How Electricians Replace a Two Prong Outlet with a Three Prong Outlet


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Electrical Outlet Replacement in Atlanta

Mr. Electric offers expert and emergency electrical outlets replacement in Atlanta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Marietta, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Duluth, Johns Creek, Cumming, Lilburn and surrounding areas. Today, most appliances require 3 prong outlets, which is why building contractors automatically include 3 prong outlets and electrical grounding in their construction plans. Sometimes however, families will move into an older home where the previous owners simply never made the investment to upgrade their outlets. So, what is a modern family to do in a home full of plugs that don’t fit their appliances? Here are a few practical suggestions to get your household’s outlets working safely and effectively.

Why Cheater Plugs Are Not a Recommended Solution

First, it’s important to discuss a common practice that homeowners in similar situations employ to save money. Some budget conscious families choose to go to their local hardware store and buy “cheater plugs”. These are not a final solution, and if the outlets aren’t properly grounded, it can be a major safety hazard. Keep in mind that a non-grounded outlet can leave you vulnerable to electrocution should a wire ever come loose. Also, if a power surge occurs through the outlet, it could fry the circuit of whichever device is plugged into the outlet. Therefore, pinching pennies to begin with may end up costing a fortune if you lose your refrigerator, computer, television or other expensive appliance. Not to mention the devastation that would be felt if a loved one suffered a severe electrical shock.

Want an Economical Short Term Alternative to Rewiring Your Home?

If you aren’t ready to commit to fully grounding your home, a safer alternative to cheater plugs is something called a GFCI outlet. GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. These outlets are recognizable because of the two small buttons located in the center that say “TEST” and “RESET”. In an outlet plug, the electrical current flows from the hot side to the neutral side, keeping a consistent flow of power to your appliances. A GFCI outlet will monitor this flow of energy, and if it detects a spike or increase in power it will immediately trip the circuit. This simple, but important feature could save your life by protecting against sudden electrical shock.

How Electricians Switch Out Two Prong Outlets with New GFCI Outlets

Step One: Disconnect the outlets power, and use a circuit tester to be sure the electricity is completely turned off.

Step Two: Take off the cover plate, and remove the screws, and carefully slide out the old outlet and disconnect it. Be careful not to break or crack the wires.

Step Three: Check to see if the GFCI will fit in the allotted space. If not, you may need a bigger electrical box, and are looking at a more extensive process altogether. You may also need to extend the wires if the existing ones aren’t large enough. Be sure to check for the appropriate amperage. (20 amp needs 12 gauge and 15 amp requires 14 gauge wire).

Step Four: Assuming it fits and the wires are secure, you can fold the wires back inside the box and screw the new outlet in place.

Step Five: Now it’s time to test the outlet and make sure it works properly. Push the RESET button and it should turn on. The TEST button should turn it off. If all is well, add the cover plate on and be sure to place a “No Ground” warning sticker in plain view.

Grounding Your Outlets
As previously mentioned, GFCI outlets are only a temporary fix. If you want to ensure the safety and security of your family, guests and electronic devices, you will need to hire a professional electrician to ground your outlets.

Need a Reliable Local Electrician to Update Your Outlets? Call Mr. Electric Today

Is it time to upgrade your home or businesses electrical outlets? Contact the professional, licensed electricians at Mr. Electric today. Our friendly staff can help answer your questions and will gladly schedule a convenient appointment for your next electrical service.

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