 then the box is grounded.

Sparky :

Got it. When you test from the metal box to each of the wires one should give you 120 that is your black.

Customer:

the metal box is not grounded. I did get about a 8 volt reading on one of the wires when I tested it to the box, so I guess that is my black. If I change the wiring, will take fix the open neutral? The tester is not reading reverse wiring?

Customer:

I am not sure I can use pigtails. There is not enough room in the box.

Sparky :

If there was a open neutral you would not have 120 volts

Customer:

So I checked the 3 light tester again. Stupid me. It does not read open neutral, it reads open ground, which of course it is because it is not grounded. That is why I have a GFCI there. So I think I am OK?

Sparky :

Yes you are ok. Good thing you are using a gfi. There should be a sticker that comes with the gfi that says no equipment ground present. You're going to want to use that sticker on that GFI. Please rate. If you have further questions I'll be here for you. Thank you for your time.

Customer:

Great, thanks.

Rick and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Just wanted to say thank you Mark, for the excellent rating. It is greatly appreciated. If you have any more electrical questions, please let me know. Here is my profile page. Thanks again. The bonus is greatly appreciated.

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