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Old 08-21-2009, 06:37 PM   #1
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Is this a dangerous practice?


I have 2 prong plugs in my house, is it dangerous to use one of those adapters that make it so you can plug in 3 prong plugs? I was going to be using it for a higher amperage heater. Is this dangerous to do? Thanks
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:00 PM   #2
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Is this a dangerous practice?


Yes! This is dangerous, as its very likely that a house with '2 prong' plugs is inadequately wired and its quite likely that your heater will over-load the circuit!
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:10 PM   #3
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Is this a dangerous practice?


What size if the circuit? 15a 20a ?
How much power does the heater pull ?
Best solution is to install a GFCI outlet
Are there any grounds in the wall?
Metal conduit?
My grounds were wrapped around the wire & grounded to the metal box
At one time there were only 2 prong outlets in this house
Even with a small 60a main breaker ther eis enough juice usually to power a heater
No extension cords
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:16 PM   #4
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Is this a dangerous practice?


Yup, install a GFCI receptacle instead. Just be sure to label it "no equipment ground" or "ungrounded".
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:49 AM   #5
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Is this a dangerous practice?


How are they able to sell this adapter? Are they listed and approved? I agree they are not safe, but wonder how they can be so readily available.

Pssss. Don't tell anyone. I would use one before I would cut the ground off my extension cord.
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:08 PM   #6
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Is this a dangerous practice?


Well I had to look them up to see if they are listed

Quote:
Three-Prong Plug Adapter
UL/CSA Approved
Manufacturer's one-year warranty
Converts a two-prong grounded wall plug to a three-prong outlet.
But...............

Quote:
aren't these adapters with the metal clip useless on a straight two wire system?
The little metal clip that extends off the bottom is undoubtedly intended to be pinned under the coverplate screw which is then bonded to a metallic box, correct?
OR..........?

Quote:
The only thing that bracket does when attached to the cover plate screw is to hold the adapter in place.
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:47 PM   #7
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Is this a dangerous practice?


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Well I had to look them up to see if they are listed



But...............



OR..........?



I remember when we first started to use Romex with a ground wire!
Although grounded wire was available, U ground receptacles were not. Manufacturers lobbied to allow the continued use of 2 prong outlets, until stocks were used up.
In this scenerio, the box was grounded, and the mounting bar was grounded when screwed to the box.
So, in this case, the above adapter had value as its U ground receptacle would be connected to the mounting bar.
I imagine, it was assumed at the time, that 2 pin recepts would eventually be replaced with the passage of time.
Unfortunately, the time has now exceeded 50 years!
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:57 PM   #8
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Is this a dangerous practice?


It is only dangerous, when there are scorch marks on the plug, and magic smoke when the unit kicks on. Also, you need to make sure that there are enough of this "belong in the trash can" adapters plugged in, that breakers keep tripping, and fuses keep blowing.

Now, if you believed anything of the above, then you have the mindset of most renters, or fly by night homeowners. Personally, these adapters should never be allowed in sale in the U.S. You can though, legally get by with a GFCI outlet.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:00 PM   #9
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Is this a dangerous practice?


The only appliance I would use in a two-wire receptacle is one with a two-prong cord.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:05 PM   #10
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Is this a dangerous practice?


The major issue here is whether they effect the appliance ground. It all depends if there is an effective equipment ground in the (metal box). This could be verified with any electrical tester. As Scuba Dave (Post #6) states that the adapter is listed by both the UL and CSA. It certainly is better to change to Three prong receptacles but as a temporary measure there's nothing inherently unsafe about using the adapters! (No matter what)Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:22 PM   #11
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Is this a dangerous practice?


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
How are they able to sell this adapter? Are they listed and approved? I agree they are not safe, but wonder how they can be so readily available.
The regulation of electrical safety of consumer devices in the US is completely voluntary and free market. UL listing is entirely voluntary. UL is a private testing company and there are other competing ones. UL uses trademark law to prevent fraud.

It is up to you, the consumer, to look for UL or likewise approvals on electrical devices.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:13 PM   #12
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Is this a dangerous practice?


those adapters have 1 big lug and 1 normal lug that can be used on new houses with 100 plus amps , i dont think you can plug them in to an older house that has no ground cause they wont fit , however if the outlets were upgarded then i suppose you could but then you wouldnt need the adapter casue the new outlets have a ground socket. so whats the difference in using that adapter or putting in upgraded outlets ???? right ?
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:41 PM   #13
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Is this a dangerous practice?


Not really dangerous but definitely not to code. The same connection is made at the panel or main switch anyway. The reason that sharing a ground and neutral it is frowned on is that there is not suppose to be any intentional current flow on a ground conductor as that would create extra resistance on that ground making it less than optimal for protection. The purpose of a ground circuit is to cause a dead short to ground of any fault current which should open a breaker of fuse. Ideally a new cable complete with ground is the answer. However in most cases a less than perfect ground is alway BETTER THAN NO GROUND AT ALL. Remember it is not something that should be commn pratice and IT IS NOT TO CODE!
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:52 AM   #14
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Is this a dangerous practice?


Quote:
Originally Posted by estevan8 View Post
Not really dangerous but definitely not to code. The same connection is made at the panel or main switch anyway. The reason that sharing a ground and neutral it is frowned on is that there is not suppose to be any intentional current flow on a ground conductor as that would create extra resistance on that ground making it less than optimal for protection. The purpose of a ground circuit is to cause a dead short to ground of any fault current which should open a breaker of fuse. Ideally a new cable complete with ground is the answer. However in most cases a less than perfect ground is alway BETTER THAN NO GROUND AT ALL. Remember it is not something that should be commn pratice and IT IS NOT TO CODE!
No one has suggested using the neutral to ground the receptacle. Why did you you bring it up?
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:06 AM   #15
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Is this a dangerous practice?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oldrivers View Post
those adapters have 1 big lug and 1 normal lug that can be used on new houses with 100 plus amps , i dont think you can plug them in to an older house that has no ground cause they wont fit , however if the outlets were upgarded then i suppose you could but then you wouldnt need the adapter casue the new outlets have a ground socket. so whats the difference in using that adapter or putting in upgraded outlets ???? right ?
The difference is that you are replacing an ungrounded outlet with an outlet that has to be grounded. You can't install the newer outlet without grounding it
Some of the older 2 prong outlets will not accept the adapter with the wider blade. However all the one sI have run into have the wider slot & will accept the adapter

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