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Old 11-12-2007, 10:49 AM   #1
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


hi, I JUST RECENTLY BOUGHT A HOUSE. THERE IS ONE PLUG IN MY HOUSE THAT IS A 2 PRONG. I WANT TO UPDATE IT AND CHANGE IT TO A 3 PRONG SO THAT I CAN PLUS SOME MORE STUFF INTO IT.

HOW DO I DO THIS AND IS IT AN EAISY PROCESS? PLEASE ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED, THANKS

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Old 11-12-2007, 11:07 AM   #2
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


Remove the cover and pull out recepatacle. Do you have three wires or two wires. If you only have two wires you have an ungrounded receptacle. If the box is metal, you may have a jumper wire from the box to the receptacle, thats a good thing as you MAY have metalic path all the way back to the panel.

Regardless, just install the new receptacle and put in your own jumper, if the box is metal. It is totaly possible that you have a two wire cable that does not have a metal jacket. But, you have what you have. Install the new receptacle minus the ground wire.

white wire to silver terminal
black wire to dark colored terminal
bare wire to green terminal......If you have a bare wire.

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Old 11-12-2007, 11:58 AM   #3
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


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It is totaly possible that you have a two wire cable that does not have a metal jacket. But, you have what you have. Install the new receptacle minus the ground wire.


Or maybe use a GFCI outlet in place of the 2 pronger. This still wouldn't be a grounded receptacle, but it would be code compliant.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:31 PM   #4
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


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Regardless, just install the new receptacle and put in your own jumper, if the box is metal. It is totaly possible that you have a two wire cable that does not have a metal jacket. But, you have what you have. Install the new receptacle minus the ground wire.
J.V.

You cannot just install a 3 prong grounding type receptacle in a metal box or any box for that matter that does not have a proven equipment ground wire back to the grounded conductor at the main panel. The installation as you explained is a code violation unless a proper equipment ground exists. It would serve no purpose to ground a three prong outlet to a metal box if the equipment ground isn't present in the branch circuit. Maybe I misunderstood what you are saying.

Acceptable means if a ground is not present in the box and you do not desire an equipment ground to facilitate the connection of electronics like computers or the added safety that a grounding wire provides.



If the enclosure doesn't have a grounding means — for example, if the box contains old 2-wire NM cable without a ground — you can use a nongrounding type receptacle (Fig. 1). You have two other options as well. You can use a GFCI receptacle if you make sure it's marked “No Equipment Ground,” or you can use a grounding-type receptacle if it's GFCI-protected and marked “GFCI Protected” and “No Equipment Ground.”

If you desire a ground you can run a new circuit or Article 250.130 allows the following

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Old 02-26-2008, 05:43 PM   #5
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


If i neeed a eqiupment ground? can I use a self grounding receptical?
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:18 PM   #6
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


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Originally Posted by bubs View Post
If i neeed a eqiupment ground? can I use a self grounding receptical?

only way you can meet this critia [ sp ]

box is metal
have estabed ground wire or steel emt or rigide pipe to the box.
if have green wire screwed to the metal box

those 3 items it have to work before you can use the selfgrounded repectale.

[ also get a 2 wire neon tester to verify if you have a grounded box ]

Merci, Marc
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:09 PM   #7
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


Hi all, great thread- I have a similar issue, just bought a new (old) house. And yup most of the outlets are all 2 prong, I took the plate off of one of the old two prong outlets and here's what I can tell (with my limited knowledge.)

There is a metal box, with a screw in the back of the box, the outlet it self has two wires. Also when we bought the house we had a professional electrican upgrade the service panel to 200 amp and he also ran a new grounding wire. So is it safe to assume that my metal boxes are all grounded properly, and that I can go ahead and install new 3 prong outlets? I picked up one of these the other day and I'm anexous to give it a try. http://www.smarthome.com/4536W/Acent...AC215-W/p.aspx

I was digging around in my tool box and found a neon tester, I'm must admit I'm a bit afraid to try it though . It doesn't have two prongs where I can stick one in the outlet, it consists of two jaw arms/clamps. Is this still OK to use? Just clamp the red wire onto the HOT wire in the box and the other to??
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:26 PM   #8
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


Just because your main panel is grounded does not mean your boxes are bonded to the ground. If it is an older house not useing emt or older style armoured cable then your box will not be grounded. Your best solution is to find the first outlet after the panel and put the GFI there and then you can put regular plugs the rest of they way with the "no equipment ground" stickers.

I have to use the GFI method in my house as well, but i am going to put the GFI next to panel and then continue the circuit on as normal. This way I won't have to run around trying to find the first plug in the line.

If you run into a 3 wire when doing this come back here for some advice, you can't put a GFI on the beginning of a multiwire branch ciruit(i.e share the neutral)
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:29 PM   #9
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


Use GFCI receps or breakers.

If your panel will accept GFCI breakers and there are no 3 wire home runs, that's the way to go as the entire circuit is protected and you can change all the receps.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:45 PM   #10
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


Thanks for the quick replies....I'm very new to all of this.

I dont like the idea of having every outlet be GFIC although I'm not sure why. I guess I just assumed that they are mainly for areas that are close to water etc....

Now that you mention it the electrician did put a GFI oulet right below the new 200 amp electric panel. So that being the case am I able to just install the outlets that I had posted?
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:53 PM   #11
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


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I guess I just assumed that they are mainly for areas that are close to water etc....
Forget the water thing.

A GFCI is a safety thing and will "take the place" of a ground wire. Don't make me explain it, just trust me
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:03 PM   #12
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post

A GFCI is a safety thing and will "take the place" of a ground wire. Don't make me explain it, just trust me
OK but given the fact that the electrician did install a GFI outlet right beneath the electric panel, can I not just install regular 3 prong plugs now as Darren suggested?

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Your best solution is to find the first outlet after the panel and put the GFI there and then you can put regular plugs the rest of they way with the "no equipment ground" stickers.

I have to use the GFI method in my house as well, but i am going to put the GFI next to panel and then continue the circuit on as normal. This way I won't have to run around trying to find the first plug in the line.

If you run into a 3 wire when doing this come back here for some advice, you can't put a GFI on the beginning of a multiwire branch ciruit(i.e share the neutral)
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:02 PM   #13
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


No you can not, the GFI he installed below the panel is a conveniance plug that is probably on its own circuit.

Each circuit needs a GFI at the beginning of the run, if you have 4 circuits of plugs you want to change out you will need 4 GFI.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:03 AM   #14
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


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Originally Posted by darren View Post
No you can not, the GFI he installed below the panel is a conveniance plug that is probably on its own circuit.

Each circuit needs a GFI at the beginning of the run, if you have 4 circuits of plugs you want to change out you will need 4 GFI.


ahhh I gotacha... how does one go about finding the first plug in the circut?

Is there a way to check and see if the metal box is grounded properly, so I can bypass all this and just install regular 3prong oulets?
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:17 AM   #15
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Changing 2 Prong To 3 Prong Outlet


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ahhh I gotacha... how does one go about finding the first plug in the circut?

Is there a way to check and see if the metal box is grounded properly, so I can bypass all this and just install regular 3prong oulets?
Turn off the breaker for that circuit. Check for continuity between the neutral wire in the box and the metal box itself. You should read essentially no resistance (same reading as with your test leads shorted together). If that is the case, then look to confirm what the grounding path is: Is the box installed with metal conduit? Is it fed with metal-sheathed cable? Is there a grounding wire connected to the box? Any of those things would be fine. If you can't tell how it's grounded, don't trust it and install a GFCI instead.

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