Change electrical receptors from two-prong to three-prong type

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Posted by: from Windsor
7/2/2012 at 10:15:49 AM

The house I am moving in has an older electrical setting which got updated along the way. Some of the electrical receptors have two prongs and some with three. I've got a suggestion to only change the two-prong ones to GFCI types.

Would it be safe and sufficient? Should I get a certified electrician to update the service panel?

Suggestion please.

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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 11:16:11 AM

Hi Sarah,

As a general contractor, I would strongly urge anyone that is making changes to electrical to have it completed by a certified electrical contractor. That way it is also inspected by the local electrical safety authorities and passed. If you have issues down the road it can cost you way more, and potentially impact your insurance if the work was not completed properly and any damage results from improper work being performed initially.

Keep in mind, you also don't know who did the previous work and should have it all looked at anyway since you are taking possesion. It is peace of mind for the homeowner.

Good luck.

Best Regards,

Andrew Galletta

The Toolbox Group Inc.


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Andrew from AMB Construction in Vaughan
Date/Time7/2/2012 at 12:36:51 PM

Dear Sir/Madam

In my opinion you have to inspect first of all exact condition of your house installation by any good expert and after that, depend his opinion, just start upgrading your installation.

I would like to suggest you something from European point of view about electrical installation safety. From many years they installing GFCI directly in electrical panel for protection whole house installation and only that way is best solution and safe.

Also if the wiring is in use many years some circuits could be overheated what is affected on insulation around cable.The best solution is -replace all installation- than you have 100% safety guarantied or check every circuit and replace only overheated.



AMB Construction

Change  electrical receptors from two-prong to three-prong type
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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 12:45:26 PM


You should deffinitly get certified licenced electritican to look at your problem. Two prong outlets have no ground, this is a life saftey issue. You can fix this problem at the service panel for alot less money than replacing all the outlets individualy.

North Point Contracting

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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 12:48:17 PM

Call an eletriction

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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 8:49:05 PM

Get it all updated to the three prong. To give a little insight, think of a water hose loop with a pump at the centre. The water goes in one direction from the pump and returns back from the farthest point to the pump. This is what electricity does. The hot (black wire) provides the power and the neutral (white) completes the circuit. But, there is a third element, which is the ground.. This minimizes the possibility of shock from faulty wiring or exterior sources.

Bottom line, be safe and get the job done correctly.

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Jim from ROI Renos in Keswick
Date/Time7/2/2012 at 9:19:53 PM


Changing the two prong outlets to GFCI receptacles would be a waste of time and money. Typically a house with two prong outlets means the wiring to the plug is possibly ungrounded. A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor) outlet would not work properly if there is no ground wire to connect too.

As for the other outlets that are three prong, it is possible that someone has simply replaced a two prong outlet so that they could use modern appliances such as vacuums or toasters.

Have the electrcal inspected by a licensed electrician. They will be able to offer suggestions on completing the upgrade or at least advise you if the work that was done is safe or not.

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Date/Time7/4/2012 at 10:29:40 AM


Being Electrician - Any house older than 40 years should be completely re-inspected and that could be through Certified electrician or then to call for electrical inspection. Its not a matter of only plugs we actually have to identified complete circuit wiring and to double check our service going in the house is up to slandered with today's Canada code book.

But non-electrician again should not touch any plug or any wiring to get electrocuted.

Call local electrician and they are certified and have bond and insurance to do right job and cover your house insurance.


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Date/Time8/2/2012 at 12:34:59 PM

Just to add to the posts... I think there has been some really good advice provided.

For the benefit of the OP, the GFCI will not protect your devices because the GFCI does not provide that bond (commonly referred to as the ground). The GFCI will protect you from an electrical shock, but that is all. The GFCI does not "create" the missing bond that is needed with today's modern appliances and devices.

To upgrade your wiring is generally a job for the professionals, but it does not have to be done all at once. You can upgrade the wiring as you renovate the rooms.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Sarah in Windsor
Date/Time8/2/2012 at 1:21:14 PM

Thanks, I have got a licenced electrician to estimate the replacement of the receptables throughout the main floor of house. It would cost me $1100 (tax included). Oouch!!

I will take your advice of spreadout the cost of replacement by going a set of rooms as the renovation goes.

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