Should My Two-Prong Outlets Be Replaced?

April 20, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

Most new homes do not have two-prong outlets any more. But does that mean you necessarily need to replace any of the two-prong outlets you have in your home?

There are many safety benefits to replacing these two-prong outlets with grounded three-prong outlets. These outlets were standard in homes built before the 1960s. They are all ungrounded, which means there is no ground wire protecting your outlet and devices from electrical surges. This means there is a greater chance of shock, damage to your appliances and electronics and even potential electrical fires.

Here’s an overview of things you should know about these outlets and possibly replacing them with the help of electrical contractors in New Milford, CT.

What happens when an outlet is or isn’t grounded?

Every electrical outlet, even two-prong outlets, have hot wires that deliver electricity to the outlet and neutral wires that send some electricity back to your home’s main electrical panel. Grounded outlets have a third wire, the grounding wire. If you get too much electricity flowing to an outlet, it will have nowhere to go if you do not have a ground. The ground wire connected to each outlet and then farther down the electrical line will help you transmit this extra electrical energy safely into the earth.

Is changing an outlet difficult?

Adding a ground wire is not something a novice should attempt to do by themselves. Instead, you should seek out the services of professional electrical contractors in New Milford, CT to get the job done. Adding a ground involves also attaching a brand new ground wire to your electrical panel and running some new wire to every outlet you have in your home that was ungrounded. This might mean adding more than just one ground wire.

An electrician can walk through your home and tell which ones have been properly grounded, as well as if your home itself is grounded. This isn’t a task that’s as simple as just swapping out one poorly functioning grounded outlet for a new one, though—there’s more in-depth electrical work required that can be extremely dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.

Complications can also arise if you are not the first owner of your home and do not have a record of the kinds of work that has been done on it over the years. Just because your home was remodeled does not mean the three-prong outlets you have throughout your home are actually properly grounded. You should have an experienced electrician confirm this is the case. Again, more work is involved than just switching out a two-prong outlet for a three-prong outlet. In fact, you could be in danger if this was the only electrical work done on the outlet.

With all this in mind, we recommend you contact our electrical contractors in New Milford, CT to have them come out and analyze your home, especially if you live in an older home that’s likely to have outdated wiring. Get in touch with ESI Electric LLC to learn more!

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