How to Make Two-Prong Outlets Safer
Do you have two-prong outlets in your home? If so, you may need to take extra precautions to ensure they’re safe to use. Although two-prong outlets used to be the standard in older homes, they are now considered outdated and dangerous. There are a few steps you should take to help ensure electrical safety for your Milwaukee home.
The experts at Roman Electric want to advise homeowners on making two-prong outlets safer. We would like to first discuss the dangers of using a two-prong outlet, as well as the possible solutions to help maintain electrical safety.
Why are Two-Prong Outlets Considered Dangerous?
The main reason two-prong outlets are considered outdated and dangerous is due to their lack of grounding. Grounding is how electricity is safely transferred in the case of an unstable current. If an electrical accident such as a short circuit occurs, the dangerous current travels through the ground wire instead of potentially shocking you or the plugged-in appliance.
This is what makes two-prong outlets the least safe of any type of outlet. Two-prong outlets have connections only for hot and neutral wire, hence their name. Without a third-prong for a connected ground wire, unstable electricity doesn’t have a path to travel safely away from you and your electrical system. This increases the chance of electrical shock during short circuits, ground faults, and electrical overloads.
Now that you understand why two-prong outlets are more dangerous than their modern counterparts, we can assess some possible solutions that may help alleviate the dangers.
Upgrade Two-Prong Outlets to GFCI
GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets are designed to protect against electrical shock. And this is the only type of three-prong outlet you can replace two-prong outlets with without breaking NEC guidelines. This is because GFCI outlets can still protect against electrical shock, even without the grounding component. However, if you replace a two-prong outlet with a GFCI, then the outlet must be labeled with a “No Equipment Ground” sticker.
Rewire Your Two-Prong Outlet’s Box
Although your two-prong outlet may not have a ground wire, your electrical system might. Ground wire can be present in older homes, although it may be hidden or encased in sheetrock. And if it does exist, it may be possible to retrofit a ground wire onto the two-prong outlet’s box. If this can be done, you can upgrade your two-prong outlet to any three-prong variant.
To determine if this can be done, you’ll need to have your electrical system inspected by a professional. Contact Roman Electric to assess if your box can be retrofitted with an existing ground wire.
Rewire Your Electrical Panel
If no ground wire can be found to retrofit your two-prong outlet’s box, then your other option is to rewire your electrical panel with ground wire. Although this solution might be the most expensive, it helps to guarantee your electrical system is fully grounded and any new or existing outlets are safer to use. Contact Roman Electric if you require wiring services to install new ground wire in your home’s electrical system.
If you have two-prong outlets in your home, follow our guide to help make them safer! And when you require complete wiring, rewiring, and outlet services for your two-prong outlets, contact Roman Electric today! Call us at 414-771-5400 to speak with Milwaukee’s leading electrical experts.