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Is it LEGAL in California to use cheater plugs?

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    #16
    I was actually trying to get the inspector to allow the residents use a grounding adapter with a portable GFCI so they can use their 3 pronged equipment. This will function the same as installing a labeled GFCI outlet. We are installing GFCI labeled outlets but it is not an instantaneous fix. It requires time and money but that work is in progress.

    Thanks again for the replies.

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      #17
      Originally posted by hbiss View Post
      The use of grounding adapters (what you call "cheater plugs") has been frowned upon for almost as long as I can remember. The only time you would need them is when the wiring and electrical system is sub-standard which is the real problem, not the use of the adapters.
      There is another time one is needed, although admittedly it's something most folks will never encounter. If you play guitar through two amplifiers with, say, a stereo chorus stomp box into both of them, the amps see two paths to ground and one path is through the shield of the two hi-Z cables connecting them together at the chorus pedal. Guitar amp input circuits are very high gain, and even a trickle of current through the shields can cause one or both of the amps to emit a lot of 60Hz noise. Lifting the ground on one amp or the other usually makes the noise go away and I don't know another remedy for it.

      EDIT: Well, there is another way, I guess. You could transform one of the cables to low-Z with a couple of transformers, make the connection with a mic cable, and put an XLR ground lift at one end of the mic cable. That might work.

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        #18
        Originally posted by flyboysmb View Post
        I was actually trying to get the inspector to allow the residents use a grounding adapter with a portable GFCI so they can use their 3 pronged equipment. This will function the same as installing a labeled GFCI outlet. We are installing GFCI labeled outlets but it is not an instantaneous fix. It requires time and money but that work is in progress.

        Thanks again for the replies.
        A grounding adapter is ONLY effective if the screw tab gets connected to something that is grounded. If the yoke of the receptacle is properly grounded so that the middle screw of the faceplate is grounded, then you could just install a standard 3-hole receptacle.

        As for using a GFCI instead, this is Code-compliant, but I've heard there are some computer and audio equipment that actually want the reference of the ground. I don't know that stuff, but if that was the issue, the GFCI won't provide that.

        An electrician should be able to install GFCI receptacles where needed in a timely manner, but one issue may be the physical size of the box. I've done some where the GFCI filled the entire box and I was a magician with the wiring.

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          #19
          Originally posted by flyboysmb View Post
          I was actually trying to get the inspector to allow the residents use a grounding adapter with a portable GFCI so they can use their 3 pronged equipment. This will function the same as installing a labeled GFCI outlet. We are installing GFCI labeled outlets but it is not an instantaneous fix. It requires time and money but that work is in progress.
          I am concerned here that there are gaps in what is being described by the OP. There is no analysis of the Branch Circuit wiring method(s) in this Premises Wiring (System). Rather, there seems to be an attempt to get around 250.114.

          Another Al in Minnesota

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            #20
            Originally posted by ggunn View Post

            There is another time one is needed, although admittedly it's something most folks will never encounter. If you play guitar...
            Yup, the ground lifter. Also comes in handy on the electronics test bench where you have a bunch of instruments connected.

            But these are the only places for those things as far as I'm concerned. When used by knowledgeable people.

            -Hal

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              #21
              Originally posted by al hildenbrand View Post

              I am concerned here that there are gaps in what is being described by the OP. There is no analysis of the Branch Circuit wiring method(s) in this Premises Wiring (System). Rather, there seems to be an attempt to get around 250.114.
              That's a good question! I've seen rental units that are so bad it would be a waste of time and money to upgrade or do anything with the electrical system. Not that that should excuse something being done. Either fix it or tear it down.

              I also believe that installing GFCI receptacles in place of non-grounding receptacles is just a Band Aid.

              -Hal

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