Electrical Outlets

Written by Charles Peacock
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Electrical outlets are something we all take for granted--until we suddenly find ourselves needing something that we don't have. Many older houses, for instance, only have two-pronged electrical outlets. This means that we can't plug in any appliances that have a third (ground wire) prong. So what are you to do in circumstances like these?

Upgrading Your Electrical Outlets

If you need to upgrade old two-pronged outlets with three-pronged grounded outlets, you should know that doing this yourself isn't always a good idea. If your home was not wired with a ground wire, adding this third prong requires installing a new ground wire. This can be a complex task, and if it's not done properly it can be quite dangerous.

The best thing you can do if you need to install a new ground wire is to hire a professional electrician to do it for you. In some cases, your home might actually have a ground wire that simply isn't routed to every outlet in the house. If this is the case, the process of extending the ground wire is much easier. You can probably even do it yourself.

If you already have grounded outlets but simply need more sockets, you can perform this upgrade quite easily. All you need to do is go out and buy the sockets and the right wiring, and of course shut off the main circuit breaker before you do any of the work. Another less labor-intensive method would be to simply buy some high-quality extension cords or power strips to expand the number of available outlets.


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