Two- Versus Three-Prong Outlets: Why More Prongs are Better

 In Electrician

Do you have a home that was built before 1962? Has it ever had an update to the electrical system? If not, there’s a chance you are still using the old, and outdated, two-prong outlets. Not only are two-prong outlets inconvenient, they can be dangerous. There are several reasons you need to invest in an upgrade from two-prong outlets. Keep reading to learn how three-prong outlets are safer, and why this is an investment worth making.

The Possible Dangers Associated with Two-Prong Outlets

The main danger of using two-prong outlets in your home is the possibility of shock, or worse – electrocution. With two-prong outlets, there is no grounding wire for the excess electricity to escape. This also increases the risk of a fire due to faulty wiring or because of overloaded circuits.

Fuses may blow because a two-prong outlet doesn’t provide enough power. If a power surge occurs, it can cause permanent to your electronic equipment if it isn’t protected by a quality, working surge protector.

Since 1962, homes in the U.S. have been constructed using three-prong outlets. The three-prong outlets have a grounding wire, while the two-prong outlets do not. It’s the role of the grounding wire to redirect electrical surges safely to the ground.

If you own an older home, make sure you are careful with the electrical system. Some former homeowners may have replaced the outlet two slot cover plates with three-slot ones. Even if the receptacles have a three-slot cover plate, it doesn’t mean the electrical system was properly upgraded with the grounding wire. There are some that may have been upgraded using grounding wires from the outlets to the electrical panel, but not a grounding wire from the electrical panel to the ground. For a surge-protector to work properly, you must have a grounded three-prong outlet.

Make the Switch to Three-Prong Outlets Right Away

If your home still has two-prong outlets in place, it’s a good idea to consult with a licensed electrician to inspect your home and ensure the proper upgrades and installations are made. To properly change a three-prong outlet, the grounding wire has to be installed from the outlets to your main electrical panel. The ground wire is then attached to a grounding bar in the electrical panel, which is then connected to a ground rod that is driven into the ground just outside of a house.

Contact the Professionals for Help

If you are unsure if your outlets are safe – even if you have three-prong outlets in place – contact a licensed electrician right away. They can provide a full electrical inspection of your home to determine if there are any problems that need to be addressed. By taking the time to contact a professional electrician, you can feel confident any issue will be addressed and that the problem will be rectified (if one is found).

Contact Tann Electric today to upgrade your outlets to three-prong plugs!

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