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-   -   Can I use a piece of wire to connect a grounding plug to an outlet? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/can-i-use-piece-wire-connect-grounding-plug-outlet-119927/)

Smoked 10-12-2011 02:32 PM

Can I use a piece of wire to connect a grounding plug to an outlet?
 
So I just moved to Ohio from Florida. The house I moved to is pretty old and has mostly two-prong outlets. I'm trying to plug my video game system in the living room of the house but the game system has a three-pronged plug.

I tried using a cheater plug that has one of those metal grounding tabs on it where you take the center screw out of the faceplate on the outlet and put it through the grounding tab on the cheater plug, then screw it back into the faceplate. The problem is the grounding tab goes too far out to the side and when I put the white screw into the grounding tab, I can't screw it back into the outlet.

So my question is, can I use a small piece of wire to bridge the gap? I was going to tie one end of a piece of wire to the grounding tab on the cheater plug and then insert the other end of the wire into the center of the faceplate and screw the white screw back into it. Would that work?

Really, I just want to plug my game system in without getting electrocuted, lol. Any advice?

iminaquagmire 10-12-2011 02:55 PM

No. That will not work and please do not try it. Do you know what kind of wire is in walls? Some types use the armor as the ground and you can just attach a wire from the box to the green screw of a new grounded receptacle. The best and safest workaround if you don't know though is to replace the original 2 prong receptacle with a new GFCI receptacle and mark it as having no equipment grounding conductor.

Smoked 10-12-2011 03:01 PM

Thanks, I'm glad I came here then :)

Is a GFCI easy to install or do I need to have an expert come in to do it?

carmusic 10-12-2011 03:04 PM

no thats not the good type you can go to any store that sell electric stuff and they will have gfci receptacles.

a7ecorsair 10-12-2011 03:23 PM

Replacing a two prong receptacle with a GFCI will provide protection for people but it will do absolutely nothing as far as protecting equipment. There would be no equipment ground.

Smoked 10-13-2011 04:37 PM

So not grounding the game console can damage it? What would happen?

bobelectric 10-13-2011 04:54 PM

Any type of spikes,sags or surges won't go to ground and you'll have a power supply sending too much voltage to the system.

mpoulton 10-14-2011 12:22 AM

Pretty unlikely that a video game console would actually require a grounding connection for anything, ever. The power supplies are isolated anyways. The only thing the grounding connection might help with is surge protection (the power supply probably has built in surge suppression that requires a grounding conductor to function) - but it's very unlikely that you would ever have a surge sufficient to damage the equipment. I'd just plug it in with the 2-prong "cheater" adapter and forget about it. That's functionally identical to using a GFCI, but without the shock protection - which will probably never be necessary for a video game system anyway.

Smoked 10-14-2011 02:11 PM

Alright I guess I'll just use the cheater plug for now until I get a GFCI. Thanks for your help guys.

brgmgb 10-14-2011 03:56 PM

Based on the comments, I am not sure the OP would want to do replace the outlet himself, but there is the possibility that there is already a ground wire at the box. My mother-in-law's house has two prong w/ no ground outlets. When I was replacing a cracked outlet, I found that the ground wire was attached to the grounding screw in the metal box. I installed a 3-prong outlet and it tested good.

On the other hand, I had two outlets in my house (back-to-back on same wall but facing different rooms) where the ground wire was just snipped off. I had to replace the Romex from a junction box in the basement to the first, then second outlet.


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