If you are tired of using plug adapters to plug in today's modern three-prong plugs into your older home's existing two-prong outlets, then you will be pleased to learn that you can easily upgrade the outlets yourself without rewiring your house with a dedicated ground wire.

Use this five-step process to rid your home of its older-style two-prong outlets and the need for plug adapters:

Step 1: Turn off the power's circuit breaker for the area of your home that you will be working in. Verify that the electrical current has been turned off by using an inexpensive current testing tool available at your local hardware store.

Step 2: Remove the outlet cover plate by taking out its center screw with a screwdriver. If you want to upgrade all of the outlet covers in your home to ceramic or wood, this is a perfect time to do so since all of the covers will be off of your walls for the outlet replacements. If you will be putting the existing outlet cover plates back on after you replace the outlets, then put them in a safe place and attach their screws with a small piece of tape so they do not become separated or lost.

Step 3: While newer homes have a third wire connected to their electrical wiring that acts as a ground, the older two-prong outlets are grounded by the electrical conduit that is connected to the outlet's wall receptacle. Since you do not have a designated grounding wire to use to attach the ground prong's wire to in your new outlet, you can install a metal screw into one of the holes on the back of the wall receptacle and connect the lower ground wire of the new outlets to this screw. This action will ground the new outlet safely and properly. 

Step 4:  Move the hot and neutral electrical lines from the old outlet unit to the new outlet unit. Once all of the wires have been migrated to the new outlets, then replace the unit into the wall receptacle and screw it in place into the wall.

Step 5: The last step in this process is to put back on the outlet cover plate that you removed in the second step or to install a new one. Turn back on the circuit breaker for the room and test the new outlets to ensure that they have the proper current and grounding. Contact an electrical contractor for more information.

Share