06-10-2013 12:52 PM
I live in a house built in 1960. Some of the wall sockets are 3 prong grounded but most are 2 prong. Can I change the 2 prong to 3 prong sockets? If so, how is this done?
06-10-2013 01:46 PM - edited 06-10-2013 01:48 PM
Homes built in the 60’s have only a two wire system with no ground wire in most circuits.
You may change the outlet to a three prong the ground prong will be grounded via the box it is attached to.
1960’s home have for the most part plastic electrical boxes, and the plastic box will act as a grounding agent allowing current to travel to ground via the building structure.
While this will function as a ground for this outlet, having a ground wire that travels back to the electrical panel is a much more effective and safer solution.
I am a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.
"Never Explain Never Complain"............Henry Ford II
06-10-2013 05:53 PM
It depends on what wiring system you have. If your house uses non-metallic cable (commonly called Romex, although older forms had a cloth covering) there MUST be a bare ground wire as part of the cable assembly. Connect the bare ground wire to the green screen on the receptacle. If there is no ground wire the ONLY thing you can do is replace the receptacle with a GFCI receptacle. In the box with be a little sticker that says, "No Equipment Ground" apply that to the receptacle after you install it.
If your house use metal conduit, then the conduit functions as the equipment ground and you can replace the receptacle. Make sure you use either a self grounding receptacle or use a short length of green wire to connect the receptacle's ground screw to the box. Ideal makes nice little tails for this purpose.
06-11-2013 03:01 PM
Adam444 makes some great points about grounding.
Unless you can clearly establish that there is a ground path using the electrical box, I agree that the best solution for you would be to install GFCI outlets in place of the 2 prong old style outlets you now have. These do not provide a ground, but sense the difference in current between the hot and neutral sockets. If any difference is found, then the outlet trips and prevents you from getting shocked. Yes, you should apply the sticker that comes with these GFCI outlets which says "No Equipment Ground".
As far as "How do I do this?", homedepot.com has 2 project guides you may find useful.
Here is an image of the first one: Installing or Replacing a Recepticle
The second Project Guide is: Installing a GFCI Recpticle.
Is this what you are looking for?
I'm a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.
06-11-2013 04:34 PM
This information is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for taking the time to send this info to me.