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Is there an inexpensive and safe way to convert 2-prong outlets to 3-prong without rewiring your house?

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2009-06-08 18:33:16
2009-06-08 18:33:16

You can convert your 2-wire ungrounding outlets to 3-wire grounding outlets by installing a GFCI receptacle in place of the 2-wire receptacle. The GFCI will be a 3-wire receptacle. In addition, if you replace the first receptacle in a series with a GFCI, you can protect all receptacles downstream of the first one by wiring them on the LOAD side of the GFCI. Once this is done, the 2-wire receptacles downstream may legally be replaced with 3-wire receptacles. They must be marked "No equipment ground", and there may not be an actual grounding conductor installed between the GFCI and the protected devices. You can easily convert a 2 prong to a 3 prong by just replacing the outlet. This will not give you the protection of a grounded outlet as there is no ground wire to connect. I know it is expensive but if you plan on staying in this home, have it rewired, for the safety of your family. The first thing u need to know is which wire is the neutral. If u know which is the neutral u can use that one for the ground also, consequently making a 2 prong into a 3 prong. I seen an electrician do this. Get a "neon tester." This is a neon bulb with two wires coming out of it. Take the screw that holds the cover plate onto the outlet off, and set it to the side. Then plug one wire from the tester into the right-side slot on one of the outlets, and one wire into the left-side slot. The tester should light up. (We did this to make sure the tester works. Sometimes they don't.) If it does, pull the wire out of the left-side slot and stick it into the screwhole. If it didn't light up, stick the wire back in the left-side slot then pull the wire out of the right-side slot and stick it in the screwhole. If it lit up on either occasion, you have a ground going to the box, and you can legally put a three-prong outlet in without rewiring. I tell you this because at one time, they used to wire houses this way--in places like the kitchen and bathroom you needed three-prong outlets, but in bedrooms you only need two-prong, so they'd use outlets and wiring that grounded the center screw. If you really NEEDED a grounded outlet, you bought one of those little 2-prong to 3-prong adapters and ran the screw through the tab to ground it. If you don't get a light on either position, don't put a grounded outlet there.

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If you have black, white and bare wires going to the box where the outlet is mounted you just need to replace the 2 prong outlet with a three prong one. Black goes to copper colored screw, white to silver colored screw and bare wire to green screw.

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If you need to ask, you should have someone who knows how do it....

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Not without a converter. The inexpensive converters used to convert digital TV to analog for older sets should work.

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Without knowing your location, it is not possible to provide an answer. There will be lots of outlets near you, especially in larger shopping centres.


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