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Old 03-07-2009, 07:54 AM   #1
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


We would like to replace some of the 2 prong outlets in our older home with 3 prong outlets without rewiring is this possible and how.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:57 AM   #2
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


Short answer - yes.

Do you have a grounding means in the box? If not, you can replace with 3 prong receptacles only if they are GFCI protected, either by a breaker or a GFCI receptacle. They must also be labeled "No Equipment Ground"
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:13 AM   #3
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


Thank you I will have to ask my husband. He said something about putting a white wire with something else. Sorry I don't have any more info right now.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:16 AM   #4
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


Thank you, being new to this I will need to get more info from my husband. He said something about putting the wire with another wire, if possible.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


If he is referring to connecting the ground terminal on the receptacle to the white wire, please tell him that is dangerous.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:56 AM   #6
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


Connecting the ground terminal to the neutral (white wire) is not permitted.

One GFCI receptacle unit can protect a group of receptacles downstream where the neutral is not shared by two subcircuits (usually with red and black hot wires) connected to opposite sides of the 120/240 volt system.
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:16 PM   #7
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


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He said something about putting a white wire with something else.
Do NOT let him anywhere near the electrical system. People like this are just dangerous. Bootlegging a ground from the neutral is one of the most deadly things you can do. All it takes is an open neutral and you end up with all kinds of things being electrified and killing people.

GFCI protection is all you need. Make him call someone.
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:01 AM   #8
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


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Originally Posted by rpsjn4 View Post
We would like to replace some of the 2 prong outlets in our older home with 3 prong outlets without rewiring is this possible and how.
Post photos of the wiring inside the boxes; we can help with this.
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


Photos would be nice.

How is your house wired? Knob and tube? An armored jacket cable (bx)? Conduit?

If you have no means of grounding you can protect with a gfi.

Bootlegging ground (where you tie the white to the ground terminal) is very dangerous.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:22 PM   #10
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


Note that GFCI protection does not actually get you a ground. It does improve the safety of those outlets, but it's not going to give you all the benefits of a real ground.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:29 PM   #11
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


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Note that GFCI protection does not actually get you a ground. It does improve the safety of those outlets, but it's not going to give you all the benefits of a real ground.
What would these benefits be?
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:38 PM   #12
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What would these benefits be?
Noise suppression, signal reference, potential equalization, etc.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:45 PM   #13
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We had all our old receptacles updated last year utilizing GFCI up stream where needed. In the end it was 20 or so receptacles and had it done by a licensed electrical contractor and the total cost was a little over $300. It is well worth the headache not to mention your life to have a professional do it for so little money.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:10 PM   #14
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Noise suppression, signal reference, potential equalization, etc.
Hmmm! Interesting! I guess I don't quite understand how these effect my kitchen toaster!
I do understand that the ground at the receptacle will trip the circuit breaker if a short should occur!
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:15 PM   #15
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Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets


Wildie the primary benefit is that if the chassis becomes energized, then as soon as someone touches it, the GFCI will trip. They will get a little bite for a few milliseconds.

A real ground would operate the circuit breaker as soon as the chassis became energized. No one need touch it.

In the case of an intermittent ground fault, with ground, the CB would trip as soon as the first solid fault. With the GFCI and no ground, this condition could exist for years.

These differences exist even with your kitchen toaster.
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