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Can I Change My Old 2-Prong Receptacles To The New 3-Prong Receptacles?

June 26, 2006

Q: I have an older home that has the old 2-prong plugs. One of the plugs is bad and needs to be replaced. I can’t find a 2-prong plug anywhere. Can I replace the old 2-prong plug with a 3-prong plug?

A: There are three ways you can change a 2-prong receptacle (ungrounded) to a 3-prong receptacle (grounded): The National Electrical Code article 406.3(D)(3) states “Where grounding means does not exist in the receptacle enclosure, the installation shall comply with (a), (b) or (c).

(a) A nongrounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with another nongrounding-type receptacle(s).

(b) A nongrounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a ground-fault circuit interrupter-type of receptacle(s). These receptacles shall be marked “No Equipment Ground.” An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected from the ground-fault circuit-interrupter-type receptacle to any outlet supplied from the ground-fault circuit-interrupter receptacle.

(c) A nongrounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle(s) where supplied through a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Grounding-type receptacles supplied through the ground-fault circuit-interrupter shall be marked “GFCI Protected” and “No Equipment Ground.” An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected between the grounding-type receptacles.”

The third way is to rewire the receptacle to include a ground wire.

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Comments

One Response to “Can I Change My Old 2-Prong Receptacles To The New 3-Prong Receptacles?”

  1. Shelda on April 15th, 2011 3:21 am

    I rent an old house (very old with original wiring) with the old two-prong receptacles. My landlord wants to replace them with three-prong. Is there a danger of this especially since he is not an electrician? Also, does a three-way actually return electrical current back into the wiring – so I’ve been told?

    Thanks for any help!

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