10:35AM | 04/19/04
Member Since: 03/23/04
10 lifetime posts
Buying an older house with the old two prong outlets. I assume the wiring is the old fabric covered type. What I would like to do is install new three prong outlets. Can this be done even though the old wiring is not set up for this? Would it be any different than using those adapters the allow three pronged appliances to be used in a two prong outlet?

Tom O

03:05PM | 04/19/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
There are several work arounds that you can use to install 3 prong receptacles. All of them are second best.

One option is to install ground fault receptacles so they protect downstream receptacles & mark those receptacles "GFI Protected, no equipment ground." The problem with this is that there are quite a few appliances that are required to be grounded, no exception. Also, transient voltage surge supressors will not provide all the protection they can if the equipment ground is missing.

Another option is to fish a ground wire into the outlet box & connect the other end to the equipment ground bus of the breaker box or the metal water line within the first 5 feet of the point of entry to the house and provided it is properly bonded to the service disconnecting means. If you can fish a ground wire to the outlet box, you could also fish in a new cable to replace the old. Also, this type of ground will have a higher impedance which may have an adverse effect on current flow during a fault. This grounding method is not allowed in new construction, so it obviously is not the best solution.

If the wiring system in your house is 40 or 50 years old, you should consider it to be at or near the end of its useful life & consider rewiring.

Click to reply button
  • People also asked iconGCFI I have a house that was built in the 50's which...
  • People also asked iconcirca 1930's home My wife and I just moved into an older home. T...
  • People also asked iconElectrical Upgrade Just curious as to what I should expect in pric...
    1 REPLY
  • People also asked iconUpgrading outlets Buying an older house with the old two prong ou...
    1 REPLY
Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

To test the boundaries of small-footprint living, interior designer Jessica Helgerson moved her family to a 540-square-foo... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled mudroom will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat ... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... This roomy boot tray made from punched metal stands up to all the elements. Station it in your mudroom or at your back doo... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... FLOR tiles are an affordable way to customize a carpeted floor covering for any space. Make anything from runners to wall-... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... First dress up your metal shelves with a coat of paint in an accent color that complements your kitchen decor. Then arrang... Dark wood shelving and a matching upholstered bench keep this closet sleek and refined. The large window brightens the sub...
Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon