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Thread: Replacing electrical outlets - two hole with three hole

  1. #1

    Default Replacing electrical outlets - two hole with three hole

    I am a novice when it comes to wiring. Most of the outlets in my home are the old ones with just two slots for plug-ins. I would like to update these so I can use newer, updated electrical appliances and such. Is this hard?? Or can I just switch them out?

  2. #2


    You may switch them out for new two prong outlets with no other modifications needed.
    If you want three prong outlets, you need to tell us if it is for the convienence of having a three prong or you want the additional safety of a ground wire that drives your question.
    There are methods to do what you want, but to give a detailed response it helps to know why you want it to give you the right answer how to do it.

  3. #3

    Default Replacing a two pronged receptical with a three prong.

    I am interested in this reponse. I have this issue today and mostly want to upgrade them for convience of an occasional three pronged light/tool or tv. Sometimes I have metal cable shielding to ground. Does this work?

  4. #4


    I believe the code requires that a ground wire be present if a 3 pronged outlet is to be installed. You'll have to take one outlet out and see what type of wires you have in there. If a ground wire is present then you can replace the outlet with a 3 pronged type, and connect the bare wire to the ground screw on the outlet. If not, you'll have to figure out a way to run a ground wire to the panel. If you have metal conduit electric, then a ground wire may not be needed.
    You could also replace the outlet with a GCFI which doesn't require a ground wire, but you still won't have a true ground.

  5. #5


    If you have BX cable with a flexible metallic outer cable this metallic outer sheathing is not approved for use as a grounding conductor in lengths exceeding 6'.

    You choices are as said in prior replies.

    Replace with new two prong receptacles.

    Replace with three prong but protected by GFI protective device [normally a GFI breaker if protecting an entire circuit]. This provides a less than optimum option because you still have no grounidng connection with the panel.

    Replace with a three prong receptacle with a single green insulated grounding wire ran directly to the panel grounidng bar.

    Replace with an entirely new branch circiut from the panel to end of circuit using a 12 or 14/2wGrnd cable.

    Hope this helps


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