Non-Grounded Outlets

How do you know if you have non-grounded outlets or grounded ones?  If your electrical outlets have three openings in them, they are most likely grounded.   The smaller slot is for the hot wire, the larger one is the neutral wire, and the round hole is for the ground wire.   All newer homes have a three-pronged grounded outlet system throughout them which has resulted in big safety improvements for everyone. 

Some older homes still have non-grounded outlets.  There are only two slots for hot and neutral, but there is no wired connection to the ground.  This type of outlet might be grounded through the box using the center screw, but you can’t tell by just looking at the box whether it is really safe.  Plug adapters like this one can be purchased allowing you to connect a three-pronged plug into a two-pronged outlet.  If you know the box is grounded, the green ground tab can be screwed to the center of the outlet cover, allowing a path to the ground.   However, many times the box is not actually grounded, and users will have false security by thinking they are using a grounded appliance when they are not.  

Adapters like this allow you to connect to the power, but what will it cost you?  If a short develops during usage, the supply of electricity will find a path to the ground – which might be through your body.  You might get electrocuted and wonder how it happened.   That hard lesson could be avoided by replacing non-grounded outlets with grounded type outlets.

If an outlet is not grounded or has no ground available, the only real way to correct the problem is to rewire the receptacle and add a good ground.   We want you to be safe — if it isn’t grounded, rewire it and make it right.   You’ll wish you had done so if someone gets shocked.

Give us a call if you have any questions about any electrical issues.  For over 35 years, we’ve been a trusted local business and we guarantee your satisfaction with our service.

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