Changing a receptacle/plugin

Anyone can change a receptacle, however are you changing them out correctly? If your home is the older style home that has the 2 wire systems meaning a 2 prong plug in. You will find it hard to plug in those new electronic items in your home, flat screen TV, microwave, garage door opener, refrigerator, hair dryer to name a few. All of these items and many more require a 3 prong receptacle in your home.

Some people go to the hardware store and buy 3 prong receptacles and change them out for themselves in their home. This is OK until they go to sell the home. The problems with this is, the 2 wire system does not have a ground, and so your 3rd  prong shows an open ground to it, when tested.  These little testers can be purchased at any hardware store even Walmart. Then an electrician  has to come in and fix the problem, when the house is being sold. We are required by our codes to locate the start of each circuit and install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (gfci), from there you can have a 3 prong receptacle in your home, but it still, will NOT be grounded, only protected by the gfci. The only true way to ground a receptacle  circuit is with a 3 wire romex and grounded at both the water line, and ground rod.

Hooking up a gfci can be tricky if you do not know what you are doing. If you hook it up wrong you will destroy it as soon as power is placed to it. You need to remember that a gfci is nothing more than a small computer. Would you rewire your computer? In 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC), we were introduced to a tamper resistant (TR) and weather resistant (WR) receptacles and gfci’s. From that day forward if you are replacing an outdoors receptacle/gfci it has to be one that is stamped with the following letters on its front TR & WR.

Should you need assistants with this, or any electrical assistance give us a call, as we give free estimates in the Topeka Kansas area