Electrician or not, you should know that playing with electricity is something you should not do. It can be quite volatile: we can harness it for sure, but one action of misuse, and you will have your life in danger. It is known how fire damage and fire accidents can turn millions worth of property to ashes. Worse, fire accidents have caused thousands and thousands of deaths.
There are many ways you can misuse electricity, and it is a pretty common thing that people do and become oblivious of —it is an ungrounded electrical outlet.
What is an ungrounded outlet?
The ungrounded outlet is probably something that you commonly see every day in your house but unfortunately, it is also something that most people overlook, not until they start to electrocute someone or start a fire. So, what is an ungrounded outlet? If you live in a standard home with a standard safe electrical system setup, you would notice your outlets having a three-prong structure. Two prongs are longer openings and the last one is a small circle, which makes your electricity grounded, and therefore an important prong to take care of. If there are issues like an overload or a transient charge (technical terms), there would not problem at all. However, if the grounding wire is absent, you, therefore, have an ungrounded outlet. As a result, the electricity needs to go somewhere and it can be anything that nears the outlet. This process alone can ignite a fire.
Can you replace ungrounded outlets?
You need to take note that safe outlets were nonexistent until the 1600s. Before this year, a lot of homes were built with an ungrounded outlet or also known to have a two-prong configuration, where the grounding wire is also nonexistent. If you have purchased an old house or if your house is older than the 1600s, it is critically necessary that you have your system replaced by a modern and safer one.
If you are asking about the replacement process, well it can be relatively easy to replace your ungrounded outlets. However, it is only so if you have a professional electrician replace it for you. From your perspective, replacing ungrounded outlets can be extremely hazardous and difficult. It may even cause a fire accident. Imagine the costs it would take you.
Dangers of ungrounded outlet
There is a lot of dangers that come with ungrounded outlets and these include the following:
- Health hazard – this can cause electrical shock to people operating in an ungrounded outlet
- Messy wiring – because ungrounded outlets are found on older homes, they also come with messy wiring. Messy wiring is also extremely dangerous and hazardous.
- Electrical fire – without the ground, using appliances may cause some sparks, arcing, and electrical charge that can be caught by nearing objects. This alone can cause a fire that causes accidents.
- Loss of property – when you have an ungrounded outlet, this does not only cause a fire but also potentially damage your appliances. When you plug in appliances in a faulty outlet caused by it being ungrounded, it can potentially damage the appliance to the extent it will not turn on anymore.