When your older home features more 2-prong outlets than 3-prong outlets, it is very likely you are going to running out of outlet space for appliances and electronics. Today, we at Burley Electrical Services would like to share an option to convert your 2-prong outlets with a 3-prong outlet.
3 Prong Grounded Outlets
There are a host of reasons homeowners shy away from rewiring their homes, however, though this may not be the most feasible one, this option offers the safest solution. Although there are risks without rewiring or grounding for convenience as there are ways your electrician can upgrade your outlets to 3-prong. Without, the risk of electrocution and appliance damage is substantial with no ground 2-prong outlets. By adding an outlet with an additional prong, it will give added appliance access, though it will not alleviate these serious issues. Ground is necessary for safety.
Outlet Surge Protector
To prevent sensitive electronics from becoming fried with voltage fluctuations that commonly occur within your home, the prong GFCI will not provide the necessary ground protection, however, converting a 2-prong outlet to 3-prong GFCI, as opposed to a standard 3-prong, can decrease these risks as it protects against shock-injury. These devices are only as good as the ground they are connected to and serve as an escape route for excess current. No matter how much you invest, no ground = no surge protection.
Steps to Replace a 2 Prong Outlet with a 3 Prong
1) At the location of the outlet that needs to be replaced, turn off the power through the service panel. Confirm that the outlet is off with a circuit tester.
2) Remove the cover plate screws and cover, then unscrew the two screws securing the old receptacle into the box.
3) Gently extend the access the wires and pull out the old outlet, while being very careful not to crack the old wiring.
4) Disconnect the old outlet.
5) Some old boxes maybe tight so ensure the new box will fit by gently pushing the wires back. The new GFCI must be test-fitted as well with a replacement larger electrical box, requiring an expert to get this job done.
6) Apply the appropriate wire for the circuit amperage; 15amp = 14 gauge; 20amp = 12 gauge. Should the wires not be long enough, add a 4-6” extension. Select one white wire and one black from a local hardware store in addition to the appropriate wire nuts to add the extension.
7) If the wires are long enough identifying the “Line” terminals as you inspect the terminals on the GFCI. Connect the wires as indicated below as they are the only ones you will use.
– Black wire to the brass “Line” terminal screw.
– White wire to the silver “Line” terminal screw.
8) Carefully fold the wires back in the box as you press in the new outlet.
9) Screw in the box to secure.
10) Testing the outlet by pushing reset to turn it on, and the test to shut it off. After you re-attach the cover plate, add the no ground sticker.
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For someone with a background in electricity, these steps can get the conversion done safely and efficiently, however, if you are not familiar with electrical work, it is vital you hire a pro. Burley Electrical Services is readily available to provide exceptional workmanship. Contact us today!