An ungrounded outlet is pretty easy to identify. Just look at the face of the outlet, which is where you would plug something in. On virtually all modern homes, there should be three holes present. Two of them are vertical slits, and there’s a roundish hole beneath the vertical ones.
This is a description of a grounded outlet, which is something that’s been a requirement according to electrical safety standards for all homes, businesses, and other structures since the mid-part of the 1960s.
An ungrounded outlet doesn’t have that third, roundish hole.
Why Having Grounded Outlets is Important?
If you want to understand why having a grounded outlet is so important, you have to understand what it does, first. The two vertical slots represent the “hot” wire and the “neutral” wire. In a grounded outlet, the ground wire is tired to the neutral vertical slot.
You may wonder, what the redundancy?
Essentially, this serves as a failsafe. If anything goes wrong with the outlet, like a short, then the rogue electricity is going to travel along this ground wire, and back into the panel. If the ground wire is not present, then the electricity may channel into various materials, such as fabrics located nearby to the outlet, or a person.
Are Ungrounded Outlets Dangerous?
An ungrounded outlet can’t jump out and bite you; however, it can increase the risk of property and personal injuries and damages. Some of the possible hazards that can be the result of an ungrounded outlet include:
- Health hazard: An ungrounded outlet presents a serious risk of shock to an individual who is operating the appliances or electronics that are plugged into it.
- Electrical fire: If the ground is not present, the any errors that occur with the outlet may result in sparks, arcing, or even an electrical charge that can cause fire along the walls or to nearby fixtures or furniture.
- Property loss: With ungrounded outlets, equipment can short out, resulting in tools and appliances being completely worthless.
- Messy wiring: For older homes, it isn’t uncommon to find a mixture of both ungrounded and grounded outlets. This shows piece meal electrical work that’s been done over time and is a clear indication of potentially serious electrical issues. Or, it could cause these problems in the near future.
Safe Updating for Your Ungrounded Outlets
To put it simply, ungrounded outlets are very dangerous, and they pose serious risks to your home and family. Are you concerned that there may be ungrounded outlets in your home? If so, now is the time to get in touch with the professionals.
Our team can inspect the wiring and outlets in your home to see if any are ungrounded. If so, we can recommend the needed fixes to ensure the hazards related to these ungrounded outlets are eliminated. Be sure to call right away if this is a concern, which can help prevent serious problems and devastating fires or electrical shocks.