Is this outlet grounded?


This is a picture postcard application for a GFCI outlet. Attach it to the black and white wires without ground. That is code legal for this type of situation, but the outlet should be labeled "no equipment grounding conductor". At that point you can plug 3-prong appliances into it. The GFCI provides much of the protection of the ground. This doesn't satisfy every appliance, but it is, at least, not unsafe.

I an skeptical that this is actually grounded because I see both conductors disappearing into a 1/2" hole, and with all the debris on the bottom of the box, I don't see the normal hardware I'd expect to see from the conduit joiner or the BX clamp. An unguarded knockout hole is a real problem. It may look ok now, but when you put the outlet back in and tighten it down, it could pinch and damage the conductor.

This is not 1949 work. The outlet is grounded and worse, has those vile "back stabs". That introduces the real possibility that the wire-run is a retrofit...

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Check your local wiring codes and schedule inspections.

Several inspections and permits are required for most residential construction projects, especially when it involves electrical work.


To make sure you're up to code, you may need to schedule temporary service inspection, a rough-in inspection, and a final inspection. This needs to be done whether you're doing it yourself or hiring a subcontractor.

The National Electrical Code requires all GFCIs within 5 feet of the floor to be child-safe and clearly marked. Outdoor GFCIs must also be weather resistant and clearly marked, even if it has a weather cover. Check your local wiring codes to see if a GFCI is an acceptable replacement for a non-grounded two-prong outlet. There are acceptable installation procedures for non-grounded GFCI usually involving putting a sticker on the outlet cover stating "Non-Appliance Ground." In some areas, you may need a GFCI due to nearby water...
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23 August 2015: Purchased a new Surge Protector that will let you know if the outlet you are using is GROUNDED. Upon seeing that this outlet was not grounded. I then tested all the outlets in the house, and found ALL the OUTLETS are NOT Grounded.

This makes is dangerous for me due to the possibility of electrocution. And, due to the FACT that I have sustained damaged to my Electronics and Appliances due to persistent Electronic Warfare, Computer Network Attacks and Exploitation, along with Electronic Harassment. To include Directed Energy Weapons in the form of Anti-Personnel Less Lethal Weapons field testing.

PG&E - 19:55 pm ADAM THE PERP FROM PG&E shows up, says everything coming into the building is working, he said he was going to check the outlets inside the house, but really did not do anything at all, other than stick these sensors into the outlets without actually taking a reading.

Upon asking Adam the Perp from PG&E to provide me with a written report...

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A grounded outlet has a safety ground in addition to the normal two conductors.

As others have noted, older houses often have only two-wire outlets. I also noticed one answer advising to use an adapter which has a ground connection intended to be screwed down under teh cover plate screw. The problem with those is that most of those two-wire systems do not have grounded outlet boxes, so that cover screw is not really grounded, and connecting to it does not produce a grounded outlet.

What this all boils down to is a matter of safety. Grounded outlets, when used with appliances that have a grounded plug, provide an additional measure of safety should the appliance ever develop an internal short-circuit where the hot side of the power line comes in contact with a metal housing or other metal that a person can touch. In such a scenario, the ground would conduct the current and cause the breaker to trip, alerting you to the defect.

If you do not have grounded outlets,...

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truckman......what you're saying is in this two wire circuit, modified at the outlet with the neutral and the ground wire connected, should the neutral wire to the service box fail, the case of the computer (for instance) might become "hot". This would only happen to components that used the third ground wire.

Yes. Obviously, this wiring modification would not affect anything with a two wire cord.

That makes sense, but is highly unlikely. Plus anything on that outlet would no longer you an indication there was a problem, and to start checking the wiring. This is a potential problem with that mod, but remote enough (for me) that I'm not worried. Lightening could also hit the house.

If the procedure for checking the wiring requires moving the computer out of the way before unplugging it, that will expose you to the shock hazard. There is also the possibility of a polarity reversal between the outlet and the panel, in which case everything would...

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Well, the easiest and most obvious thing to check first is to just unscrew the outlet from the wall and look if there's even a grounding wire attached. I have seen houses with 3-prong outlets installed, but without any grounding wire attached (it's clearly a code violation, but people do it anyway).

If you do have a grounding wire attached, it's time to nose around and see where they go if you can. If you're in an older building, sometimes wires are grounded through the pipes...until someone unknowingly replaces a section of pipe with PVC.

Another obvious place to look is outside where your electric service enters the house and see if there's a separate wire literally running into the ground.

If you find out that your outlets are not grounded, you have a few choices. You can switch them to two-prong outlets (probably the least desireable option). If you find that your grounding wires are run through the pipes and there's a PVC section, you can run a bridge wire across...

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Maybe you should learn how to do the job better.

Before drilling horizontally you survey the wall, even going so far as to use metal detectors and bore-scopes in tiny (1/4 inch) hols to look around and see what might be in the way (you have heard of these tools, right?).

Steel pipe is not much of an issue it it is hit.
An augur type drill bit will not penetrate, but will be deflected to the side (if not stopped) and can deflect and no longer follow a straight path (especially on a flex bit).

In one historic house we went so far as to x-ray the walls since it was not apparent how they had been finished inside the post and beam construction. It was a huge job moving the lead around to block the x-rays from continuing past the film plates.

Smooth walls remain pretty easy to repair, with textured or decorated plaster abut as hard as it gets.

Sometimes the shortest path is NOT the way to go.
Instead of massive ceiling repairs to...

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Hey everyone.

I just moved into a house (renting, not buying), and i was surprised to see these strange 2-prong outlets.

I say strange because in all the places ive ever lived, ive never seen an outlet like this before. No biggy, i can adapt to change. The important part is that they work. However, obviously, they have no ground. This is difficult because all of my audio equipment (not to mention tvs, receiver, speakers, and computers) all use the standard 3 prong plug. These outlets are all over the main level in the living room, and all 3 bedrooms.

I did notice, however, that there were several 3 pronged outlets in the kitchen, and a ton in the basement. I tested all of the 3 pronged outlets and they all showed that they were connected to ground.

This made me think that maybe all of the 2-pronged outlets were also grounded... Maybe through the metal box inside the wall (yes, theyre all metal).

So i took off the wall plate, and...

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One of the most common electrical defects that I find when inspecting old houses in the Twin Cities is ungrounded three prong outlets. This happens when a standard three prong outlet is wired without the ground wire being connected. Today I’ll give a brief explanation of what the third prong is for, and I’ll discuss a few ways to correct a mis-wired three prong outlet. I didn’t consult an attorney before writing this article, so I feel like I should add a disclaimer before giving any electrical how-to advice: Don’t do any of this work if you’re not qualified. This is only an overview.

The third prong on an outlet is commonly referred to as ‘the ground’, and it provides an alternate path for electricity that may stray from an appliance or product. This is an important safety feature that has been required since 1962, which minimizes the risk of electric shock, and allows surge protectors to protect your electrical equipment, such as televisions, computers, stereos, and other...

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I live in a building that was built in the 1940s that was recently remodeled (all new kitchen, flooring, bedroom carpet, remodeled right before we moved in). I recently discovered that the outlets in the kitchen are properly grounded, but *ALL* of the other outlets in the apartment are not grounded, even though they are are brand new 3 prong outlets.

What I'm assuming happened is that when they replaced the cabinetry in the kitchen, they redid the wiring there because the electrical panel is on the other side of the wall the stove is on (easy access) and everywhere else they just replaced 2 prong outlets with 3 prong ones and didn't correct the wiring as it would have been costly.

My understanding of proper electrical code is that if there is only 2 wires feeding the outlet it needs to be either A) a two prong outlet or B) a GFI that is marked as "not grounded".

Is my understanding of code correct? Does that mean they most likely put in these outlets to make it...

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Let's start off by distinguishing an ungrounded outlet from a grounded outlet.

The ungrounded outlets are easily distinguishable by their two slot configuration verses the newer grounded type of outlets that have the two slots with a hole (ground socket) centered under the slots. For this particular article, I will refer to these outlets as UNGROUNDED outlets and GROUNDED outlets.

Older wiring never contained a ground wire so any ungrounded outlets in your home were originally wired in this manner and are considered acceptable, but they do have their safety issues. Many ungrounded outlets have been installed in the older homes, but as the years went by the electrical standards have changed and are absolutely required in newer homes. While it is not usually required to upgrade ungrounded outlets in your home today, it is still a good idea because a properly wired home is a much safer home for you and your family.

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My house is really old. Most of the outlets on the upper floors aren't grounded. (I had an electrician ground the ones downstairs.) There's a single three-prong outlet upstairs. It appears to have been installed by a moron (there's a giant hammer hole in the wall around it).

I plugged in my outlet tester and it said "hot/neutral reversed." So I flipped the breaker, switched the polarity, and turned it back on. I plugged the tester in again and it said "correct."

The thing is -- while I was looking at the back of the outlet, I noticed there wasn't any ground wire! So why doesn't the tester say "open ground"?

I confirmed that the box itself is grounded, using my multimeter and touching it to the screw that holds in the outlet plate. That can't be a good enough connection to be a real ground, can...

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So, for your protection, it is a good thing to have grounded outlets where ever you use anything that comes with the ground prong.

Older wiring didn't have the ground.. as the years went by, standards changed, and while it is not usually required to upgrade your house, it is still a good idea. As with all wiring, make sure you are only working on dead, de-energized circuits. Check with your local building inspector to determine if any permits are required or inspections.

Well, perhaps the best way, if access allows, new wire can be run that has a ground. At the entrance box (where your fuses or breakers are), the ground wire will attach to the grounding bar, which in many cases is the same as, or connected to, the neutral bar. Then, in your outlets, the ground wire can be attached to the green ground screw of the new grounded receptacles.

Some homes without the ground wire, may be wired with BX or armored cable. This is the cable with the flexible metal casing...

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Information on The Type L Electrical Outlet

The technical name for the Type L is the Italian earthed plug/socket standard, CEI 23-16/VII. There are two models rated at 10 A and 16 A, differing in contact diameter and spacing. Older installations often have sockets that are limited to either the 10 A or 16 A, requiring the use of an adapter should the plug and adapter styles differ. The 10 A extends CEE 7/16 by adding a central earthing pin, so CEI 23-16-VII sockets can accept Europlugs. The 16 A style's pins are a little further apart, and the pins are thicker. The 16 A is sometimes referred to as the North European or industriale type, although these descriptions are not accurate. While it is possible to fit Type D and Type E plugs in Type L sockets, it may cause damage to the socket, and the plug may get stuck. There are two other types of Type L sockets commonly used in Italy. The first is smaller, with a central round hole and two 8-shaped holes above and...

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Power Source at Outlet with 3 Way Switches


Read the legal disclaimer page - click the legal link in the menu above

You will need...

1. A 2 wire cable that is routed between the switch box and the outlet box - this wire cable comes with a black / white wire plus the bare equipment grounding wire.

2. A circuit power supply source wire cable that is routed to outlet.

3. A 3 wire cable that is routed between switch 1 and switch 2 - this wire cable comes with a black / red / white wire plus the bare equipment grounding wire.

4. Insulated wire...

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I’ve been a pro-sound engineer for 40+ years and a musician for 50+ years. During that time, I’ve witnessed hundreds of shock events on performance stages, recording studios, and even factory floors. A survey we ran last year on revealed 70% of the 3,000 musicians who responded had been shocked at least once on stage — some so severely that they were knocked unconscious. I’ve also witnessed dozens of ground-fault current events where signal cables interconnecting sound gear plugged into different electrical outlets mysteriously arced, sometimes turning red hot and melting before my eyes.

The cause behind most of these guitar-to-microphone shocks appears to be incorrectly wired electrical outlet grounds or damaged extension cords. But while a broken-off ground pin on a power cord is the obvious culprit in most home or stage shock situations, many power outlets show they’re wired correctly when checked with a 3-light outlet tester or even a voltmeter...

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