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How can you change a 2-prong outlet to a 3-prong outlet?

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2015-07-15 18:33:43
2015-07-15 18:33:43

I assume you mean a standard (15 or 20-amp) outlet and are not trying to make a 220 connection for a stove, dryer or air conditioner. If that's what you want, forget it. You would need to run more and heavier wires and install a different shape of outlet and a different circuit protector. Otherwise, most people just hook up the two wires to the new outlet and ignore the second ground connector. Of course, then they don't have the safety feature of a second ground, and this would be unsafe and possibly illegal.

To do it right, you need to have your electrician run a third wire from the second ground back to the grounding bar in the breaker box, or install GFCI protection.

The National Electrical Code (NEC) 406.3(D)(3) allows this without a third (grounding) wire, but only IF you install a GFCI receptacle to replace the 2-prong receptacle, or install a GFCI circuit breaker for that circuit, and mark the outlets "GFCI Protected" and "No Equipment Ground".

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You can get a ground adaptor, but it is much safer to have an electrician install a properly grounded outlet. This may require having to install a new line directly to your electrical panel.

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The fourth prong grounds the body of the appliance. You can attach it to the frame or simply ignore it.

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You probably mean to change it to a 240 V outlet... either case, you'll need to run a new wire and install a new breaker.


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