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A common complication of electrical work arises when an electrician finds an ungrounded outlet. Any improper electrical work can lead to electrical fires, property loss, and even fatalities that conflict with an electrician’s goal to keep everyone safe. Find out what an ungrounded outlet is and its potential hazards.

What Is an Ungrounded Outlet?

Ungrounded outlets have two vertical slots for inserting prongs for electrical flow. Grounded outlets have a third port along the edge for connections, called the ground wire, which ungrounded outlets lack. This third port slot to the ground is what keeps the socket from transferring electricity to your body or starting an electrical fire when you plug in an appliance. 

The two vertical slots connect to a hot wire and a neutral wire that allow the flow of electricity when the circuit completes. The three-prong outlet in the ground takes on any overloaded electrical charge, transfers it to the ground, and expels it.

Any home built before 1960 likely has some ungrounded two-prong outlets located throughout the residence. The phasing out of non-grounded outlets now means these outlets are no longer up to code and will need a replacement with grounded outlets.

Are Ungrounded Outlets Dangerous?

an electrical outlet that is on fire

Yes, ungrounded outlets are dangerous. They are out-of-date and no longer meet the code requirements for safe electrical flow. An ungrounded outlet can hurt you even when you are using it properly. All outlets draw considerable amounts of current, so with no ground, an overloaded outlet can cause:

Ungrounded outlets will be unable to compensate for electricity overloads and cannot send currents to the ground safely. So the current will search for another way to find ground by taking the shortest, easiest route possible, which could be through your hand at the plug, giving you an electrical shock. The current could also travel up and out into the air, potentially causing an electrical fire.

As a homeowner, you must ensure your home is up to code for insurance reasons and to protect your loved ones. To upgrade your outlets, contact our expert electricians today.

Why Are Grounded Outlets Important?

Grounded outlets are a necessary part of home safety. Having grounded outlets is a preventative step that protects your home, everything, and everyone inside. Grounded outlets are excellent because they lower electrical fire risks to your neighborhood and community.

Is it Easy to Replace an Ungrounded Outlet?

someone replaces an electrical outlet with a screwdriver

While replacing an outlet is considered a straightforward process, homeowners should get professional help for the installation. When dealing with exposed wires during replacement, there is a risk of electrocution. A professional can do this for you quickly and at a reasonable cost.

Need Outlet Upgrades? Call Us Now!

It is a fact that having upgraded and grounded outlets are safer and will help prevent an electrical mishap. Whether you need your outlets upgraded, help identifying other potential electrical risks at home, or a full electrical inspection, you can call the expert electricians at US Electric!