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What Is an Ungrounded Outlet & Why is it Dangerous?
What Is an Ungrounded Outlet & Why is it Dangerous?
February 01, 2023

What Is an Ungrounded Outlet & Why is it Dangerous?

While it may seem obvious, it should go without saying that any outlet you use in the home should be grounded. This means it is properly connected to an earth-ground wire, and the third wire is attached to the neutral bar on a three-prong UL outlet. This is not only important for safety reasons, but it's also critical for childproofing your home, as getting an electrical shock from an old or non-grounded outlet can be deadly. Neighborhood Electric can help with electrical outlet replacement to keep you as safe as possible.

What Is an Ungrounded Outlet?

An ungrounded outlet is a type of electrical outlet that does not have a ground connection. Ungrounded outlets are not safe to use, and they can be dangerous in certain situations. This article will explain what an ungrounded outlet is, how it works, why it's dangerous, and how you can replace one.

Are Ungrounded Outlets Dangerous?

Ungrounded outlets are not only unsafe for the people who use them — but they're also unsafe for the people around them. Suppose you touch an ungrounded appliance or tool (like a power drill or blow dryer) while it's plugged into an ungrounded outlet. In that case, the appliance will become energized with electricity and possibly shock you if you touch it again. This is especially true for metal objects like pipes or metal hangers that have become energized with electricity from an ungrounded outlet and are touching your skin when you touch them again at another point on your body.

Why Are Grounded Outlets Crucial?

Grounded outlets are crucial for safety reasons. They ensure that electricity can flow properly through your home and not cause any damage due to faulty wiring. If you have an ungrounded outlet, this means that there are two wires, but only one of them is being used for completing a circuit. When there are two wires, but only one is used for completing a circuit, this leaves another wire unused and vulnerable to electrical problems such as shorting out or burning out due to excess heat buildup from electrical current passing through it too quickly.

Is It Easy To Replace An Ungrounded Outlet?

Replacing an ungrounded outlet is pretty straightforward: You just need some tools and maybe an electrician to help guide you through the process. You'll need a screwdriver, drill, and bits (depending on whether you choose to remove the old cover plate), wire nuts (if doing the job yourself), a power drill with screwdriver bit attachment (if replacing the cover plate), and electrical tape or wire nuts (if doing this yourself) and possibly a new cover plate (if replacing). However, your best option for safety is to hire a qualified electrician.

Neighborhood Electric

GFCIs—and grounded outlets in general—are crucial to any home. By keeping you and your loved ones safe, they make all the difference. Always inspect your outlets for any signs of wear, and always replace them if they look damaged. Talking with a professional electrician from Neighborhood Electric is a great way to ensure you have all the right outlets installed.