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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordy View Post
    Do you know if the outlet is a "home run"? That outlet may be downstream of an outlet that would be easier to install the GFCI. Two things: you need to know how many outlets, appliances, etc are on the circuit. You need to know which one is first in line from the main breaker. Don't GFCI an appliance (as mentioned). However, maybe you can accomplish the same thing by installing a GFCI somewhere other than the tiled location.
    Thanks, something to consider.

  2. #27
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    Same Line

    Just checked. The fridge is on the same line as the outlet that I want to replace.
    It was a good idea however.

  3. #28
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    that configuration makes my skin crawl.

    look at the dremel tool that cuts with vibration instead of rotation, maybe.

    2nd vote for having the land lord fix it.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10ae1203 View Post
    that configuration makes my skin crawl.
    What configuration?

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad View Post
    Something to think about.

    Although replacing the breaker with a GFCI breaker is a good idea and is safe, there are a few issues to consider.

    1- The outlet that you want to replace is probably bad. Swapping to a GFCI breaker may mean that the breaker will trip immediately and not be able to reset without also replacing the bad outlet. So you *need* to replace the outlet.

    2- You are in an apartment. Tell the landlord to get his butt up there pronto and fix it because your wife just got zapped and the landlord or owner probably doesn't want a law suit

    3- If *you* replace the offending outlet (as opposed to the Landlord or his electrician), go to a hardware store (HD or Lowes) get a GFCI outlet. It will come with a cover. Mark the wall where the cover will go, and stay 1/4" inside of those lines. Turn off the appropriate breaker! Cut the tile with a diamond cutoff wheel on a dremmel. Remove the offending outlet. Yes, there is a specific order that the wires go because all outlets after the GFCI outlet in the chain, will then be protected by the GFCI outlet. If you do it wrong, they won't be. You may need a retrofit electrical box. When you put in the box, you may or may not have enough loose wire to get it through the box and connected to the new outlet. If you don't, you are screwed. Go back to #2.

    which leads to ....

    4- You need to know what else is in that wiring chain. Anything that is after that outlet and protected by the GFCI (on on the entire chain if you put in a GFCI breaker) has the opportunity to be shut off unknowingly. It's highly recommended that appliances, especially refrigerators not be on GFCIs because they might shut off without you knowing it until all your food is ruined.
    Good suggestions here. Only thing I will add is if you plan on doing it yourself is when you buy the GFCI outlet buy the box for it as well while in HD/Lowes. Tis way you don't have to go back and stop what you're doing. You can always return it later.

    However, if you are a renter in the apartment I will triple let the landlord do it

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad View Post
    2- You are in an apartment. Tell the landlord to get his butt up there pronto and fix it because your wife just got zapped and the landlord or owner probably doesn't want a law suit
    Plus, it's a building code violation, which can get the landlord fined. If for whatever reason the landlord won't fix it immediately (it's his responsibility, not yours!!), call your local health department and file a complaint.

    If you end up doing any tile cutting, use a respirator of some kind while doing so to minimize your exposure to respirable crystalline silica. And safety glasses. Really.
    We'll be back soon, there will be more of us, and next time we won't be dropping leaflets.

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  7. #32
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    As before, thanks for the suggestions.
    This is a coop. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that the law only applies buildings after a certain date. I don't think that the landlord can be forced to install one.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by saf-t View Post
    Plus, it's a building code violation, which can get the landlord fined. If for whatever reason the landlord won't fix it immediately (it's his responsibility, not yours!!), call your local health department and file a complaint.
    Not clear there's any violation. The OP remarked it might have been the microwave, not the outlet, and realistically, that is the more likely explanation. The GFI is current code for kitchens and bathrooms and definitely worth installing, just to be safe. (If it's a faulty microwave, it'll just trip the GFI and you'll know that's the problem.)

    But also, I'd be reluctant to go nuclear on your landlord over a single outlet unless it's part of a pattern, you really don't mind completely trashing whatever's left of the relationship and you're prepared to move. People you still have to work with usually find ways to return the misery. If it were me, I'd ask the landlord to install a GFI and if I sensed reluctance to pay an electrician, propose doing it myself if he paid (the trivial amount) for the parts. I agree with the general argument that you should not do your own repairs on rented property without the landlord knowing what you're doing. (Your lease probably requires you to get permission anyway.)
    Last edited by Nicole Hamilton; 04-08-2012 at 09:33 AM.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by daniell View Post
    As before, thanks for the suggestions.
    This is a coop. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that the law only applies buildings after a certain date. I don't think that the landlord can be forced to install one.
    True. Building codes apply to new construction. They are not usually applied retroactively to existing structures. Instead, whatever codes were in effect when the building was constructed apply for the life of the structure. The exceptions are fire codes and "life safety codes" created in response to tragedies like the Coconut Grove fire. Also, landlords in some places have been required to install new safety features on mechanical devices like elevators.

    I'm doubtful a landlord can be required to install a GFI in a building built before they were required.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole Hamilton View Post
    What configuration?
    duplex receptacle grouted in place. no cover plate.


    That wouldn't pass any inspection, regardless of what year it was put in place.

    To be sure, there is a lot of good to be gained from choosing your battles, but that there is a nasty mess.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10ae1203 View Post
    duplex receptacle grouted in place. no cover plate.


    That wouldn't pass any inspection, regardless of what year it was put in place.

    To be sure, there is a lot of good to be gained from choosing your battles, but that there is a nasty mess.
    ^^This. This outlet as shown is a blatant code violation.
    We'll be back soon, there will be more of us, and next time we won't be dropping leaflets.

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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10ae1203 View Post
    duplex receptacle grouted in place. no cover plate.
    You're kidding. You'd complain there was a "code violation" over a missing cover plate? I mean, sure, technically, yes, but are you serious? I appreciate that an inspector would certainly demand you have one but would you really go nuclear and file a complaint over something so trivial and so easily fixed by just buying a cover plate at Home Depot for a buck?

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole Hamilton View Post
    You're kidding. You'd complain there was a "code violation" over a missing cover plate? I mean, sure, technically, yes, but are you serious? I appreciate that an inspector would certainly demand you have one but would you really go nuclear and file a complaint over something so trivial and so easily fixed by just buying a cover plate at Home Depot for a buck?
    There are rules.

    We all have to play by the rules.

    I cannot finish a job and turn it over for occupancy unless I

    pass rough and final electrical underwriter's inspections
    pass a fire marshal's inspection
    pass rough and final mechanical and plumbing (depending on jurisdiction, there are additional certifications and sometimes inspections by the utility company)
    pass several interim and final building inspections

    So, yes, I am wondering how this thing got through.

    Go nuclear?

    no.

    Tell the landlord about a problem what needs fixin'?

    yes.

    That's what I'd recommend as a course of action. Tell the landlord that the receptacle needs to be fixed.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10ae1203 View Post
    There are rules.

    We all have to play by the rules.

    I cannot finish a job and turn it over for occupancy unless ...
    So, yes, I am wondering how this thing got through.
    :
    Tell the landlord that the receptacle needs to be fixed.
    Pretty obviously, this wasn't a "job" done by any professional. It was a typically clueless homeowner thing. What makes you think it was ever inspected? What homeowner do you know that would bother getting a permit and inspections to stick some tiles on a wall? They know what they're doing.

    But I agree (as I said) that if you're renting, you should (and your lease almost certainly requires) that you let the landlord take care of it.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole Hamilton View Post
    Pretty obviously, this wasn't a "job" done by any professional. It was a typically clueless homeowner thing. What makes you think it was ever inspected? What homeowner do you know that would bother getting a permit and inspections to stick some tiles on a wall? They know what they're doing.

    But I agree (as I said) that if you're renting, you should (and your lease almost certainly requires) that you let the landlord take care of it.
    If you're a landlord, and see that, and don't do anything about it, you incur a certain degree of liability. It doesn't require you to be a licensed electrician to see that there's a problem here.

    If you rent a place to somebody, and don't ensure ahead of time that everything is OK, that's another problem.
    We'll be back soon, there will be more of us, and next time we won't be dropping leaflets.

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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by saf-t View Post
    If you're a landlord, and see that, and don't do anything about it, you incur a certain degree of liability.
    Sure. But as a practical matter, how much risk is he taking? I don't see any hot wires exposed, do you? No one should think grout is acceptable alternative to a face plate but it doesn't conduct electricity. This thing is grotesque but not actually unsafe. This isn't like the guy who was asking if it was safe to clean his bike parts in gasoline.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole Hamilton View Post
    Sure. But as a practical matter, how much risk is he taking? I don't see any hot wires exposed, do you? No one should think grout is acceptable alternative to a face plate but it doesn't conduct electricity. This thing is grotesque but not actually unsafe. This isn't like the guy who was asking if it was safe to clean his bike parts in gasoline.
    Pie is 'safe' too.
    "Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." -Von Braun

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by BentChainring View Post
    Pie is 'safe' too.

    It's all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone.

    Don't make me go all honey badger on your ass

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapdragen View Post
    Nom nom nom
    "Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." -Von Braun

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole Hamilton View Post
    Sure. But as a practical matter, how much risk is he taking? I don't see any hot wires exposed, do you? No one should think grout is acceptable alternative to a face plate but it doesn't conduct electricity. This thing is grotesque but not actually unsafe. This isn't like the guy who was asking if it was safe to clean his bike parts in gasoline.
    Um, let's see.... His wife got shocked by it. End of debate.
    "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    The ones I made had a poo tang.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad View Post
    Um, let's see.... His wife got shocked by it. End of debate.
    Yeah, no kidding?

    I'm surprised Indy never got shocked by the crap wiring job at her last house. I hope the guy who did it wasn't a licensed electrician.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad View Post
    Um, let's see.... His wife got shocked by it. End of debate.
    +1,000,000

    Why in the world would someone tackle an electrical repair in a RENTAL apartment where their wife got electrocuted??

    This isn't replacing a light bulb. Or merely replacing an outlet / light switch. There's some majorly wrong issues with that outlet installation. Is there even an outlet box or was the outlet burried in the wall?
    What does the lease say? Is the tenant even allowed to do such work?
    If something goes wrong and a fire occurs, who's insurance will cover the damage for a faulty repair?

    While building codes sometimes have grandfather clauses, those don't always apply to rentals. My mom has a rental property (built in the 1920's) which we lived in growing up. Once she turned it into a rental, she had to install GFCI outlets before she could get rent it out.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad View Post
    Um, let's see.... His wife got shocked by it. End of debate.
    Re-read the OP. She wasn't shocked by outlet, but likely by the microwave. If she'd even been touching the outlet, I think that would have been mentioned. It's a good idea to have GFIs in a kitchen and it's worth swapping out any outlets that aren't GFI-protected. And if the microwave is leaking, a GFI will shut it down, preventing shocks. But it's pretty darn unlikely the outlet was the problem. Yes, there's no cover plate. But there's nothing exposed, which is all that matters. I actually do have a couple, but it shouldn't take an EE degree to figure this out.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    There's some majorly wrong issues with that outlet installation. Is there even an outlet box or was the outlet burried in the wall?
    The sky is not falling. Of course there's an outlet box under there. It's just a typically incompetent homeowner tile job over the top of it.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole Hamilton View Post
    Re-read the OP. She wasn't shocked by outlet, but likely by the microwave. If she'd even been touching the outlet, I think that would have been mentioned. It's a good idea to have GFIs in a kitchen and it's worth swapping out any outlets that aren't GFI-protected. And if the microwave is leaking, a GFI will shut it down, preventing shocks. But it's pretty darn unlikely the outlet was the problem. Yes, there's no cover plate. But there's nothing exposed, which is all that matters. I actually do have a couple, but it shouldn't take an EE degree to figure this out.
    Re-read the original post and couple it with the picture.

    "A couple of days ago my wife got a shock while cleaning the kitchen counter. It may be leakage from the microwave oven. I am not sure however." Orignal quote, my bolding.

    I think you all are agreeing violently.

    It should be repaired.
    It should be repaired by the landlord.

    Everything else is noise.

    IMO


    Len










    "Evil....is the complete lack of Empathy!"

    ""We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle

    No one is as bad as the worst thing they have done & no one is as good as the best thing they have done.........think of that when you feel like you understand someone.

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