2 prong outlets and computer equipment

Do 2 prong outlets pose a problem for computers a/d electronic equipment? I have a client that’s about to walk away from a house because of the 2 wire system. I suggested asking a qualified electrician. Is there an issue here?

As far as I know, its the same basic issue of any grounded appliance. If you use an adapter, or upgrade the outlets with GFCI’s then the appliance will work, but won’t have the same protection through the grounded pin.

Surge protectors will not work with out a ground thats about the only problem, What i suggest run a dedicated circuit. This is what I write up.

Suspected 2 wire system present meaning there is no ground present which would be expected on this age of a home. However beware that surge protectors will not work without a ground . This would effect appliances like computers, High end TV, Stereo’s
I am sure there will some disagree but CYA
It will be between the seller and buyer to decide not your Worry.

The answer to the question can be found by plugging in the computer and trying it. Most modern units will likely work ok. However, in the larger scheme of things, whoever owns the house will eventually have to face the need for some fairly costly upgrades (unless the original wiring was done with conduit).

I also Suggest a whole panel Surge protector to Protect the bigger equipment < they run about 200 Bucks . and mount on the panel.

Thanks everyone

There would not be a need to upgrade the entire house. A new grounded circuit could be installed where the computer will be located.

Please also read Article 250.114 in the NEC.

How do you plug a 3-prong plug into a 2-prong receptacle? :shock:

You’re silly Rick. Everybody knows to remove the third (round) prong from the cord.:p:p:twisted:


I keep one of these in my computer bag for doing reports in older homes. The computer isn’t protected, but it works.

Plugging a 3 prong plug for a computer into a 2 prong outlet can void the warranty on the computer. Same is true for TV’s with 3 prong plug, Microwaves, etc.

If a computer, TV, Microwave, etc. has a 3 prong plug, the manufacturer wants it plugged into a 3 prong grounded outlet.

So I would NOT plug a 3 prong plug into an ungrounded outlet.

Would you recommend your clients use those for their high dollar electronics (or any appliance that had a 3-prong plug)? :wink:

Uh…Jeffrey…there are some folks reading these threads that…ah…well, you know…maybe you shouldn’t say things like that.

Yes, you’re right, my bad… guess I’ll have to go spend $0.29 on one of those adapter thingy’s. Sorry for the poor advice everyone! :p:twisted::D:D


Nope… I tell them about running a ground wire, re-wiring with 3 wire, and GFCI as options. I use the the adapter with my laptop to get a job done. I know it’s a risk, and I understand the possible consequences. It’s a risk I’m willing to take every now and then to get the job done. :mrgreen:

Be careful trying to persuade a client as to what is a problem. If they think a two wire system is a problem, it’s a problem to them. Maybe when you do their next inspection it will have more wires. :smiley:

I would just break the third ground prong off a 3 prong power strip so I can plug multiple 3 prong items in a 2 prong outlet>> yea thats the ticket!!

please dont follow this advise

If asked that question specifically, I would explain the situation to the clinet and advise them to make certain that they use their appliances in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. However, I also would probably say that having two-prong outlets in a home of that age is not prohibited, but would stop short of describing how to ‘bypass’ the situation.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a two-wire system, but the way we use it may be. Today’s electrical appliance needs are far greater than they were 40 or 50 years ago, and using yesterday’s supply to satisfy today’s demand may often become very dangerous.

**The use of three-hole ground-type receptacles on a two-wire electrical system gives the impression that safety protection is present in the circuit, when in reality it is not. Older style two-hole receptacles are still available and should be installed to eliminate this false sense of security. Three-hole receptacles may be more convenient (and often less expensive), but are often installed without giving consideration to this situation. **
**The use of a three-pronged plug in an ungrounded receptacle can be a safety concern. The plug has the grounding provision for a reason and electrical appliances should always be used for the function they were intended to perform. **

All such installations should be labeled “No Equipment Ground” on each receptacle that applies. Grounding of all “three-pronged” receptacles or protection with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) on each is recommended for safety reasons.

**“Two-hole” outlets are not grounded and should never be used with a “three-pronged” plug. Adapters have been devised for this usage, but there is still no adequate ground and such adapters are not always safe. Until the electrical system is upgraded for “three-pronged” usage, it would be prudent to not use adapters, extension cords, or “three-pronged” plugs in any way. Consider that “three-pronged” plugs have been engineered for use with a “three-hole” grounded receptacle. **




This statement is a load of crap.

You’re kidding me, right?