Reuben's Home Inspection Blog

head_left_image

How To Fix Ungrounded Three Prong Outlets

One of the most common electrical defects that I find when inspecting old houses in Minneapolis and Saint Paul is ungrounded three prong outlets.  This happens when a standard three prong outlet is wired without the ground wire being connected.   Today I'll give a brief explanation of what the third prong is for, and I'll discuss a few ways to correct a mis-wired three prong outlet.  I didn't consult an attorney before writing this article, so I feel like I should add a disclaimer before giving any electrical how-to advice: Don't do any of this work if you're not qualified.  This is only an overview.

The third prong on an outlet is commonly referred to as ‘the ground', and it provides an alternate path for electricity that may stray from an appliance or product.  This is an important safety feature that has been required since 1962, which minimizes the risk of electric shock, and allows surge protectors to protect your electrical equipment, such as televisions, computers, stereos, and other devices.

The ideal way to repair an ungrounded three-prong outlet is to establish a continuous electrical path back to the main panel.  If the outlet is installed in a metal box, and that metal box has metal conduit all the way back to the panel, this will probably be pretty easy to do.  To test this, you can use an inexpensive pig-tail electrical tester, which is available at any hardware store for about two dollars.  With the circuit energized, touch one end of the tester to the hot wire, which should go to the smaller slot on the outlet, and one end of the tester to the electrical box  (see photo below left).  If the tester lights up, the box is grounded.  Now all you need to do is attach a bare copper wire to the box, and use this as the ground wire for a three prong outlet (see photo below right).  Click the photos for larger pictures.

Testing For Ground on a Two-Prong Outlet Grounding a three-prong outlet to a box

If you perform the test with a pig-tail tester and the light doesn't light up when you touch the hot wire to the box, the box is not grounded (or you're not touching a hot wire).  In this case, you could run a ground wire back to the panel, or you could install a GFCI outlet.  A GFCI outlet provides the best possible protection against shocks, but without a ground wire, this outlet will not provide any protection for your electrical equipment.  A surge protector plugged in to an ungrounded outlet will do nothing, and you could fry your new plasma TV.  You will need to add a sticker to the GFCI outlet that reads "No Equipment Ground" - this sticker comes with every GFCI outlet.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections - Email - Home Inspection Minneapolis

RELATED POST: Converting Two Prong Outlets - this process is almost identical to repairing ungrounded three prong outlets, and so is the blog.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections

        

Comment balloon 4 commentsReuben Saltzman • April 21 2009 06:17AM

Comments

I will pass this to my last buyer.  None of the outlets in her house are grounded.

Posted by Gene Allen, Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate (Fathom Realty) over 10 years ago

A good explanation on grounding outlets!  Without endorsing that people do their own, it still gives an explanation of wha should be done when someone qualified to do it, does it. 

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 10 years ago

Judi - thanks, I was a little hesitant to even write this because I couldn't possibly cover every aspect.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 10 years ago

swarovski

dansko

canada goose jackets

louboutin

michael kors

canada goose outlet

burberry outlet

sac longchamp

running shoes

nike air max plus

coach outlet store online

jimmy choo outlet

rolex watches

burberry outlet

north face

converse outlet

air jordan

nike free run

nike flip-flops

birkenstock sandals

canada goose jassen

mlb jerseys

ray ban sunglasses

beats by dre

jordan shoes

the north face

north face

coach outlet

nike air max 2017

nike air max

adidas stan smith

jordan

longchamp outlet

adidas yeezy

givenchy handbags

doudoune moncler

canada goose outlet

uggs outlet

michael kors outlet

ugg boots

ugg

ralph lauren outlet

north face jackets

michael kors outlet

coach handbags

canada goose outlet

the north face

longchamp

mont blanc pens

moncler

hermes outlet

baseball jerseys

bottega

pandora jewelry

barcelona jersey

red bottom shoes

adidas stan smith

michael kors outlet

vibram fivefingers

canada goose

louboutin

nike dunks

uggs

prada

nike cortez

nike shoes

swarovski

jordan 8

coach factory outlet

adidas football boots

polo ralph

north face

under armour outlet

longchamp

nike sb

hermes bags

kate spade outlet

superdry clothing

north face

ray ban sunglasses

nike huarache

canada goose

polo ralph lauren

michael kors outlet

nike tn

flops

timberland

lebron 15

mlb jerseys

michael kors outlet

michael kors

michael kors outlet

prada outlet

ugg outlet store

ray ban sunglasses

ugg outlet

christian louboutin

polo ralph lauren

oakley sunglasses

kate spade

louboutin

michael kors

ray ban sunglasses

ugg

nike revolution

coach factory outlet

adidas slides

christian louboutin

michael kors outlet

alexander mcqueen

nike air max 97

polo shirts

mizuno

coach outlet

dior handbags

fitflops

tommy hilfiger canada

coach outlet

ugg outlet

nike air max

ugg clearance

air max

adidas superstar

flops

nike air max 2018

ugg boots clearance

nike air max 1

nhl jerseys

pandora charms

nike tennis

wedding shoes

coach outlet

asics

pandora jewelry

jordans

moncler jacka

tory burch outlet

belstaff outlet

bvlgari jewelry

canada goose

adidas outlet

nike huarache

coach outlet

burberry scarves

jordans

stephen curry shoes

nike air max 90

christian louboutin

jordan 4

louboutin

burberry outlet

supreme clothing

van cleef & arpels jewelry

nike presto

roshe run

ray ban

birkenstock outlet

true religion outlet

moncler

uggs outlet

kevin durant shoes

michael kors handbags

bcbg

nike free

nike air max 270

manchester united jersey

nike factory outlet

nike air max

ugg outlet

air max

jordan 5

chicago blackhawks jersey

moncler

nfl jerseys

jordan xx9

true religion outlet

nike lunarglide

bottes ugg

polo ralph lauren

fitflops

nike blazer

north face

canada goose

ugg boots

nike factory store

moncler

jordan

ralph lauren

jordans

longchamp

adidas jeremy scott

moncler

burberry sale

the north face

moncler outlet

michael kors handbags

tory burch outlet

coach outlet

michael kors outlet

coach outlet

yeezy shoes

air jordans

nfl jerseys

jordan

jordan shoes

jordan

mont blanc pens

cartier bracelet

stussy clothing

cheap jerseys

ugg boots

cheap oakley sunglasses

nike outlet

polo outlet

moncler jassen

nike free

pandora charms

soccer jerseys

ugg boots

coach factory outlet

marc jacobs

nike outlet

birkenstock sandals

converse shoes

ralph lauren

pandora jewelry

basketball shoes

nike free

moncler

mont blanc

cheap jerseys

red bottom shoes

dolce and gabbana

undefeated clothing

oakley sunglasses

hermes

mac cosmetics

tory burch outlet

louboutin

balenciaga

ugg australia

kate spade handbags

harden vol 1

coach outlet

nike shox

stuart weitzman

coach outlet

jordan shoes

ugg boots

jordan shoes

michael kors

supreme

canada goose outlet

supreme

nike huarache

adidas wings

cheap jordans

nike trainers

ugg

canada goose

north face outlet

mcm backpack

miu miu handbags

tory burch

ugg boots

ray ban sunglasses

michael jordan shoes

nike kyrie 3

ugg

ugg outlet

true religion jeans

replica watches

ferragamo

prada outlet

toms shoes

oakley sunglasses

coach wallets

moncler

jordans

pandora outlet

canada goose outlet

ugg boots

moncler

coach outlet

ralph lauren uk

jordan 11

fitflops

adidas

michael kors outlet

jordan 3

true religion

goedkope uggs

north face outlet

ugg clearance

new balance shoes

canada goose outlet

oakley sunglasses

ray bans

links of london

air jordan pas cher

mbt

ugg outlet

adidas yeezy boost

adidas

hermes belt

uggs outlet

fingerlings monkey

longchamp outlet

new balance

flip flops

shoe carnival

cheap nfl jerseys

pandora jewelry

coach factory outlet

red bottom shoes

timberland boots

oakley sunglasses

swarovski jewelry

nike air max

uggs outlet

true religion

nike store

ray ban sunglasses

nba jerseys

ugg boots

michaelkors outlet

ralph lauren

ralph lauren

ray ban sunglasses

polo outlet

mishka clothing

nike football boots

michael kors handbags

air jordan

kate spade outlet

wholesale snapback hats

supreme new york

oakley

nfl jerseys

michael kors outlet

coach outlet

north face outlet

nike blazer shoes

ralph lauren

oakley sunglasses cheap

mlb jerseys

mbt

michael kors

ralph lauren

north face

nike air

louboutin

canada goose jackets

north face jackets

asics

cheap nhl jerseys

nike air max

moncler jackets

giuseppe zanotti

nike air force 1

supra shoes

christian louboutin

nike air force 1

fitflops

north face

ugg outlet

converse

ferragamo

ralph lauren

coach outlet

canada goose uk

nike roshe

timberland

oakley sunglasses

timberland

jordan 6

herve leger dresses

kobe 11

cheap jerseys

adidas shoes

ray ban sunglasses

pandora jewelry

oakley sunglasses

mulberry

north face

ugg outlet

ray ban

manolo blahnik

nike air max 95

ray ban sunglasses

moncler

nike outlet

nike mercurial

kate spade outlet

hermes kelly bag

light up shoes

pandora charms

tod's shoes

prada

valentino

north face

michael kors

ralph lauren outlet

nike shoes

salvatore ferragamo

polo ralph

adidas shoes

ray ban

kate spade outlet

michael kors

ugg outlet

coach outlet online

coach outlet

oakley sunglasses

jordan 1

oakley sunglasses

jordan 12

cheap ray ban sunglasses

timberland outlet

baseball bats

coach bags

adidas flip flops

juicy couture outlet

moncler

coach outlet online

true religion jeans

20183.22wengdongdong

Posted by dongdong8asd dongdong8asd (asdasd) over 1 year ago

Participate