National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Friday, April 23, 2021


Code Friends,

It seems like I'm finding more and more receptacles wired with "bootleg grounds" and reverse polarity out there. Some of the worst offenders are house flippers. Is there any legal means in place to prevent this type of work from happening in the first place? Please withhold my name.

Thank You.

Requested to remain anonymous.



Hello Anonymous,

Thanks for participating. We haven't heard the term "bootleg grounds" in a while but we will try to provide a response based on the concerns expressed in your question. Reversing polarity and neutral-to-ground connections are not permitted by the NEC. See Section 250.24(A)(5) and 200.10(B). The best course of action for this situation is to report the work to the local building inspection department (authority having jurisdiction). They will know what requirements are regarding securing permits, licenses, and inspections for work associated house flipping. The NEC does not say who does the work. This is typically regulated at the state or local levels with licensing or certification requirements. The NEC does provide a definition of what constitutes a qualified person. See the definition in Article 100.

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