Why You Need to Upgrade to Three-Prong Outlets
With so many electronic devices designed to have a three-prong plug, two-prong outlets can be a nuisance. Many people with two prong outlets in their homes assume that the quickest solution to this problem is to use a three-prong adapter, or a “cheater plug.” But in reality, that bottom prong is a safety feature meant to protect you and your devices from harm.
Three-prong plugs actually guard against powerful surges or malfunctions that can damage devices, start electrical fires, or even electrocute users.
Our expert team of Calgary electricians and Victoria electricians at 24/7 Electric can easily upgrade your outlets to accommodate three-prong plugs and keep your home safer. Below are some things to consider about why three-prong outlets are so important.
How Three-Prong Outlets Work
To understand how accidents can happen, it helps to know a little bit more about your outlets and how they work. On a standard United States 120-volt outlet, you’ll find two vertical slots positioned side by side and a rounded slot below them. The slot on the left connects to “neutral” wires, while the slot on the right connects to “hot” wires. The current of electricity passes through the hot prong and into the device, then back out through the neutral prong.
The bottom slot is called “ground,” and it ultimately connects to the same place as the neutral wires. The purpose of these grounding wires is to divert electrical currents into the ground. In the event of a power surge, this serves as a kind of back up to keep you safe.
How Three-Prong Outlets Protect You
The third prong on a plug protects you and your devices from electrical malfunctions, fires, or electrical surges. If an electronic device is incased in metal (like a computer, for example), it can conduct electricity if touched by a loose wire or flooded with a surge of power. Grounding prevents that from happening by directly connecting the metal casing to the ground prong. An unintentional surge of electricity will travel back out of your device and away from you.
When you plug your three-pronged device into a “cheater plug” adapter, it removes the ability for grounding and makes it easier for devices to be damaged. In extreme situations, metal-incased devices without grounding could even deliver a deadly shock when you touch them or start an electrical fire in your home.
Choosing Wall Outlet Replacement
Since three-prong adapters are so commonly bought and sold, many people do not realize that they can be dangerous at all. Although your devices will still operate normally without grounding, it can endanger their effectiveness and even your life. Replacing your wall outlets is by far a much safer long-term choice. Throw your cheater plugs away and invest in your safety.