Do Ungrounded Outlets Create Danger in Your Home?
At first glance, ungrounded electrical outlets don’t seem to be anything special. Often found in older homes around Buckhead and other Atlanta areas, these two-pronged receptacles accommodate plugs that don’t have a third prong. You may have used converters to connect a three-pronged plug to these ungrounded outlets in the past. This simple fix normally doesn’t present danger for your family as long as you are plugging small items that use minimal current, into them. However, unsafe conditions may exist when the outlets are switched without grounding. Here is help managing these old-fashioned electrical outlets.
Why Ungrounded Electrical Outlets Exist
According to the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), grounded outlets became mandatory in new homes starting in 1962. These grounded, three-hole receptacles are safer than the ungrounded two-prong variety because they don’t shock you as often. In addition, grounded outlets damage electrical appliances less frequently than ungrounded outlets do.
Ways to Adapt Ungrounded Outlets
You might utilize three-prong receptacle converters in order to use modern plugs on ungrounded electrical outlets. This solution works in most cases, but danger does exist when the connection comes undone. You must be careful to remove the plug from an ungrounded socket or you may be shocked trying to fix the connection. It is often safest to turn off the current for the plug by unscrewing the fuse or flipping the breaker before you begin. This way, you will be less likely to be shocked.
In some homes, you may find both three-pronged and two-pronged outlets in different rooms. This setup may be the most dangerous of all because the outlets are not grounded but appear to be. The upgrade was mostly cosmetic, and you could be tricked into thinking ungrounded outlets are really grounded.
Upgrading Outlets to Modern Specifications
Your best option for dealing with ungrounded outlets is to have an electrician replace them with three-pronged receptacles. Professionals will rewire your home’s outlets so they are actually grounded, not just three-pronged. NACHI also recommends upgrading to ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) if you don’t want to rewire your entire home. Though this solution won’t get you grounded outlets, it will reduce the risk of shock for you and your family members.
It is difficult to know the proper course of action when you live in an older home. Whether you want to save money, upgrade your HVAC system or safely operate any equipment in your home, Casteel Air can help you make your home a safe, comfortable place to live.