Electrical Outlet Replacement

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I am leasing an older home. Some of the outlets have the 3-prong grounding outlet and many have just the two-prong which we use adapters on. Can the regular two-prong outlets be replaced with 3-prong without rewiring the home? Thanks
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 12:56:22 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

It depends.
If a ground wire is present at the location of the 2 prong receptacles, then you can replace them on an individual basis and attach the ground wire to the ground screw of the 3 prong receptacle.
If there is no ground wire present at the receptacle box, then you can install a GFCI receptacle in (hopefully) the first receptacle location of each branch circuit and then attach the downstream 3 prong receptacles to the load side of the GFCI. The downstream receptacles will not suddenly be grounded, but the user will be protected from shocks should they (the user) become a path to ground. The receptacles should be labeled to note that there is No Equipment Ground present.
Alternatively, a GFCI breaker could be installed for each branch circuit and then 3 prong receptacles could be installed everywhere. That is probably a more expensive option and may not be as convenient. There may also be cases where you don't want an entire branch circuit to be GFCI protected.
This is just one of many articles that discusses the situation:
http://ecmweb.com/content/replacing-2-wire-ungrounded-receptacles
BTW...I would get a receptacle tester and check the existing 3 prong receptacles to see if a ground is actually present. If not, I'd check for an upstream GFCI. If neither are present, then you have a installation that does not meet code and could present a danger to you and your family.
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:13:58 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

That's a very good point and suggestion. The existing ones may have been installed incorrectly at some point, with no ground present, by someone who didn't know what they were doing.
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On 09/12/2016 12:24 PM, trader_4 wrote:
[snip]

Or by someone who DOES know what he's doing. He wants to be able to plug in 3-prong plugs.
Or, maybe those receptacles need replacing and 2-prong receptacles are getting hard to find.
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:51:24 PM UTC-4, Sam E wrote:

Well, I guess that depends on your definition of "knows what he's doing". In my world, someone who violates code with a stupid and unsafe practice doesn't know what they are doing. But I guess you have a point, there are some people who know what they are doing is wrong, a code violation, unsafe, etc. but just don't care.

No problem finding them here, HD for example has them. And even if they were hard to find and you decide to just replace it with a grounded type and nothing more, then IMO, you still don't know what you're doing, because it's easy to do it right and code compliant.
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On Mon, 12 Sep 2016 12:51:20 -0500, Sam E

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On 09/12/2016 10:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Maybe that's so in Canada; nothing in US to that effect unless it's in some local extended codes. They may not be as common on the shelves simply owing to demand, but that's a different issue than "allowed"...
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On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 7:56:31 AM UTC-4, dpb wrote:

Clare better call the cops on HD!
http://www.homedepot.com/s/2+prong+outlet?NCNI-5
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On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 8:47:35 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

It's interesting that I can search for products in US based Home Depots, but I can't seem to do the same for stores located in Canada.
They've got 20 of those receptacles in the Newark, NJ store:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-15-Amp-2-Wire-Duplex-Outlet-Ivory-R51-00223-00I/100356968?keyword=R51-00223-00I
I can't even search for them in Canada. All the "store websites" in Canada seem to be the same generic page.
http://stores.homedepot.ca/on/toronto/home-improvement-toronto-on-7012.html
BTW...I did not see any 2 prong receptacles listed at lowes.ca
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available - and if they are not CSA approved they are illegal to offer for sale.
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On 09/12/2016 12:13 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
[snip]

Some danger, especially in places where someone may be wet. There's no more danger than when using adapters with no ground.
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:48:53 PM UTC-4, Sam E wrote:

There definitely could be more danger. When you're using an adaptor and don't care about the lack of ground, you know there is no ground, or should know it. When someone puts a ground type receptacle in with no ground, then it appears to everyone to be a grounded type. If you were somewhere on a damp basement or garage floor and saw a ground type receptacle, and had a tool, an extension cord with ground what would most people think and do?
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:55:59 PM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

You are assuming that the user knows about electricity. I can "almost certainly" guarantee that I could find someone - without looking very hard - that has no clue why an adapter exists other than to let you plug a 3 prong plug into a 2 prong receptacle. "Oh look, isn't that convenient".
I'll bet if you asked them what the little screw lug is for they would say "So it doesn't fall out." ;-)
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 2:12:15 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

No, I never made that assumption. I specifically said:
"When you're using an adapter and don't care about the lack of ground, you know there is no ground, or should know it. "
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 2:14:49 PM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

I was referring to all the other people who have no clue, not the original "installer". There are lots of people who never even *think* about the presence of a ground when they see a 3 prong receptacle or adapter.
They just "plug and play".
P.S. I'm not arguing with you - even if it sounds that way. Just making a clarifying point.
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 2:24:58 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

And I was also referring to people other than the original installer who decide to use an adapter and not ground it. Either they know using the adapter that way leaves whatever is plugged into it ungrounded or they should know it. When you're using something you should know what it is and how it works.

I'm sure there are plenty of people like that. I suppose they should sell those adapters packaged so there is a warning on them, or putting a warning tag on them would be a good idea. Actually IDK how they are packaged and sold, haven't bought one in decades.

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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 2:38:11 PM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

Just for fun, I went looking for an image of the packaging for an adapter. I didn't find a package (didn't look too hard), but I did find this rather scary image:
http://i.stack.imgur.com/jTqrx.jpg
Is it just me or are they showing the ground lug being attached to the cover screw of a receptacle where no ground is present?
I clicked on the "Visit Page" button at G-images, and it took me to the following discussion. The OP is exactly the type of person I was referring to: He notes that the adapters are "handy" but he has no clue about their proper usage.
http://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/36697/what-is-the-purpose-of-the-grounding-tab-wire-on-a-3-prong-to-2-prong-adapter
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 2:52:12 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

There might be a ground present, but they are doing a disservice by not clearly showing what's there if that's what they meant. The only way it would be grounded would be if that cable is type AC and the cable sheath is the ground. It's clear there is no ground wire coming out of the cable, but it's not clear if it's AC type cable because you can't see the cable well, nor the connector fastening it. Further down that thread, they show it again and show the cable sheath as the ground path. But that pic by itself is very misleading at best.

All kinds of stuff going on there. The only answer I like is this one:
"Plausible deniability. I've always regarded these adapters as a 2-to-3-pro ng converter, rather than a proper grounding mechanism, and here's why:
In every outlet I've encountered without a third (ground) prong, there is n o ground wire. Sometimes (my parents' house) there is, but for whatever rea son the ground wire is cut off and unused. Thus, the electrical box itself isn't even grounded.
The screw holding the face plate on is electrically connected to the outlet box, and if it's not grounded, then there's not much point in using the sc rew holding the face plate on as a ground.
The companies who make these grounding adapters probably also know this, bu t they can't really get away with providing 2-to-3-prong adapter without pr oviding some way to still connect ground. So they provide a way to connect it to something that should be grounded, but often isn't. In this way, it's not their fault if something bad happens because your house wiring is faul ty.
If you do happen to have a 2-prong outlet in a properly grounded box, then the little ground tab or wire will actually provide ground continuity, as i ntended.
So, the answer is that the grounding tab is meant as a way to connect elect rically to something that in turn should be grounded (but might not be). It 's not meant as a secure attachment mechanism, though it may seem that way because of the use of a faceplate screw."
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On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 3:31:31 PM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

eason the ground wire is cut off and unused. Thus, the electrical box itsel f isn't even grounded.

screw holding the face plate on as a ground.

providing some way to still connect ground. So they provide a way to connec t it to something that should be grounded, but often isn't. In this way, it 's not their fault if something bad happens because your house wiring is fa ulty.

intended.

It's not meant as a secure attachment mechanism, though it may seem that wa y because of the use of a faceplate screw."
I did see that answer but I'm surprised that he didn't say one more thing:
He said:
"If you do happen to have a 2-prong outlet in a properly grounded box, then the little ground tab or wire will actually provide ground continuity, as intended."
He should have added:
"However, if you do happen to have a 2-prong outlet in a properly grounded box, then the better solution is to install a 3-prong receptacle and throw the adapter in the shit can."
That's what I would have said...more or less.
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Mon, 12 Sep 2016 19:31:26 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

Hmm. The receptacles that I've installed that are properly grounded would also provide ground thru the metal screw holding the faceplate onto them, as it's making direct contact with their grounded chassis. (although you might want to ensure the paint on that screw) has been removed so that it's metal to metal contact directly. Paint doesn't always make for a good conductor and as you know, electricity prefers the path of least resistance.
Not that I'd advise it, but, the ground would be present if you used the ground pin on the adapter with the screw holding the faceplate onto the receptacle.

That's assuming the outlet box is a metal one, and, not plastic. If it's plastic, the box itself obviously isn't grounded. The outlet is, if the ground is connected properly at both ends.

Yep.

Agreed.
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