If you’re living in an older house with two-prong outlets, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Because two-prong outlets usually aren’t grounded, they can present significant safety risks such as electrocution and power surges. Switching to safer, three-prong outlets is a good way to protect yourself and your home.
In order to swap out two-prong outlets for modern three-prong ones, you’ll either need to install ground wiring or a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). Rewiring your home is always the best option, but in some cases, it may not be feasible. Below, we’ll review both options for replacing your two-prong outlets:
Grounding Your Outlets
The safest and best way to replace a two-prong outlet is by adding ground wire. Not only will ground wire protect you from electrocution risk, but it will also protect your electronics in the event of a power surge. However, it’s important not to attempt to do this work yourself. You should always seek the help of a licensed electrician who can attach the ground wire to your electrical panel and run it to each outlet. Once your outlets are grounded, you can easily swap out your two-prong outlets with three-prong ones.
Replacing A Two-Pronged Outlet Without Ground Wiring
Rewiring your home can be expensive and time-consuming, and for some homeowners, it isn’t always feasible. You can still switch a two-prong outlet to a three-prong outlet by installing a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). Keep in mind, a GFCI will provide protection from electrocution, but it won’t protect your electronics from power surges. To swap out your two-pronged outlet with a GFCI, follow these steps:
At the end of the day, grounding your outlets is the safest and most effective way to upgrade your two-prong outlets. However, using a three-pronged GFCI is also an option if you don’t wish to rewire your home. In both cases, it’s usually a good idea to consult with a licensed electrician who can help you determine the best path forward.