Updating 2 prong to 3 prong outlets
Old-fashioned two-prong receptacles connected to two-wire cables don't have the ground wires that protect people and electrical devices in case of a fault. Turn off the power at the breaker panel or fuse box. Attach the black (hot) wire to the brass terminal and the white (neutral) wire to the silver. This green screw, sold in hardware stores, fits in a threaded hole in the back of the box. Secure the other end of the 8-inch grounding pigtail to the green grounding terminal on the three-prong or GFCI receptacle. But an ungrounded GFCI can't safeguard sensitive electronics, such as a computer or phone, from the interference caused by stray currents.Yet it is possible to retrofit a new three-prong or GFCI receptacle into the same outlet box without any rewiring, as long as the box itself is grounded. You can install a GFCI (see tip at bottom), or call an electrician to fix the wiring. Unscrew the old receptacle from the box and detach the wires. On a GFCI, use the terminals in line with the "line" label on the back of the receptacle. Hook one end of an 8-inch green grounding wire or pigtail (also available at hardware stores) to the screw and tighten it. The National Electrical Code requires you to stick a label on the receptacle that reads, "No equipment ground." These labels come in the box with a new GFCI.Tools A drill or screwdriver Flat head bit Phillips head bit An extended Phillips head bit Outlet tester Grounding wire, if needed Needle nose pliers with rubber or non-metal grip New wall outlet -- a standard three prong if you're building is grounded or a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) if it's not 1.First and foremost, turn off electricity to the circuit you're working on.Apartment Therapy supports our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home.You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.
These are known to often trip GFCIs and are often in areas that are hard to get to if you need to hit the reset -- don't want to have to pull out your dishwasher every time you need to reset the outlet.Because electrical wires are so stiff, this will make it easier to get the bracket back on without leaving any screws cockeyed in the wall. Using a drill can cause you to over-screw, leading the outlet cover to break. Back at the outlet use an outlet tester to make sure everything's working correctly.The tester's coded lights will let you know if somethings' haywire with your installation.If your outlet was already grounded you'll see a bare-copper or green wire coming from a single screw in the back of the electrical box to a green ground screw on the mounting bracket. Remember, hot wires go on the side with the short slot and neutral wires go on the side with the long slot.Make sure you follow which wires attach to which screws (top or bottom) for both neutral and hot.