three-prong outlets - Tim Kyle

The Difference Between Two- and Three-Prong Outlets

Older homes tend to have two-prong outlets. However, newer homes have more three-prong outlets. So, what is the difference? Should you upgrade to all three-prong outlets? Read on to learn more.

Two-Prong Versus Three-Prong Outlets

The difference between two- and three-prong outlets is a ground wire. Three-prong outlets have a ground wire, and two-prong outlets do not. The ground wire is a single wire that directs electric surges safely to the ground. Today’s appliances usually have plugs with three prongs, therefore, they do not fit into an older two-prong outlet. Homeowners should never force a plug into an outlet. Altering outlets and plugs can result in electrical shock, damaged electronics, or even fire. It’s best to hire an electrician in Towson to upgrade your outlets to prevent severe, sometimes fatal, injuries and extensive damage to your home.

When you upgrade to a three-prong outlet, you have two options.

  1. Add a ground wire which is the safest option. To add a ground wire, an electrician will run the wire from the primary electrical panel to a specific outlet.
  2. Add a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). This alternative monitors the flow of electricity traveling through the outlet. If the electricity exceeds a specific voltage, the power to the outlet is automatically shut off.

New, updated outlets should be fitted to the wall and will aid in fire prevention and avoidance of electrical shocks and draining electricity. In addition, when upgrading outlets, consider the latest technology, USB ports. These ports are now featured with smart outlets. With USB ports, you can free up more outlets to charge tablets, cell phones, and other devices. Plus, smart outlets are energy-efficient which saves money.

Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling

At Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling, we provide residential electrical service in Towson and the greater Baltimore area. Contact us today to upgrade your outlets. We have up-front pricing for any job, and you approve the price before we start. No job is too small. We give 100% to every light bulb change, just as we do to a remodeling or rewiring project.

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