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Since my house was built in 1957, some of the electric isn’t exactly up-to-date. One of the biggest problems was that all of the outlets in the home only had 2 prongs. A few decades ago, this was no big deal, but now with the technology that we have, most heavy-duty electronics require 3 prongs to plug them in. This can be a complicated or a simple job, depending on the house. A few things I’ve learned

  • Make sure you turn off the breaker before you start working. Take the outlet cover off, and the actual outlet should just unscrew. I had some old paint covering the screws, which made things more tricky than usual.
  • Once you get the outlet off, check for a ground wire within the circuit box. If there is a ground wire available, then you are good to go. If you don’t see a ground wire within the box, you may need to call an electrician. Luckily, there were ground wires within my boxes so I was good to go.
  • The white wire is the neutral wire, and the black wire is the hot wire. When connecting to your new 3 prong outlet, the white (neutral) wire connects to the side with the larger prong opening. The black (hot) connects to the side of the outlet with the smaller prong opening.
  • Once the wires are wrapped around the screws, screw them down pretty tightly, but not too tight.
  • Don’t forget to tighten the screws on the prongs you didn’t use… especially if your workbox is metal you don’t want these sticking out.
  • I like to face all the outlets the same direction – with the ground on the bottom, so it looks like a smiley face 🙂

Electrical can be pretty intimidating, but once you learn how to do this, it’s an easy job for a DIYer that will save you a lot of money.


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