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How to Tell if My Two-Prong Outlet is Grounded ?

by HUYU 07 Jun 2023 0 Comments

If you need more clarification about your home's electrical grounding status, you’re playing it safe which is great. It could be that you have an existing grounding structure in place, but it isn't working, or you don't have one. 

You have come to the right place if you're looking for answers. While it might not look like it, grounding is among the vital aspects of your property's electrical system. You might be asking, what is grounding? This is the alternate pathway for the current to return to earth in case of power surges, overloads, or short circuits in your property's wiring system. 

Something else you should know about grounding is that it's a physical link between your electrical setup and the ground or earth. It is an extra safety measure for any property with an electrical system. 

So, how can you ensure your home's wiring is grounded? Today we focus more on the two-prong outlet in your property. How can you know whether or not it is grounded? Read- on to find out!


How Do I Know if My Two-Prong Outlet is Grounded?


You should probably check the electrical outlets to check whether your home is properly grounded. For instance, if you have two-prong outlets, it can be easy to know whether your home is grounded. You can easily test the outlet to ensure this. 

When it comes to a three-prong system, it's different from a two-prong outlet since it features a third cable in the electrical system, usually linked to the earth terminal, typically buried in the ground. 

On the other hand, if your property has two-prong outlets, there are high chances your home's wrong isn't grounded. Typically, these outlets aren't grounded since there isn't a third cable. However, you still have to test whether they are grounded. 


Moreover, you can know whether an electrical device was engineered with grounding if it features a three-pin plug.

How to Tell if a Two-Prong Outlet is Grounded


There are several ways to do this, but the easiest and fastest is by using a multimeter. 


Using a Multimeter


A multimeter is handy in testing both three-prong and two-prong outlets. Here are the steps to follow:


Get Your Tools


The first step is to get all the necessary tools for testing. You will require a digital multimeter. You can purchase it in your local hardware or online. 


Find the Outlet


When you have your multimeter, find the power outlet you intend to test. Ensure you take the necessary precautions to avoid being electrocuted. You might need to undo the faceplate to see the metal box. 


Connect your Multimeter


Once you find the outlet, link the multimeter to it. Additionally, link one probe to the hot receptacle slot. Next, connect the other probe to the neutral port. 


Check Whether there's power coming into the Outlet.


If the multimeter reading is close to your local voltage or 120 volts, this outlet must have power. 


Check Whether it's Grounded. 


If the outlet receives power, switch the probe from the neutral slot to the metal box or plate screw. This will leave you with one probe on the metal box or plate screw and the other on the hot receptacle. 

Read the voltage; it should be the same as your local voltage or 120 volts. On the other hand, if this isn't the reading, the outlet isn't properly grounded. 

You can do this easy process at home to know whether your two-prong outlet is grounded. Besides, it will only take a few minutes to do. 


What if My Two-Prong Outlet isn't Grounded?

It would be best to have your two-prong outlet grounded and the entire home at large; otherwise, you risk electric shock and, at worst small fires in case of a short circuit or power surge due to an overload. 

If there isn't electrical grounding, there isn't an alternate pathway for additional current to go to the ground, which is the least resistant part. 

Therefore, electricity will have to pass via your electrical devices or you leading to electric shocks. Using an underground outlet or surge protector isn't the most suitable solution. 


In Conclusion

Electrical grounding should be the initial insurance to shield yourself from electrical problems and accidents at home. It's a vital phase of your property's electrical system, hence shouldn't be ignored. 

Fortunately, it's easy to test whether your home is grounded, and if you find out that it's not, you can have professionals come in and get the job done!

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