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
On Monday, September 12, 2016 at 12:56:22 PM UTC-4, email@example.com wrote:
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:
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.
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.
On 09/12/2016 10:15 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org 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"...
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?
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
I'll bet if you asked them what the little screw lug is for they would
say "So it doesn't fall out." ;-)
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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."
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
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:
"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
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.
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.
MID: <nb7u27$crn$ email@example.com>
Hmmm. I most certainly don't understand how I can access a copy of a
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.