How Safe is an Ungrounded Outlet?

How Safe is an Ungrounded Outlet?

September 23, 2021

All electrical power outlets or sockets in a house should possess three holes, two vertical slits, and one central slit. The central slit is located in the middle of the two vertical slits, either the top or the bottom. The central slit is commonly referred to as the grounded outlet.

Before the 1960s, most houses had ungrounded outlets. The latter are sockets that lack the earth wire or the central slit. Such facilities were prone to electrical fires and frequent faulty appliances. It therefore became a norm that modern constructed houses have grounded outlets after 1960.

Are Grounded Outlets Important?

To better understand a grounded outlet, one must understand how electric current passes to an electrical appliance in a socket. The two vertical slits represent a hot wire that initiates current flow and a neutral wire. 

The ground wire acts as a safety measure in an outlet system by earthing or redirecting current to the earth when there is a power surge. Thus, ground outlet safeguards against short circuits, electricity surges, and renegade electricity.

The electric current may be channeled to nearby appliances, objects, fabrics, or persons without such a feature. The latter leads to fatal electric shocks, especially to toddlers who like inserting objects into unguarded sockets. 

Alternatively, adults may be electrocuted, especially when there is a power surge. Additionally, the electric appliances that will become nonfunctional due to the uninhibited power surges. The latter leads to frequent replacements or repairs. Thus, an increase in the overall cost.

Ungrounded outlets pose a serious health hazard to persons operating the electrical appliances. Additionally, ungrounded outlets facilitate electrical fires by initiating electric sparks, electric arcing, or excess electric charge.

Electricians state that most houses constructed in the late 1960s have messy wiring. The latter means that such homes have a mixture of ungrounded and grounded outlets. It would be prudent if owners of such homes consider electrical outlet replacement.

Are Ungrounded Outlets Safe?

According to Mr. Electric of Dallas, the question as to whether ungrounded outlets are safe or not often crops up in many day-to-day conversations. Supporters of the ungrounded outlets argue that the houses with ungrounded outlets have been safe in the past and that such houses have not yet burned down. 

However, the primary concern is “yet.”  The latter means that such houses are still prone to electric fires; it is only a matter of time. If the right conditions are set, an electric fire is likely to ensue.

Thus, it is safe to say that grounded outlets help in mitigating a lot of electrical problems and electrical disasters. Consequently, grounded outlets have now become a standard practice during wiring of any building or facility. Mr. Electric of Dallas recommends an electric outlet replacement of all ungrounded outlets. All these measures are done to prevent electrical disasters and reduce the maintenance cost of having electrical appliances.

Contact the certified electricians at Mr. Electric Dallas for all your electric and electric outlet replacement needs.