2 prong

Hey guys, how are any of you reporting on two prong outlets being converted to 3 prong without ground?

Ungrounded outlet

As a potential safety hazard in need of repair.

Google ungrounded 3-prong receptacles.

Many outlets were the 3-prong type and nearly all were ungrounded. Although a ground isn’t required of 2-prong outlets, if the receptacle is 3 prong and ungrounded it gives a false sense of safety. Grounding of all 3-prong outlets, reverting back to 2-prong outlets, or protecting them with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) is recommended for safety reasons.

I believe someone else posted this before.

One or more open ground, three-pronged electric receptacles were found. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary. For example, replacing receptacles or correcting wiring circuits.

Grounding type receptacles began being required in residential structures during the 1960s. Based on the age of this structure and the presence of 2-pronged receptacles in some areas of this structure, an acceptable repair may be to simply replace the ungrounded 3-pronged receptacles with 2-pronged receptacles. However the following appliances require grounding type receptacles:
· Computer hardware
· Refrigerators
· Freezers
· Air conditioners
· Clothes washers
· Clothes dryers
· Dishwashers
· Kitchen food waste disposers
· Information technology equipment
· Sump pumps
· Electrical aquarium equipment
· Hand-held motor-operated tools
· Stationary and fixed motor-operated tools
· Light industrial motor-operated tools
· Hedge clippers
· Lawn mowers

This list is not exhaustive. Grounded circuits and receptacles should be installed in locations where such appliances will be used.


what Joe said…

Can GFCI’s still protect for grounding purposes with out a ground wire? I know that GFCI’S protect for areas around water and such.


I would be very careful about calling it a safety hazard. It’s not a violation of the code I’m aware of, yet you’re calling it unsafe?

**406.3(D) Replacements **Replacement of receptacles shall comply with 406.3(D)(1), (D)(2), and (D)(3) as applicable.

(1) Grounding-Type Receptacles Where a grounding means exists in the receptacle enclosure or a grounding conductor is installed in accordance with 250.130©, grounding-type receptacles shall be used and shall be connected to the grounding conductor in accordance with 406.3© or 250.130©.

(2) Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code.

(3) Non–grounding-Type Receptacles Where grounding means does not exist in the receptacle enclosure, the installation shall comply with (D)(3)(a), (D)(3)(b), or (D)(3)©.

(a) A non–grounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with another non–grounding-type receptacle(s).

(b) A non–grounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a ground-fault circuit interrupter-type of receptacle(s). These receptacles shall be marked ``No Equipment Ground.’’ An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected from the ground-fault circuit-interrupter-type receptacle to any outlet supplied from the ground-fault circuit-interrupter receptacle.

© A non–grounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle(s) where supplied through a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Grounding-type receptacles supplied through the ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be marked GFCI Protected'' andNo Equipment Ground.’’ An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected between the grounding-type receptacles.

Also, here is a potential safety hazard example that someone posted here in the past:

[FONT=Verdana]There is more to it than a false sense of security. A 3 prong receptacle installed on a two wire system, and used to power a metal appliance with a 3 prong plug, can actually be an electrocution hazard. Think what happens when a conductor with old, dried out cracking insulation is moved around while replacing the receptacle, then shoved back into a metal box. All it takes is for the conductor to make contact with the metal box, energizing the box, the receptacle yoke, the grounding hole, and the metal cabinet of the appliance.

Nice info Larry

Please disregard my statement about it not being a safety hazard. I was thinking the thread was about 2 prongs, when it’s about 2 prongs converted to 3 prongs. My bad. It is a safety hazard.

First things first…

Is this home wired with BX, Romex or cloth wiring? Knob and Tube maybe?

Determine the type of wiring in order to obtain the correct answer!

The house is wired with Romex, that’s whats coming out of the panel. the home is 80 yrs. young.
Joe, where in your statement you say that it isn’t a safety concern?
I didn’t read it as such. Your post does mention a sense false security.


If this home is wired with Romex, then where’s the ground wire?

It’s disconnected somewhere! Simply recommend that an Electrician connect all ground wires to the 3-prong outlets.

Here are the pics.
Copy of P8010061.JPG

Great. I see ground wires on the Romex wires. Why aren’t they grounding the newly installed outlets?

The ground wire is there, it’s simply got to be disconnected on the outlet side.

Not that is sounds like it applies in this case but early NM cable did not contain a grounding conductor. Later versions had an undersized grounding conductor, commonly about a 16 gauge.

Hopefully this wasn’t the type of install where the grounding conductor was clipped off just outside the jacket.

In testing two pronged outlets, I’ve found that some of them show both sides are “hot”. I’m using a voltage meter to test each post(prong) separately. Shouldn’t the positive test hot and the neutral not register with the voltage meter? What’s the call on this one?

Here we go, again.

Are you meaning that the outlet, itself, is ungrounded? or…are you saying that the device that you plug into it is not individually grounded?